Talisma is a French Canadian band from Quebec, a place I would argue is the
hotbed of progressive rock in Canada. They have been around since the early
2000's and this is their third album. This is mostly instrumental music although
there are a couple of songs featuring the vocal talents of Florence Belanger.
The core group features Mark Di Claudio on drums, Donald Fleurent on bass, keys,
Mellotron and synthesizer guitar and Martin Vanier on guitar and guitar synth.
This time around they have some help from Marc Filiatrault on guitars, Alain
Boyer on drums and the aforementioned Florence Belanger.
This is true progressive rock made by a group of very talented musicians. I
just knew this was going to be an enjoyable listening experience as the first
notes of "Introssimo" burst from my speakers. A delightfully melodic symphonic
piece that hits on all cylinders. The bass playing here is very good as are the
waves of synths and keyboards. Quite a catchy beginning and an effective way to
begin the album. "Ibliss" has washes of keys and sound effects with some angular
guitar sounds. A very strange piece with a discordant melody but very
progressive nonetheless. "Iseult" is a quieter piece than the previous songs and
features Belanger on vocals. Her voice reminds me a little of Joni Mitchell and
has a nice soft tone. Acoustic guitar is the main instrument here as it is in
the album's title track, the other song featuring vocals. Similar to the
preceding song, it is soft and melodic, and the soothing vocals of Belanger
create a dreamy atmosphere. The album ends with "Cassiopeia", featuring more
lovely acoustic guitar and some stellar bass playing. It is always nice when an
album ends on a high note and this is no exception. At over nine minutes long,
there is enough time for the development of different melodies and themes going
from nice acoustic prog to a sort of jazz fusion section and back again. This
leads to my only complaint. In this day and age of ultra long albums this is a
relatively short disc at just over forty three minutes. It would have been nice
if some of the shorter tracks would have been given more time to develop and for
the band to further explore their musical ideas. Still, I really like this
album. If you are into instrumental progressive rock go out and get it.
Highlights include "Introssimo" and "Cassiopeia". Recommended.
1) Introssimo (5:13)
2) Basse de Fou (2:13)
3) Ibliss (3:56)
4) Iseult (4:44)
5) Quelque Part (2:57)
6) L'Aube (5:31)
7) Od (4:28)
8) Astromuz (2:35)
9) Modale (2:41)
10) Cassiopeia (9:00)