The Eye Is The First Circle

April 9, 2020


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The Pitch: London-based, multinational blackened hardcore band Calligram continue to move up the ranks with The Eye Is The First Circle via Prosthetic Records. FFO: HellkeeperLLNNSibiir

What I Like: Somewhere there exists an exact midpoint between black metal and hardcore, and this album exists at that apex. Calligram perfectly mix the blackened shrieks, blastbeats, and ominous tremolos of the former with the D-beat and energy of the latter to craft vicious soundscapes that might give even the most hardened crowd-killer pause at entering the pit. With a sound like this, I'd probably expect to find knives in there. It's cold, unforgiving atmosphere meets violent anarchist. And I love how tracks like "La Cura" hint at subtle melodies without ever betraying the band's mission statement of dissonance and depravity. The Eye Is The First Circle also just feels to be a much more mature and calculated release than either Demimonde or Askesis. The concept is more fully realized, and it's pretty damn consistent too with improved pacing without sacrificing dynamics.

Critiques: With their relatively simplistic structures and balls-to-the-wall approach, these tracks would be much better served at around 3-4 minutes. The longer runtimes drag and end up sabotaging what might otherwise be more more intense  overall impact.

The Verdict: If you're familiar with the French or Scandinavian hardcore scenes, you'll likely appreciate what Calligram is dishing out. I feel like they are well on their way to greatness with Prosthetic's support. Just tighten up the songwriting and maybe add a little more complexity while you're at it.

Flight's Fav's: Vivido Perire, Serpe, Kenosis

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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