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Lis Er Stille - "The Collibro" (CD)

Lis Er Stille - "The Collibro" CD cover image

"The Collibro" track listing:

1. All the Blood
2. Send in the Scouts
3. Recalling the Color
4. Like a Common Wave
5. Shards of the Ending
6. Through the Quest of Your Designs
7. Break or Steal
8. The Real Children
9. The Painted
10. Behold the Remnant Parts of Me
11. In the Seed
12. Beneath the Broken Country

Reviewed by on September 8, 2010

"Musically, 'The Collibro' is out of this world. Every song has numerous twists and turns that pull the listener through valleys of haunting piano work and towering guitar passages."

It first must be noted that Lis Er Stille are not a true metal band and “The Collibro,” the band’s third studio album, is by no means a metal record. What “The Collibro” is though, is an album that is a living and breathing entity that takes a firm hold of the listener, dragging them on an incredible journey through endless imagination and boundless creativity. A band that takes the finest qualities of artists like The Decemberists, Porcupine Tree, Coldplay, Queen, Pink Floyd and The Mars Volta, then joins them at the hip; creating a monster of a progressive rock album that is freakishly good.

The first track, “All the Blood,” acts more like a prelude to the album with its layered chanting that is both very creepy and also quite intriguing. The music itself begins with “Send in the Scouts,” an absolutely epic composition that sounds like the forbidden lovechild of Tool and Porcupine Tree with its own unique essence. A wall of trumpets and wind instruments create a vibe that is chilling when coupled with the sweeping synth lines and the shrill vocals of Martin Byrialsen.

Musically, “The Collibro” is out of this world. Every song has numerous twists and turns that pull the listener through valleys of haunting piano work and towering guitar passages. While nothing is on the technical level of virtuosity, the writing here is pure creative masterwork and demands the full attention of anyone listening. You never know where the music is going to take you next, and that is the immense beauty of this record. Subtle nuances from almost every genre imaginable find their way into the songs. Folk, classical, surf-rock, gothic, polka, black metal, electronica. “The Collibro” is an extremely adventurous and eclectic effort that still manages to come across as a cohesive piece of music. The songs were meant to sound this way.

“Shards of the Ending” visits many different musical territories on its twelve minute journey. Even some slight guitar fuzz finds itself battling with the intense piano passages on occasion and the start/stop of the other instruments are pulled off to perfection. This is like Porcupine Tree but on a whole new level of progressive and creative genius. If a band ever deserved to be labeled as progressive, Lis Er stille would be that band.

The following track, “Through the Quest of Your Designs,” has a strong Massive Attack vibe that leads off into realms of a slightly more traditional progressive rock song. Although the word traditional is used very lightly here. Martin Byrialsen’s singing is stellar on this track and his vocal range has got to be the widest and strongest of any vocalist performing today.

“The Collibro” refuses to be limited by the conventional laws of writing music. At times it is a bit of a demanding thing to endure but it is well worth every second of it. If a single had to chosen from the album, “The Real Children” would be the only real choice, but even that shouldn't be taken seriously. “The Real Children” is a four minute sprint through the textures of goth-rock, prog-folk, art-rock, and black metal while still maintaining its cohesive charm. To be put into simpler terms, the song is mind blowing. “The Real Children” goes out with yet another moment of brilliance utilizing blast beat drumming and a wall of guitar noise. Incredible.

Sadly, this album is not for everyone. Those who aren't open minded to experimentation with new and multiple genres or dedicating themselves to seventy minutes worth of law defying music should stay far, far away from this one. For anyone looking to hear something fresh and new that challenges and breaks down your prior misconceptions of what music can be, then “The Collibro” is the album for you. It may even be your musical soul mate. First decide which side of the fence you are on, then go from there. But those who decide to take “The Collibro” head on will surely be left speechless and in turn be left to search for the lower half of their jaw.

Highs: So random, yet cohesive. Incredible song writing.

Lows: Some of the baritone vocals tend to sound repetitive.

Bottom line: Intense, creative, and incredibly unique progressive rock.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)