The Pitch: London-based, multinational blackened hardcore band Calligram are back with the release of Askesis via Basick Records. "A viciously dark and atmospheric ride through bleakened lands of sonic destruction." FFO: Hellkeeper, LLNN, Sibiir
What I Like: Props to Calligram, first of all, for one of the best album openers of the year. The first couple minutes of "Della Mancanza" are sure to rip you to shreds. An abrasive barrage of shrieking carnage and a simple, but irresistible, guitar hook waste not a second setting the tone. Askesis knows only 2 modes: full speed ahead and sludgy doom. As such, you'll always find yourself either clinging to someone's back reigning fevered shankings or dragging their heavy bodies to shallow graves. This premise is firmly set within the album's first 6 minutes, but it persists until the very end. Personally, I'm partial to the faster bits, but I do find the crunchy, plodding bass grooves to be quite tasty as well.
Critiques: There's a little too much downtime in these 30 minutes for my taste, particularly on the overlong "Lament." I appreciate the varied pacing, but just a minute or two more of punk-infused vitriol would have gone a long way. As a result, I think that I prefer their previous release just a hair more.
The Verdict: Calligram continues to seek and destroy, this time employing a little more variety in tone and style along the way. The increased focus on slow interludes is sometimes at the expense of raw energy, but overall it works out thanks to the infectious bass work and spooky leads. This is a band I would love to see in the studio with Kurt Ballou in the future. Get Askesis Friday.
Flight's Fav's: Della Mancanza, Sinking Into Existence, Scourge
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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