With November rolling round, bringing colder days and darker nights. November also brings forth the release of the debut album Askesis by London blackened crust-punks Calligram.
Marrying a blend of traditional Darkthrone-esqe black metal with a sharp Discharge/His Hero is Gone crust punk knife-edge, similar to US cult heroes Young and in the Way. Only Calligram do this style better than anyone else, and Askesis is definitely no exception to this.
Opener ‘Della Mancaza’ goes straight in for the kill with a flurry of blastbeats and mosh pit inducing riffs. Thus setting the level of intensity for the rest of the record. Follow up track ‘Sinking Into Existence’ showcases some face-melting black metal, which quite frankly shows most band of that genre how it’s done. ‘Sinking into Existence’ is where Calligram also start to bring in some more atmospheric elements of black metal to really bring home that feeling of despair and dread which builds the track up with an almost post-rock style build up, which then continues to hammer you in the face with more intensity.
What Calligram excel at on this record is the transitions between the aforementioned styles of black metal and crust punk, which seamlessly blend together throughout the record, rather than sounding like two completely songs glued together. They manage this whilst not letting the foot off the accelerator for one second. Even when the atmospheric sections are in play, they still carry an intense weight behind them, which then only makes the songs heavier when they kick in.
Whilst being a relatively short record, clocking in at twenty-nine minutes over six tracks, this is definitely all killer no filler material. Askesis is a very strong debut record. Don’t be surprised if you hear the name Calligram more and more very soon, as these are sure to be a breakthrough artist.