Band: Empty Yard Experiment
Album: Kallisti
Genre: Progressive/Experimental Metal
Country: Dubai, UAE 
Release Date: 29th September, 2014
Label: Self-release
Reviewer: Hashim AlNasser

Empty Yard Experiment (E.Y.E) is a Dubai-based musical outfit formed in 2007 whose members hail from Serbia, Iran and India. Bringing with them a unique mix of numerous sounds and styles and citing Tool, Porcupine Tree and Mogwai as some of their influences, they have gone on to open for a number of critically acclaimed international musicians such as Evanescence, Anathema and Metallica and are gearing up to tour the UK this coming December.

When I was given the opportunity to review Kallisti, I was told only 1 thing, "Think Tool, meets Alice in Chains, and Porcupine Tree all mushed up". Having listened to the album almost non-stop since, I couldn't have said it better myself. I always try to go into a listening experience with no expectations, but Empty Yard Experiment easily exceeded all possible expectations I could have had prior. 

Starting off with the haunting piano tones of Sunyata, E.Y.E.'s Kallisti takes you on a 14-track whirlwind of a journey, showcasing the bands genre-spanning sound with gusto. Musically, the album doesn't disappoint. In Kallisti, they've managed to incorporate a number of familiar sounds and styles inspired by their influences while still successfully writing an hour's worth of new and inspiring original material. Whether it's ambient post-rock you're looking for or more hard-hitting prog rock, it can be found on this album. 

The vocals of E.Y.E's Bojan Preradovic ring a wonderful blend of those of Maynard James Keenan and Layne Staley (particularly in terms of their choice of harmonies) while still maintaining a very original sound. I personally am a huge fan of the musicianship of the album, from the guitar parts, to the hypnotic use of keyboard, and tasteful drumming, one thing I've noticed about this band is how 'true to their craft' they are, leaning more towards making the music itself the main experience, rather than covering it up with more 'flashy' guitar lines which I feel would have taken away from the overall experience. The stretches of softer ambient passages placed throughout the album offer a great glimpse into the experimental side of the band and their use of tones and production really pull you in as a listener.

I've always been an advocate for 'less-is-more' in that the more I say about this album, the more I feel I will be taking away from your own experience of it as I feel Kallisti is an hour-long tour de force that needs to be experienced. If I'm to recommend anything else, it is to listen to the album from start to finish with your full attention and without pause. 


Stream and purchase Kallisti on E.Y.E.'s Bandcamp page.

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