Music is wonderful and is one of the few things that echoes across the world and can bring people together in unity. Of course, that’s putting the most simplistic of slants on it but when bands are forged in countries that we may not expect to hear music from, it’s difficult to not appreciate the power of sound. Empty Yard Experiment are one such band and after forming in Dubai and including members from Serbia, Iran and India, they certainly are a group that are embracing the multicultural aspect of their makeup and in turn unleashing that mix on to their music. Kallisti is their second record and with the band releasing it independently, they have a lot riding on this new music.
They cleverly mix progressive rhythms with uplifting beats and while they cite many major players as influences – Tool, Porcupine Tree, Mogwai – the band are savvy enough to pull their own personalities into the landscapes of sound that they create. “The Blue Eyes of a Dog” moves through shades of melancholy before “There Will Never Be” begins on heavy keys and hushed vocals. Bojan Preradovic’s voice swings from whispers to huge rocky shouts while maintaining control over the build up until “Entropy” bursts into life – all Tool-esque riffs and heady synths and Soundgarden-like grunge.
“Lost in a Void That I Know Far Too Well” plays soft and heavy off against each other with laid back moments contrasting with built up, layered guitars which evoke a sense of inner turmoil and the gorgeous “Sama” brings the mood into deep, lush sadness before “God Has His Reasons” allows Preradovic’s vocal to shine out over the piano undercurrent that drifts below the shifting tones. His voice is truly sublime and is lovingly draped over the progressions beneath, working with the sounds rather than competing to be heard.
Kallisti is a record of great scope which can occasionally be its downfall. Overall, the album is ambitious and has much to offer but often songs can go on a little too long and with the running time clocking in at an hour, EYE aren’t quite at the level needed to engage a listener for quite that long. Still, for a young band they have time to learn and grow and Kallisti is an excellent starting point for them.
7.5 / 10
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