“The Eye Is the First Circle”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Although all their lyrics are in Italian, CALLIGRAM is truly an international outfit, with members hailing from Britain, Brazil, France and Italy. The best way to describe their music is HARSH. Raging black metal is the primary influence, but there’s also a strong hint of screamy hardcore and dissonant post metal. The ultimate result is that this is very exhausting and taxing to listen to, but with enough unique elements to make it interesting.

The whole album sounds tense and urgent, like it’s straining at the seams. There’s some really unusual riff patterns in tracks like “Carne” and “La Cura” that cettainly don’t sound like typical black metal. These odd, somewhat progressive touches pop up just enough to offer relief from the otherwise cyclonic rage. And relief is certainly need from the yammering screamy vocals that never let up and sound like an endless onslaught of ‘YAAH YAAH YAHH!”. I don’t care if it is in Italian, I’m guessing no Italian is going to understand it either. The drumming is similarly wearying, with that unfortunate “typewriter” sound accompanying the full bore attack.

When we get to track 6 “Anedonia”, melody rears its head and makes its presence known in the final three tracks. The opening to the aforementioned track is quite relaxing, it cranks up gradually to a post metal kind of crunch and finally explodes into the all out blast we’ve heard before. Final cut “Un Dramma Vuoto V Insanabile” is a virtual smorgasbord of styles ranging from laidback to teeth-rattling and all points in between.

CALLIGRAM is at least making a solid attempt at an intelligent form of black metal. I don’t say they hit the mark all the time, but there’s something here worthy of future exploration.