Jesus Christ sings for a Brazilian progressive-metal band.
Now that I've got your attention, allow me to introduce Khallice (pronounced "ka-LEE-say"), a prog-metal band with a vocalist who sounds like James LaBrie and who once performed the role of Jesus in the Brazilian and Mexican casts of "Jesus Christ Superstar." Taking blatant influences from Dream Theater, Rush and Queensryche, the members of Khallice introduce themselves to the rest of the world via The Journey. It's the first English-language CD from the band and includes both new songs and rebuilt versions of earlier work dating back to 1995.
Khallice has played in front of as many as 50,000 people at one time, and it's easy to hear the band's oozing confidence in these nine songs. (The Magna Carta version contains one bonus track, plus "Madman Lullaby," an English version of "Balada do Louco" — a hit in the Seventies for the famous Brazilian band Os Mutantes — is available as a free bonus track download at the band's official web site.) Singer Alirio Netto's diction is a little lazy and he gets lost in the dense mix now and then, but he sings in a James LaBrie style with little trace of an accent. Netto is backed by exceedingly competent players with backgrounds in jazz, pop, classical and bossa nova. The result is an impressive album, but without a whole lot of originality. The quintet plays with such passion, though — dominant keyboard runs, crisp guitars, well-paced rhythms and invigorated vocals — that it's easy to consider The Journey a promising start to 2007's progressive-metal output.