Calligram / The Eye Is The First Circle – an abrasive dose of visceral blackened hardcore

This year is shaping up to be an exceptional year for the more intense and visceral end of UK metal. Alongside Leeched’s To Dull The Blades Of Your Abuse and Beggar’s Compelled To Repeat, London-based blackened hardcore quintet Calligram look set to join the list of crushingly heavy releases with their blistering second album The Eye Is The First Circle, their first release since signing to Prosthetic Records. With band members originating from as far and wide as Brazil, France, Italy and the UK, Calligram are made up of a broad palette of musical influences and tastes. But whilst this may suggest a messy amalgamation of sounds, their music is, in fact, anything but; indeed they have a sound that is uniquely their own and have honed it to perfection on The Eye Is The First Circle.

The album opens with ‘Carne’, a heady maelstrom of descending riffs and blastbeats that creates a swirling vortex of nihilism adorned with some of the most impressive throat-shredding screams singer Matteo Rizzardo has committed to record. These intense black metal tropes are bolstered by an untamed rhythm section, with high octance, hardcore-infused beats perfectly propelling the extremity of their sound. This intense and frenzied mix of black metal atmospherics and d-beat infused ferocity continues throughout the album at such breathtaking pace, one can slowly feel the blackened walls slowly caving in. Other highlights include ‘Vivido Perire’, a surging wave of viciousness that eventually breaks down into some thunderous palm-muting and devastating screams, and stunning closer ‘Un Dramma Vuoto V Insanibile’ which opens with subdued, melancholic picking and toms before launching into a barbaric march that in turn gives way to further spiralling riffs and more dizzying d-beat action.

All the elements that made their debut album Askesis so powerful are here in abundance, but this time around Calligram have considerably dialled up the intensity in every aspect of their sound; the riffs are heavier and darker, the drums are faster and the vocals even more harrowing. The Eye Is The First Circle is set to be one of the most commanding and fervent albums of the year and when we’re all able to once again step foot inside a live venue, Calligram should be at the very top of your must-see list.  

The Eye Is The First Circle is released 10th April via Prosthetic Records and can be purchased here.

In case you missed it, we spoke to Calligram last year as they were in the process of making The Eye Is The First Circle. Click here to read.

Words: Adam Pegg