Kallidad – The Odyssey (2017)

« Everyone is on an Odyssey of their own and KALLIDAD‘s Odyssey seems to be as frantic and unexpected as Homer’s » said Julz. This acoustic metal Australian trio with flamenco influences – composed of Julz on drums and Jace and Tom on strings – displays many tags as Thrash Flamenco, Mariachi Metal, Gringo Flamingo (?!)… No one seems to assign them a style and it’s generally an insightful sign of an unique and unusual music. So why not let the band introduce itself with the best way possible id est through its music.

The Odyssey is the beginning of a great adventure. The scene is set in medias res as from the first notes : conviviality, sunshine, calmness and serenity… but here comes the disruptive element. Rhythm changes and becomes frenetic. We are now invited on a rich and odd musical journey by the Australians. The melody literally dictates our emotions and leads us whatever it wishes to do like Eole blowing on the Ulysses ship sail, which is subtly perceptible on the track. The first stopover is alongside Señorita Margarita which owes its names to a third person close to the band. All fans and castanets out! Because the melody is bringing us towards Spain with its ardent flamenco spiced up with absolute technicality. This is the KALLIDAD we use to know with the kind of vibe which now have no more secret to them. However, contrasting with the tender Hispanic, Big Bill’s Blues reminds the lone camper into the wild with just his guitar for company. Two actually, because the song is built on the Jace and Tom dyad. The duo responds each other in a merging smoothness.

The main characters has been introduced and it’s now time to really start this Odysseus with The Naming Ceremony and its playful, almost mocking rhythm. The band energy is musically transferred through the notes but that’s not without purpose : The Strasbourg March is coming. This song – inspired d’bescht stàdt d’welt, unser scheena Elsàss – is on the vein of the previous one but with a more energetic spirit in which metal influences are raising and leading to an unleashed, explosive, frenzied final.

From the Alemannisches lands, El Mexicano is leading us on the other side of the world. A cinematic far west one. Here again, guitarists are dueling but over the watch of drums eyes ; mariachi trumpet is commenting the show and everything is orchestrated with various symphonic elements. Nostalgia tends to crop up in the middle of this no man’s land made of dirt and cacti, as our mind is more likely to wander in this case. This leads to Prestige Revealed which is one of the band’s first ever songs which would evolve into KALLIDAD‘s actual sound and revisited with current lineup. This track is one of the most nervous tune of the whole discography between hectic beats and technical soli.

The journey comes to an end with Ithaca over a gentle and relaxing melody. Having traveled so many miles during touring, it’s exhausted but with full of memories that the trio finally comes back to Australia, its native island by analogy with Ithaca. The Odyssey introduces us the daily life of the band not only between their gigs, relatives or encounters, but also the places and how all of these epics have influenced their music, how this one grew up with the band itself on a technical or human level.

From Flamenco to Metal through Blues and Mariachi, KALLIDAD are showing us with The Odyssey their wide technical capacities in harmonizing various genres in a single, unique music marked with unlimited energy relaying by musicians who’s primarily having fun. KALLIDAD is the kind of band in which we stop by curiosity but we stay once focused.

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