Kalisia - Cybion review



Reviewer:
9.6

415 users:
8.60
Band: Kalisia
Album: Cybion
Release date: January 2009


Disc I
01. Introduction / Domination
[Part I: Revelation]
02. Aspiration Above [Reception / Translation]
03. Arken Bringer [Union / Construction]
04. Alien Choice [Declaration / Revolution]
05. Awkward Decision [Division / Integration]
[Part II: Elevation]
06. Blinded Addict [Fusion / Rebellion]
07. Beyond Betrayal [Violation / Condemnation]
08. Blessed Circle [Education / Deification]
09. Black Despair [Isolation / Liberation]
10. Blurred Exile [Destination / Alteration]
[Part III: Regression]
11. Cast Away [Damnation / Seclusion]
12. Crisis Bleedings [Illusion / Desperation]
13. Confined Contender [Resolution / Protection]
14. Circuits Distortion [Reconstruction / Intrusion]
15. Contact Experience [Confrontation / Communication]
[Part IV: Extinction]
16. Devices Awakening [Activation / Production]
17. Down Below [Confusion / Resurrection]
18. Distant Chronicles [Realisation / Penetration]
19. Digital Disclosure [Disconnection / Comprehension]
20. Deserved Eternity [Salvation / Connection]

Disc II [Origins] [limited deluxe edition bonus]
01. Tower Of Vanities
02. Chimera
03. Lost Soul
04. The Mental Frames (Part I)
05. How Could I [Cynic cover]
06. A Fortune In Lies [Dream Theater cover]
07. I Am The Black Wizards [Emperor cover]
08. This Dazzling Abyss [Loudblast cover]


Disclaimer: this review might be long (and so is the album) but I couldn't do without the context and other explanations. If you don't care about reading this slab of a review, just go and buy the album straight away.


You may not have heard of French band Kalisia before but they've been among the most praised act here since they released the demo Skies about 15 years ago. I, myself, have discovered the demo back in 2003 I think, and was so blown by this progressive and somewhat death metal music that I was eager for more, for a full length. Back then Cybion was already in the works so everyone was expecting a release sometime soon...
But slowly, as years passed, we started to forget about Kalisia. It came back to our minds sporadically as we could hear news about what was doing the main man behind the band (Brett Caldas-Lima), news that included recording To-Mera's excellent albums, voicing a few sentences in French for Megadeth, joining Cynic live on some dates, etc.
I was starting to think that the whole Cybion project had been stopped... Just when I saw a double CD digipack in a store this March 2009. I couldn't believe my eyes, and I didn't need my ears to listen to it before my mind had decided to buy it (plus, it wasn't that expensive given the package, which included the Skies demo and some new covers in a bonus CD).
Once I got back home came the moment to get the CD out of the classy white package. Pressing "play" would put an end to all those years of waiting, just as if I was now ready to be told the meaning of life, the universe and everything...

The introduction track makes you understand that you're in for an epic. A science-fiction epic to be precise. It's nothing special actually, just a heavily keyboarded symphonic introduction drawing the listener to the second track, "Aspirations Above", opening the first part of the 71 minute long song that Cybion actually is. Cause of course, Cybion is a concept album, divided into 4 parts (A: Revelation, B: Elevation, C: Regression, D: Extinction), again divided into different tracks (have a look at the tracklist, you'll see how clever the listing has been made - all the song titles are written with 2 words that set them in the alphabetical order, so you know where you are in the story just by looking at the initials).

So after the intro you will discover the core of Kalisia's music, which is mostly progressive yet very melodic and exploring many metal genres. If the Skies demo was tagged as progressive death metal, you can't really call Cybion death metal, though it clearly has bits of that, it covers much more metal aspects, from power to industrial and atmospheric, with some not-so-metal moments that are really appreciated (the saxophone bit on "Blinded Addict" for instance). Still, it may come as something "Cynic-like", also "Dream Theater-like" (I'm thinking of their Awake album) but with an epic and electronic atmosphere. Any lover of complex music should try it although those who can't stand growls will have a hard time given that, of the many vocal styles on the album, the main vocals are Brett's growls.

Speaking of which, I shall tell you that the lyrics are also special. As you read them in the booklet, you realize it's more a text than a series of verses and choruses. In fact, there's hardly any chorus on the album: you're told a story mostly through dialogues between different characters so that the sentences are complete and natural for the most part, not only rhymes you see. And what is the story about, you ask? Well, all I will tell you is that it's set up in a future where humankind has reached quite a significant technological level and then meet the Arkens (aliens speaking the Kal language, invented for the album needs), and not all earthlings will follow them and their teachings so that some will set for another home. It's actually much more complicated than that but I have to admit it's a bit confusing and well, I can't permit myself to spoil everything for you!

A note on the bonus CD, starting with the whole 1995 demo Skies. The song "Tower Of Vanities" explains why they were referred to as a progressive/death metal band, "Lost Soul" is a bit quieter and features female vocals and "The Mental Frames part I" is somehow Kalisia's equivalent of Dream Theater's Metropolis part I, though it's an instrumental ending with a frustrating fade out...
After the demo tracks are a few covers, featuring many guests: "How Could I" (Cynic, with Angela Gossow and Christophe Godin), "A Fortune In Lies" (Dream Theater, with David Scott McBee, Tom MacLean and Charly Sahona), "I am Black Wizards" (Emperor, with Sonnm) and "This Dazzling Abyss" (Loudblast, with Ludovic Lopez and Paul Masvidal). My fav being "A Fortune In Lies" but this may be because I used to be a DT fan.

In the end, is Cybion fulfilling all the expectations that have risen from all those years of making? Certainly, if you're into this kind of ambitious adventure. If you don't like long stuff and can't figure yourself listening to a big song for 1 hour and 11 minutes (funny!), if you can't stand keyboards, or hate sci-fi, then you won't like it. But otherwise, you will probably love the first album of Kalisia and no doubt you will come back to it many times to enjoy it in details, as it is a very rich piece of work. I'm sure the guys have some more of it running through their minds and so I set myself in waiting mode once again... Even if I have to wait for another 10 years, if it's worth it like Cybion is, then it's perfectly alright.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by wrathchild | 08.05.2009


 


Comments page 3 / 3

Comments: 81   Visited by: 613 users
01.08.2009 - 11:00
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Written by Ellrohir on 01.08.2009 at 09:20

it's way too long?! oh my again...


I think this is a valid argument. The length of this album along with the kind of music it is... can really test one's patience.
----
"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
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01.08.2009 - 11:36
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
I will simply never agree with any person saying "album longer than 1 hour is boring and stupid"...have heard the same about Nigtwish's Dark Passion Play - "too long, boring, whatever"...hate this...
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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01.08.2009 - 15:17
whitepawel
Written by Ellrohir on 01.08.2009 at 11:36

I will simply never agree with any person saying "album longer than 1 hour is boring and stupid"...have heard the same about Nigtwish's Dark Passion Play - "too long, boring, whatever"...hate this...



I do not say that every "album longer than 1 hour is boring and stupid". I love many albums that are even longer than Cybion.
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01.08.2009 - 16:53
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Ok, fair enough, sorry

but anyway - i dont like much of progressive (or even progressive death), but Kalisia absolutely destroys my personal charts...
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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06.08.2009 - 17:22
ponderer
This shit is pretty brilliant. Didn't know the French could produce this level of metal
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06.08.2009 - 18:10
Elio
Red Nightmare
Written by ponderer on 06.08.2009 at 17:22

This shit is pretty brilliant. Didn't know the French could produce this level of metal


To say the truth, French can do waaaay better than this
----
IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

BEST. QUOTE. EVER.
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06.08.2009 - 18:36
K†ulu
Seeker of Truth
Written by Elio on 06.08.2009 at 18:10

Written by ponderer on 06.08.2009 at 17:22

This shit is pretty brilliant. Didn't know the French could produce this level of metal


To say the truth, French can do waaaay better than this


Indeed Take Gorod or Adagio...
----
Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
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06.08.2009 - 18:56
Elio
Red Nightmare
Written by K†ulu on 06.08.2009 at 18:36

Written by Elio on 06.08.2009 at 18:10

Written by ponderer on 06.08.2009 at 17:22

This shit is pretty brilliant. Didn't know the French could produce this level of metal


To say the truth, French can do waaaay better than this


Indeed Take Gorod or Adagio...


I was thinking more of Alcest, Amesoeurs, Peste Noire... but it's ok
----
IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

BEST. QUOTE. EVER.
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17.08.2009 - 07:26
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Written by Elio on 06.08.2009 at 18:10

Written by ponderer on 06.08.2009 at 17:22

This shit is pretty brilliant. Didn't know the French could produce this level of metal


To say the truth, French can do waaaay better than this


Oh yeah, their bread is awesome!

French bread, ftw!
----
"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
Loading...
17.08.2009 - 10:04
Mizer84
Account deleted
Brilliant album!! The music is constantly varying and is so complex at times that I understand how people have hard time getting into this.

On the first listen I was totally blown away by the variety of all the styles, different vocals, effects and cool sounds the album features. I just had to listen to them over and over again. I have never come across anything quite like this. After listening Cast Away, I haven't been able to stop listening to the album. I do however have to admit that if you try to listen the whole album through in one go, it can feel a bit too much. Try listening to it in smaller sections..

Also the main thing I like about this album is that all the "progressive & techincal phases" actually sound good. Its just great melodies&sounds after great melodies&sounds.....There is no random tech-wanking, with the exception of only one awkward dream theater moment in Beyond Betrayal @ 2:48.
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03.09.2009 - 21:43
THE_BLACK_GOD
Account deleted
Very nice review but really couldnt read the last paragraph !!! I'll try this album for sure.
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25.09.2009 - 13:36
Biddle127
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 17.08.2009 at 07:26

Written by Elio on 06.08.2009 at 18:10

Written by ponderer on 06.08.2009 at 17:22

This shit is pretty brilliant. Didn't know the French could produce this level of metal


To say the truth, French can do waaaay better than this


Oh yeah, their bread is awesome!

French bread, ftw!


Don't forget their wine, they make excellent wine
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25.09.2009 - 22:23
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Written by Biddle127 on 25.09.2009 at 13:36

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 17.08.2009 at 07:26

Written by Elio on 06.08.2009 at 18:10

Written by ponderer on 06.08.2009 at 17:22

This shit is pretty brilliant. Didn't know the French could produce this level of metal


To say the truth, French can do waaaay better than this


Oh yeah, their bread is awesome!

French bread, ftw!


Don't forget their wine, they make excellent wine


Yuppers!
----
"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
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29.10.2009 - 18:22
Yogi
I tried listening to this album serveral time. I acknowldge the hard work, musicianship, complixity and varity but I will never think that this album should have any more than 6/10 in comparison with watershed, which I would rate 9.5/10
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29.10.2009 - 21:27
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Written by Yogi on 29.10.2009 at 18:22

I tried listening to this album serveral time. I acknowldge the hard work, musicianship, complixity and varity but I will never think that this album should have any more than 6/10 in comparison with watershed, which I would rate 9.5/10


Uh... I don't get the comparison... They are two completely different albums by two different bands. :/
----
"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
Loading...
20.12.2009 - 21:20
Eddie Misery
Amazing cd. I love it.
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20.12.2009 - 21:27
Eddie Misery
Written by Yogi on 29.10.2009 at 18:22

I tried listening to this album serveral time. I acknowldge the hard work, musicianship, complixity and varity but I will never think that this album should have any more than 6/10 in comparison with watershed, which I would rate 9.5/10


Two things..1.) Watershed was, at best, an extensive exercise in mediocrity by a band who used to kick much ass. 2.) Watershed doesn't compare to this album at all. For that matter, Watershed doesn't even compare to the rest of Opeth's catalogue.

Not that that's even really relevant to this review (which was great), I just was surprised that anyone could even put this album and Watershed in the same string of thoughts.
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24.12.2009 - 02:41
Saviour73
This is my favorite album of 2009 and one of my all time favorites! It has everything one could want in a metal album, great vocals throughout, enjoyable guitar parts on almost every song, inclusion of so many genres from progressive to death to some jazz and even some dance vibes Most of all I love the key/synth parts and the story is EPIC! How could this album not be number 1 with Arjen Lucassen on board
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27.03.2010 - 22:34
Ander
Apart from the fact that this album kicks MAJOR ass (and makes me proud of being French by the way), it also features an absolutely fucking AWESOME Emperor cover if anyone noticed.
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28.03.2010 - 00:02
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
But only in extended version

anyway i didnt liked exactly I am a the black wizards cover that much
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


Loading...
30.03.2010 - 20:35
Vonpire
Written by Harlequin on 05.07.2009 at 13:01

This thing is totally overrated. But a lot of people already did a lot of discussing about that, so I won't go into detail here. I'd give it a 6/10 at best.


Finally a opinion like mine, but i'll give it 7 instead of 6.
----
Beware the Shadows of Dusk
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