Kallisti is an album to which you have to commit time and attention but rewards with an enthralling journey for thoughts and emotions to deeply immerse within. The new release from Empty Yard Experiment, the fourteen track encounter is a transfixing and compelling proposition which never lets you comfortably settle into its exhausting textures and climactic structures but equally never relinquishes its grip and temptation on the imagination. A riveting web of progressive and melodic rock with just as rich veins of post rock and alternative metal, the album is an expansive landscape of consuming atmospheres and provocative emotion wrapped in a craft and enterprise which pushes Empty Yard Experiment to the forefront of progressive exploration.
Formed in 2006, the Dubai based band consists of musicians from the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Iran, and India. Taking influences from the likes of Tool, Porcupine Tree, Nine Inch Nails, and Mogwai into their own invention, Empty Yard Experiment (E.Y.E.) has certainly on the evidence of this second album, forged a unique yet almost recognisably engaging presence and sound. It comes in an ingenious tapestry though which sets it well apart from the band’s influences and others engaged in a similar weaving of multi flavoured styles into sonic experimentation. With the band already earning acclaim through shows with the likes of Evanescence, Metallica, and Anathema, their Joshua F Williams (Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder) produced Kallisti has the quality and potential to thrust the band into the keenest spotlight. Named after the inscription on the ancient Greek Apple of Discord, Kallisti is a concept album themed by the threads of chaos and discord which permeate our lives and existence, its lyrical provocation as rich and intensely provocative as its sound.
The journey starts with Sunyata, an instrumental introduction which places melancholic keys from Gorgin Asadi and strings in a crystalline and slightly portentous ambience. It is an easily engaging opening cloaked in emotive shadows and swiftly has thoughts wrapped up in its restrained yet potent drama. The track builds up a sonic link between itself and the following robust and intimidating Greenflash. That threat is slightly defused with the great ragged rub of riffs which soon emerge and mellow vocals which instantly brings a whisper of Deftones or Palms to the otherwise predatory entrance of the track. As it opens up its rhythmic pressure and sonic ruggedness everything takes on a fresh, bordering on antagonistic, approach to the melodic temptation. The result is a song which flirts and melodically roars like a mix of Alice In Chains and Karnivool. As with most tracks there is so much going on that we can only give brief glimpses, each proposition within Kallisti an on-going exploration of an evolving soundscape.
The outstanding track makes way for the dystopian ambience of Red, a brief instrumental clad in an emotively sinister ambience before it in turn slips into the reflective caress of The Blue Eyes of a Dog. The track is like a stark imposing breeze, its emotional intrusion at times a wispy elegance and in others a forceful wind all sculpted by respectful rolling rhythms, melodic experimentation, and emotional turbulence. The instrumental is a beacon for ears and especially imagination to find their own scenic visions within the track and album, matched to more sinister effect by the more disturbed There Will Never Be where keys and vocals unite for a severely troubled caress.
Entropy provides the loftiest peak on the album, the track an enslaving bait of sinew stretched riffs from Bojan Preradovic and the probing beats of Josh Saldanha within an atmospheric sonic glaze courted by a gripping throaty bass temptation unveiled by Kaveh Kashani. Vocals swiftly add their smooth and evocative tension as keys swarm tenderly over the senses with a smouldering breath of seduction. The song prowls as it seduces, expelling raw abrasing flames of sonic and emotive passion throughout for a climactic and absorbing flight.
Blue is another short cinematic slither of industrial bred scene setting before the transfixing beauty of Anomie immerses ears and senses, the skilled designs of guitarist Mehdi Gr a gripping narrative alongside the increasingly mesmeric vocal qualities of Preradovic. There is a sinister almost bedlamic eruption of discord kissed sonic ingenuity within certain twists of the song which simply adds to its engrossing intrigue and unpredictability. The following Lost In a Void That I Know Far Too Well has less of the second of those two aspects but certainly a wealth of the first within its soaring melody strewn instrumental landscape. The piece again has thoughts flying their own agenda before Untitled spreads its unique but easily accessible melodic rock revelry and provocative expression. Detours into cinematic glimpses of life and festivities wrong foots at first but opens up further exploration within the constantly surprising track which over time only enhances its suasion.
The dark cavernous depths of Sama make another short but impacting twist in the narrative of Kallisti before it seamlessly evolves into the melodic enchanting of God Has His Reasons, a self-reflection driven slice of melodic and harmonic beauty. Keys and vocals steal the ears but only because the striking canvas built by restrained rhythms and an inescapable web spun by the enterprise of the guitars and bass gives them a potent background.
A final short piece called Green leads into the closing triumph of The Call, a track from its initial rhythmic trap binding ears and passions in a nine minute travelogue of gentle and tempestuous emotional climates and rugged aural terrains. It is a final emprise for thoughts and feelings, a thrilling sonic gest to lose reality within.
Though many tracks work alone superbly, Kallisti works best as a whole even though that means greater attention and effort is needed. The rewards though are enormous as Empty Yard Experiment proves themselves to be one of the truly exciting emerging forces in melodic and progressive endeavour.
The self-released Kallisti is available now @ http://emptyyardexperiment.bandcamp.com/album/kallisti
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from