Tuesday 2 May 2017

Calligram - Demimonde


1. Red Rope
2. Bed Of Nails
3. Drowned
4. Black Velvet
5. Bataclan

How do you try and categorise a band that's due to play alongside both Downfall of Gaia and Jesus Piece in the coming weeks? The answer is...you don't! Genre convention is becoming less and less relevant unless it's to draw a reference point to a band's sound, which is useful if you only like certain bands. If you're more open minded about what you listen to, it doesn't matter. This where Calligram come in, as they've been described as crust, blackened hardcore, thrash and the rest since the release of "Demimonde" last December. They're a multinational band based in London and they formed in 2013. As far as I can tell "Demimonde" was their first opus, having been released digitally by the band and Cimmerian Shade Recordings, who also helped with a vinyl pressing. My exonerable march to full-metal burnout continues!

As I sit down to write this review I get the feeling of De Ja Vu, like I’ve already written about Calligram’s “Demimonde”. It wouldn’t have been the first time but as a peer down my list of published reviews, it’s not mentioned so all is well. I can’t believe I haven’t listened to this before though! After the typically menacing intro, Red Rope becomes the mutant child of hardcore and black metal. reminiscent of those bands spat out by the Manchester scene a few years back. Heavy, fast and unapologetically grim (in the best possible way). High-pitched shrieks pierce the feedback-ridden wall of guitars while the drums flail like they’re actually being played with people’s stiff and lifeless limbs. This is only the first song don’t forget! The atmosphere created by the dank melody at the start of Bed Of Nails is more than palpable as Calligram once again launches headfirst into the void. If I could drown out the incessant background noise of life with anything, it would be this. Not being able (or wanting to learn) to swim has meant that drowning is something that terrifies me. The song Drowned is the musical equivalent of that hellish thought. Off-kilter, metallic progression with no pomp or circumstance, just good old fashion hatred. The fact that it’s so precise makes it even more surprising too. I can’t stop listening to those screams! The sludgy, slow murk that fills the air and the speakers as Black Velvet lumbers into life is utterly magnificent. I didn’t think it was possible for Calligram to sound any heavier but they nail it with the slower tempo. It suits their sound well. Closing song Bataclan puts an end to the devastation with a monstrous blast of grinding fury. It underlines just how spellbinding “Demimonde” is and how all the members of Calligram are on same page sonically. We all have alter-egos and dark sides. This is the soundtrack to mine. Amazing. 

Stream "Demimonde" and buy digital/vinyl copies from Calligram below:-

US peeps head to Cimmerian Shade Recordings here - http://cimmerianshaderecs.storenvy.com/ and here https://cimmerianshaderecordings.bandcamp.com/.

Calligram Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/calligrammusic/
Cimmerian Shade Recordings Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CimmerianShadeRecordings

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