(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
Khallice is a Brazilian prog metal band, originally formed back in 1994. The Journey is their debut album, first released in 2003, and now re-released worldwide after the band signed to the Magna Carta label. The re-released version of the album comes with one bonus track (“Stuck”). In addition, you can download another bonus track (“Madman Lullaby”) if you visit the bands homepage.
Musically, Dream Theater is a clear inspiration for the band. Most tracks contain parts with distinct Dream Theater flavouring, especially from how the prog metal greats sounded on Images and Words and Awake.
Khallice do have other influences as well though. You'll be able to hear hair metal influences, some Rush influences as well as touches of Iron Maiden along the way. There are also touches of jazz and fusion to be found in most of tracks here, as well as keyboard work with a distinct 70's touch to them. All of those influences put together could make for a killer record, but not in this case.
The most frustrating aspect of this release is that the songs wander all over the place. Most songs are built up on a plethora of small parts, where excellent sounding parts that you hum along to are left after much to short time for something else, and often for something not as good. And as another excellent part in the songs comes into play, the same thing happens again and again.
This ceaseless wandering in the tracks makes it hard to get a good feel for the individual songs, as all the parts mixed together result in songs with a distinct lack of identity. That the individual parts of each song can have extreme variations in sound and mood does not help building an identity either.
The end result here is that I get the feel that this is a band in search of an identity of their own, and a band without the ability or skill to really hear what parts of each songs are good enough and catchy enough to explore further, and what parts are better to scrap. In short - a lack of songwriting and song structure ability. The musicianship is excellent though, so if listening to good musicians is more important to you than listening to good songs as such, this one should be checked out.
Unless you're into vocals that is. The vocalist in Khallice does have a good voice and good range, and sounds a bit like a mix of Bruce Dickinson and James LaBrie. But without the control and restraint those two utilize, resulting in vocals that at times end up in generic heavy metal howling as they did it back in the 80's.
Now, if these guys can harness their individual talents a bit and develop as songwriters, their next release could be a very interesting effort. This one however, is a tad on the weak side overall.