Empty Yard Experiment
29th September 2014 – Self-Released
04. The Blue Eyes Of A Dog
05. There Will Never Be
09. Lost In A Void That I Know All Too Well
12. God Has His Reasons
14. The Call
Kallisti is one of the most convincing progressive metal albums I’ve heard in a long time. Keeping true to the style’s origins, rather than leaning towards the modern Meshuggah-influenced movement, the debut full-length from Emirati quintet Empty Yard Experiment oozes atmosphere thanks to the layering of piano-driven interludes and electronic elements, as well as some clear post-metal influences. With vocals akin to Alice In Chains and Tool, it’s also refreshing to hear a vocalist use expression over range to convey emotion, which frontman Bojan Preradovic does extremely well.
Intro track “Sunyata” acts as a build-up to the undeniably progressive “Greenflash“; its drawn out instrumental parts and forlorn atmospherics help generate a sombre mood which is echoed throughout the album. Background atmospherics help build up the epic tunes, like the instrumental “The Blue Eyes Of A Dog“, which showcases the band’s more post-rock side. That flows into the dark, piano driven “There Will Never Be” which has the feel of some of Lou Reed’s more ominous works.
The album is riddled with powerful ambient interludes such as “Red“, “Blue” and “Green“, which put Gorgin Asadi’s key work – as well as the album’s stunning production – into play perfectly. The haunting melodies in “Anomie” have elements of A Perfect Circle in their delivery, and the brilliant harmonies that rumble underneath provide contrast to songs like “The Call“, which demonstrate EYE’s love for the heavier elements of prog with Mastodon-like passages of raging riffs, which contrast with the solemn atmospheres of the rest of the nine-minute epic.
All of these influences pour into the melting pot that is Kallisti. There is little at fault with this album; it has the makings of what every straight-up progressive band should listen for in their own compositions. Each song on this spectacular record has a personality of its own, leaving the listener dying for a second listen. Empty Yard Experiment manage to encompass the best aspects of progressive metal, electronic ambience, post-rock and world influences into a rolling album that cements itself in your mind.