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TRACK LIST: 1. Crisis 3:38 2. L'Empale 3:34 3. Corpus I 2:36 4. Satanusky 3:46 5. Le Druide 1:09 6. Samba Tapping 2:31 7. Gavotte en Rondeau 1:07 8. Step Flange 4:06 9. Freezone 3:10 10. Interlude 1:33 11. Corpus II 3:19 12. Untitled 3:13 13. D Double U 4:08 14. Mr. Twitts 3:30 15. Mandoly 1:39 All tracks: by Talisma. LINE-UP: Donald Fleurent - varied basses; synthesizers; acoustic guitar Martin Vanier - electric & acoustic guitars, guitar-synth Mark Di Claudio - drums & percussion With: Nathalie Renault - vocalizes (on 6 & 9) Produced & engineered by Fleurent. Recorded at "Mordicus", Quebec.
Prolusion. The Canadian trio TALISMA was formed in the second half of the '90s, but "Corpus" is their first album so far.
Synopsis. Being in limbo for several years since its formation, Talisma had time to become a solidary, masterful band with their very own highly original vision of progressive music. Almost all of the tracks on "Corpus" sound so unique that it's impossible to find evident analogies between Talisma and any other outfit ever existed in the history of Rock music. On the other hand, the overall musical picture of "Corpus" clearly shows that so far, the band isn't able to produce an album, which would sound fully coherent regardless of how is large the number of different musical directions presented there. The only two tracks on this all-instrumental CD that feature female vocalizes: Samba Tapping and Freezone (6 & 9) don't suit the overall spirit of the album, and not only. Contrary to almost all of the other compositions, these two are playfully optimistic in character and contain many repetitions. For the most part, they feature up-tempo arrangements often notable for female vocalizes done in unison with solos of guitar and bass in the style of light Jazz-Fusion. Another track that isn't as diverse and intriguing as those I will describe a bit later is Mister Twitts (14) with inflammatory solos of guitar, bass, and African or Latin-like sounding congas and similar percussion instruments in the foreground of the arrangements. All the other tracks on the album, including the four sketches in the middle of it, are excellent in every respect. Apart from a high originality, each of them is notable for a tense atmosphere and possesses a high attractiveness and hypnotism, which, in total, is nothing else but magic. Regardless of the stylistic features I will use when describing different tracks, this is a unique (really unique!), mostly slow-to-mid tempo progressive music with a mysterious feel to it and lots of the parts of acoustic guitar along with those of electric one, bass, synthesizer, and drums. The album begins with the two compositions, the style of which I see as Progressive Cathedral Metal with elements of guitar- and symphonic Art-Rock: Crisis and L'Empale, and Satanusky (4) is the first and the last stylistic 'brother' of them among the further tracks. The other more or less long compositions: Corpus-I, Step Flange, Corpus II, Untitled, and D Double U (3, 8, 11, 12, & 13) represent an amazing amalgam of both of the guitar and symphonic forms of Art-Rock, though the latter of them is not without some quantity of heavy elements in its structures. Among the remaining four short pieces: Le Druide, Interlude, Gavotte en Rondeau, and Mandoly (5, 10, 7, & 15 respectively), only the latter two, consisting of passages and solos of acoustic guitar, are comparable to each other. Le Druide features only slow symphonic passages of a few synthesizers, and Interlude the very slow, almost 'frozen', solos of electric guitar surrounded by synthesizer effects.
Conclusion. While "Corpus" is stylistically a motley rather than diverse album, the grandeur of music on most of the tracks here reduces that minor flaw to nothing in most cases. There aren't many bands on today's progressive scene capable to play music, which is both unique and highly attractive, but Talisma is definitely one of them. Overall, wholeheartedly recommended.
VM: January 10, 2004
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