Friday, August 26, 2011

Kalisia - Cybion Deluxe Edition (2009)

First of all, a disclaimer. I've been pondering about reviewing this album for over a year now, and I've started writing several times. In my opinion it might be the best album ever created, at least if you take all the factors into consideration. As such, this review will probably be quite long and pretty shitty. There are loads of great reviews out there, and none does this album justice. I just wish to entice you a little bit, because the world needs Kalisia.

Kalisia is a French band that plays what I like to call super mega titfuck epic progressive death metal. Cybion is, to quote Kalisia themselves, an "anticipation concept-album". It is one epic 71 minute sci-fi adventure which among many things incorporates a new language. The one-song-format has been done before, but in Cybion it is divided into four parts, A, B, C, and D which are Revelation, Elevation, Regression and Extinction respectively. Furthermore, the piece is divided into "tracks", which are titled in alphabetic order, for instance like this:
01. Intro [Introduction / Domination]
[Part A: Revelation]
02. Aspiration Above [Reception / Translation]
03. Arken Bringer [Union / Construction]
As you can see, the titles are chosen as to show where in the "chapter" you are, and each of the tracks have corresponding dual words to them which convey something of what you might experience or feel in that section of the story. The amount of work put down into this album is just mind-blowing, it was in the making for more than 10 years!
There goes a small portion of the epicness, you can read further on their homepage and forums if you want to.

Musically, Cybion is something that I've wished to hear for sooo long. The easiest way to describe it is some mixture of progressive metal in the vein of Dream Theater (Kalisia released their highly regarded demo, Skies, in 1995) fused with Cybion and then a shitload of other stuff. But the Dream Theater-gone-prog-death is the shortest one I guess, though in my estimation it is much much deeper than that (Saxophone anyone?). There are almost exclusively growls though, really nice ones to boot. Some talking occurs and there are some female vocals, but no horrible, hideous DT vocals. On the topic of Skies, it is included in this double CD edition together with some covers of bands they pay homage to. I really recommend the demo as well, it is incredible, and also the Cynic cover How Could I. Vocals are done by Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy, which isn't a bonus really, but the end of the song contains a guest solo from Paul Masvidal(Cynic and Death) and it is one of my all time favorite solos/melodies whatever you wanna call the whole ending. It just gives my goosebumps every time, simple as that.

Cybion is not your going-out-running CD, it is something you sit down and listen through AS A WHOLE very attentively. If you're a fan of progressive, innovative music, you ought to check this out. The first time I listened to this wonderful work of art, the thought that kept popping up was "I am witnessing history being written". I feel that to put this kind of effort into an album, which no one dared to sign, and then sell it for 3€ digital and 14€ for a double CD (close to zero profit) is just so damn commendable. I see it as a modern version of classic music. Maybe, and hopefully, Cybion will be beloved by all in the future. It well and truly deserves it.