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Joy can be found in the most unlikely of places. A listen through the latest offering from London-based five piece Calligram may not immediately conjure up feelings of immediate joy, but rest assured – between the blistering howls and blackened riffs, there is much to celebrate.

The multi-national quintet decamped to The Parlour Studios in Kettering to record Position | Momentum with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir, At The Gates) during the summer of 2022. The follow up to 2020’s The Eye Is The First Circle doesn’t ease up on intensity; if anything, giving the chaos a little more room to breathe has shaped Calligram into something even more formidable than before.

Sonically they have further refined their amalgamation of bilious D-beat punk and ice cold black metal. The results are as abrasive as one would hope, but ceding space to atmospheric passages helps create a claustrophobic, ominous ambience to proceedings; allowing some light in only serves to accentuate the darkness further.

Once again vocals are delivered in Matteo Rizzardo’s native Italian – and even those who don’t speak the language should soon pick up the jist of his missives. Tales of pain, chaos, struggle and anxiety are poured into each anguished scream, a growing sense of combustibility becomes palpable as the album progresses. But Rizzardo is keen to clarify that Position | Momentum is not about catharsis through music: this is not his therapy.

The hardest work for Rizzardo was done away from the band as he walked along a path of acceptance and self-analysis. As the burdens on his shoulders grew heavier and the darkness became all-consuming he set out to understand, embrace and reclaim the darkest parts of himself. Position | Momentum documents his feelings looking back at troubled times – with clarity, acceptance, and yes – joy. Reflecting on his experiences with some emotional distance meant that the lyrics came easily; Rizzardo describes them as ‘flying out’ – a purging of sorts.

Music is often seen as medicine; a balm to soothe what ails you. With no intention to use Position | Momentum as a crutch, Calligram has crafted the opposite – a caustic celebration of pain, death and chaos.

Calligram is:

Matteo Rizzardo – Vocals

Ardo Cotones – Drums / Vocals

Bruno Cambiaghi – Guitar

Tim Desbos – Guitar

Smittens – bass