Photo Credit: Andy Ford
Matteo Rizzardo – Vocals, Ardo Cotones – Drums / Vocals, Bruno Cambiaghi – Guitar, Tim Desbos – Guitar, Smittens – bass
I find myself reviewing yet another artist from Prosthetic Records’ arsenal of extraordinary minstrels. Their roster is brimming with luminaries. The musical offerings provided are unmatched and serve as a delectable feast for fans of metal.
Introducing Calligrams Latest Opus: “Position|Momentum”
Calligram unleashed their mordacious new album, “Position|Momentum,” presenting an axiom that finds solace and joyous moments within the depths of darkness. A departure from their debut, “The Eye is The First Circle.” This new record draws inspiration from a diverse range of musical influences.
The album’s Latin-titled compositions, such as “Sur Dolore” (meaning ‘In Pain’) and “Frantumi In Itinere” (translated as ‘Fragments on The Road’) eschew oddity in favor of a relentless infernal intensity. Matteo Rizzardo’s throat-ripping vocals, delivered in his native tongue, are the driving force behind these inexorable arrangements. While atmospheric noise, D-beat punk, and grindcore find their way into the mix, courtesy of seasoned producer Russ Russell (known for his work with Napalm death and At The Gates), the true essence of the album lies in its unyielding hellfire.
As “Position|Momentum” unfolds, it reveals its multifaceted nature. “Per Jamie” offers a cursed respite, that whips the listener from swashbuckling gallops to funeral dirges and sheer black metal bludgeoning. The mournful trumpet acts as a blinding thread, weaving through the shifting soundscape. “ Ex-Sistere” seamlessly blends these elements into a furious whirlwind that threatens to tear flesh from bone, an unstoppable force capable of overpowering all in its path.
The album’s second half truly opens up, inviting listeners to immerses themselves fully in Calligram’s dark aural tapestry. “Ostranenie” spans an ambitious seven minutes, guiding the audience through a tumultuous journey that transitions from relentless speed to sorrowful solemnity, punctuated by a melancholy trumpet. The closing track “Seminario Dieci” deliberately paces itself, interweaving heavy ascendancy and offering a sense of closure, leaving you torn between adoration and bewilderment.
Calligram’s “Position|Momentum” dictate a visceral antiphon. Its caustic chalice overflow’s with a sensory concoction that defies categorization. With every sip, the listener is challenged by the raw intensity and unapologetic tenebrosity that permeates the album. This is a record that will either repel or captivate, leaving you either lost in its labyrinthine corridors or kneeling at the altar of Calligram’s twisted brilliance.
The multi-national quintet, decamped to The Parlour Studios in Kettering to record Position | Momentum with Russ Russell (NAPALM DEATH, DIMMU BORGIR, AT THE GATES) during the summer of 2022. The follow up to 2020’s The Eye Is The First Circle doesn’t ease up on intensity; if anything, giving the chaos a little more room to breathe has shaped CALLIGRAM into something even more formidable than before.
Music is often seen as medicine; a balm to soothe what ails you. With no intention to use Position | Momentum as a crutch, CALLIGRAM has crafted the opposite – a caustic celebration of pain, death and chaos.
Position | Momentum is out now via Prosthetic Records.
Position | Momentum was recorded by Russ Russell in July 2022, at The Parlour Studio, and mastered by Grant Berry. Artwork is by Deborah Sheedy
Frantumi In Itinere