There is no shortage of good black metal bands out there but on the other hand there’s an ocean of bands that fall short that you’re forced to navigate through to find something that finally grabs your full attention. Growing up listening to Mayhem and graduating to Behemoth and Emperor and following a seemingly endless black metal family tree that seems to touch almost every influential black metal band that ever existed; it’s safe to say that I may have gotten my fill on what can be traditionally defined as “Black Metal”
You may recall their 2020 release ‘The Eye Is The First Circle’ which was met with great reviews and cemented their footing in the Black Metal scene. It was a great push forward from their previous 2017 release ‘Askesis’ which brought them flying headfirst into the scene. What I enjoy most about Calligram is their ability evolve from album to album and still keep old fans while gaining new fans. Hearing the musical evolution as they grow together really shines on this newest album
Calligram’s newest offering is a refreshing piece that has breathed new life in a genre that is flooded with artists trying to break out. This is their third album release to date and second on Prosthetic records. What is so clear on this album is the growth of the musicianship and overall composition. You’re met with a wall of sound that fully engulfs you but then you’re met with musical breaks that give air and space to their songs. There’s almost a blackgaze vibe at times which is very much appreciated and gives perfect balance to the overall raw and aggressive tone that is always pushed to the front.
Calligram’s lyrics are in Italian, the vocalist Matteo Rizzardo’s native language but despite the language barrier on my end there’s no shortage of interpretation of what’s being conveyed. Mark states he doesn’t use music as therapy but follows up with what the albums means to him and what he went through as inspiration behind the content he contributed to this album. Through the album there are notes of anxiety, depression, acceptance, and joy. So while this album isn’t a concept album or a tool for therapy, you could say it’s a time stamp of sorts on where they are all today and how they got there and what they went through.
Position | Momentum hits every high point for me that makes a great album. Its pure chaos laced with beauty. Giving moments of time throughout their musical breaks where for me as a listener; I cant help but become introspective on my own happenings in my own life. Calligram made a piece that can draw in a listener into their inner circle and make them feel included and accepted. Mark mentioned this album wasn’t his therapy, but I fell this album could be a form of therapy for so many fans of Black Metal who may need a reprieve or space to breathe while also listening to some well composed and thoughtfully arranged Black Metal.
Overal Score: 10/10
Review by: George J Bauman IV