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Talisma - Corpus

Talisma - CorpusCanadian trio, Talisma, have been around since 1993.  They split in 2000 later to find a new guitarist and drummer and so Corpus is the first album for the reincarnated Talisma.

The band's rich sounds and luscious compositions encompass a whole variety of music styles which are extremely progressive.

Corpus has 15 short tracks (atypical for a prog album) totalling 43 minutes.  Apart from female scat-type vocalisations on two of the tracks, it is entirely instrumental.  Crisis opens the album, followed by L'Empale, both of which are in the vein of King Crimson/Steve Hackett and are wonderfully inventive and disconcerting at the same time.  The strange feeling continues with title track, Corpus, with its haunting melody courtesy of great synth and acoustic guitar work.

By this stage, one starts to wonder if the 'gaps' between tracks are really necessary.  Whilst there isn't the sort of flow that is found on albums like Thick As A Brick or Tubular Bells, the music could be merged without too much of a problem up to and including track six, Samba Tapping, which incidentally has a Camel flavour.

The next track, Gavotte En Rondeau, provides a break in proceedings (it would probably be the final track on side one of a vinyl pressing, if anyone remembers those).  This delightfully executed classical piece (one of Bach's if I'm not mistaken) is followed by Step Flange, the main theme of which sounds very familiar (could I be thinking of Eloy?) and has that floating prog quality.

All change for Freezone, one of those Steve Howe jazzy type ditties performed between heavier YES tunes but with the scat female vocals, complex but simple.  The short Interlude leads onto Corpus II which is a different take on the aforementioned CorpusUntitled 5/8 has a time sig which will be appreciated by the prog enthusiast, as will the the sigs on the rest of the album, and the theme enters new complexity with D Double U.

Mr Twitts has a Santana flavour with a full sounding percussion section with an additional drummer and percussionist.  The album draws to a close with the delicate Mandoly, featuring as you might expect, mandolin.

Talisma have have shown a great talent for melodies and arrangements with Corpus and all tracks are worthy of repeat listens.  The first 'half' of the album would sit nicely as a single track with different movements whilst the remainder hang better as individual tracks.  It would be interesting if the trio had a go at producing a 'one piece' album, because I'm sure they've got it in them.  Meanwhile, the melodies and perceived complexity of tunes on Corpus are guaranteed to please the demanding prog listener.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Unicorn Records



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