Calligram – Position | Momentum (Prosthetic Records)
“We wanted to celebrate chaos,” was vocalist Matteo Rizzardo’s reply when we asked him, back in April, what drove Position | Momentum.
And on their second album, Calligram do just that.
But that chaos is harnessed.
Bent to the quintet’s will.
It makes for an enthralling 44 minutes of blackened carnage, interspersed by moments of pure beauty and heart-stopping drama. As the sparse, haunting Per Jamie falls into Ostranenie’s blast chasm, your jaw will surely detach. And that’s just one spine tingling example: there are many more.
In truth, Calligram hinted at something special on The Eye Is The First Circle, back in 2020. La Cura and Kenosis, for instance, were particularly impressive. However, they’ve moved up several gears since then, with an album rooted in quantum physics, the unpredictability of life and Rizzardo’s reflections on troubled times.
Having extreme metal producer par excellence Russ Russell on board may have aided the band’s ascent. Calligram felt that their on-stage intensity had never been replicated on record, but Position | Momentum’s changes that: Russell has captured the all-consuming sonic savagery of an act who wring every last drop of blood and sweat from their performances. Drummer Ardo Cotones admits to “pushing himself to the limit” ahead of the recording sessions… given the ferocity of his blast/D-beat barrages, you have to feel sorry for him. Quite frankly, he must have been absolutely fucked after this.
However, the London-based, multinational crew have matched their extraordinary delivery with writing that’s both intelligent and instinctive. Frantumi In Itinere is a pitch dark slab of nightside crust, with guitarists Bruno Cambiaghi and Tim Desbos weaving a symphonic spell across the track. The opening black metal burst of Tebe could flatten half of Norway, but the song then segues into a chilling post-rock akin to Bossk. And on Sul Dolorem, Calligram twist charred hardcore into a cinematic voyage of discovery.
The rise of Calligram…
The UK extreme metal scene isn’t exactly short of creative energy.
But with Position | Momentum, Calligram have just thrown in a nuclear fuel rod.
We advise you stand well back.
Enjoyed this review? Check our interview with Calligram’s Marco Rizzardo and Ardo Cotones, where they talk about the making of Position | Momentum here.
Calligram live photo used courtesy of Adam Kennedy. Taken from Calligram’s May 2023 performance at Anarchy Brewery, Newcastle.