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Does anyone really know what to call Callisto? I hear many people call them an imitation band but that's unjustified because not every band can have a diversely different sound to the next band, it's just not possible. It's like the Six Degrees Of Separation rule for life, each band is connected to another, which in turn is connected to another and so on. Therefore it would be pretty difficult to get a uniquely sounding band every single time. So, from time to time, we have bands who sound similar. What's wrong with taking influence from an artist you love? Well, nothing. Once you add your own spin to your music, why not? Callisto certainly do that. Anyway, in terms of genre. I doubt the argument over what genre this band falls into will ever end. The last reviewer called them progressive doom metal, which i'm inclined to disagree with. I suppose it's probably just wise to stick to the Metal Archives suggestion of sludge, with post-hardcore elements. Though, as the great Nietzsche said, 'There are no facts, only interpretations'. How apt.
When I listen to 'True Nature Unfolds', I hear a lot of influence from bands like Cult Of Luna, Isis and Neurosis. I suppose Callisto cannot escape the Cult Of Luna imitation cries, to an extent. There atmospheric tendencies are similar. Both bands create similar soundscapes. How they do this, well, this would be where the Isis and Neurosis influences come into play. For me, it's an interesting mix. Callisto has the potential to become a 'super' band if their talents are harnessed properly. As of yet, i'm really yet to see Callisto take off from good to brilliant. Considering the fact that the band appear to be writing new material, well, the future leaves me and many others I would assume, with a lot of hope. Misplaced hope? Maybe. There is a worry in the back of my mind that I want this band to succeed because they remind me of other bands that I like. It should be for individual reasons that I want Callisto to perform to the highest standard.
So, 'True Nature Unfolds'. How does it unfold? Well, that's quite simply. Heaviness is the answer. Just like early Isis material, Callisto focus on heavy riffs, which are down tuned to create a pulverising mixture of sound. I'm a fan of how Callisto use a variety of instruments, much like Neurosis, to project a different sound from all of the aforementioned bands. This gives Callisto an edge. A fresh edge. Something which makes them different and it will undoubtedly appeal to a lot of people, like me. If used correctly, instruments like the cello, glockenspiel and others can create a very sorrowful tone for Callisto, something which appears to be running wild in their sound. A sorrowful sound is something that their influences tend to lack, when mixed with that aggressive sound, Callisto offer a diverse range of soundscapes through a variety of emotions.
Pivotal to expressing these themes are the vocals. The growls are particularly typical of sludge based music, and whilst Callisto don't have that murky sound in terms of production that a lot of sludge bands have, it works for them because they can fill that void with their vast array of instruments. This is pleasing. There is a distinctive jazz sound flowing through Callisto when the saxophone begins to hum those harmonious sounds through the air. All the sounds, of every instrument, is carried forward by the vocals. You never get the impression that Callisto are content to simply stand still for a while. The variation in their work doesn't allow such a thing to occur.
Overall, I tend to prefer the debut to the follow-up album. It suits my taste far more. Well worth a look in.
Callisto - True Nature Unfolds CD
Hailing from Turku, Finland, the uprising Progressive Doom Metal band Callisto is coming full-force with their excellent sophomore album "True Nature Unfolds", out on Fullsteam Records!
It's not quite Death, it's definitely not Black, it's not anything of what you would come to expect from you average European Metal band. No, Callisto plays a quite different style than what normally comes out of their homeland. Their music leads away from the Death and Black Metal scenes of Europe and they play something a little different. Yes, their music is at times quite heavy, lending in some excellent metallic guitar riffs and deathly growls; almost Doomy kind of Metal, but their music is definitely much more than that; adding in wonderful, ambient sounds that include slide guitars, saxophones, excellent guitar strokes, a female singer, and other various musical sounds that are very interesting, yet amazing and powerful. While it is very hard to catagorize a band like this, musically, the closest comparison might be something along the lines of Nodes of Ranvier, except with a darker, more solid, heavier feel to it. But everything about this album is truly awesome and different; the excellent guitars, the perfect precision of the drums and music together, and the other qualities that fit right in! And not to mention to splendid sound quality which is beautiful in itself; It's just structured, heavy music with a progressive, ambient twist in the mix of various sounds. And also the lyrics are very deeply written and thought provoking I might add. They're just wonderfully bold and unique, unlike many lyrics i've come across. Songs like "Blackhole" and "Cold Stare" just leave you with your jaw dropped from how powerful and excellently done they are. That should give you a pretty good idea of how good this album is! Now, probably the one thing I don't like too much about them is that sometimes the music can get a tad boring and too long at points, but seeing as that's the only real downside to this album, that takes nothing away from it!
So overall, this is truly an amazingly well-done CD that is chalk full of awesomeness that you should really think about getting! I highly, highly recommend you check this album out, because it is very interesting, amazing, and beautiful. And if you want something a little different than what what mostly fills the Metal scene, here's you answer!
Favorite Track(s): "Black Hole" and "Cold Stare"
Recorded at Soundlab Studios in Orebro, Sweden