British black metallers Calligram have injected a raucous, crust punk vibe into their blackest offerings on new record ‘Demimonde’. It is currently out on Cimmerian Shade Recordings, another small label bringing some excellent bands to the fore. ‘Demimonde’ is strikingly sleek for a blackened punk aesthetic, and that’s what makes them stand out.
The thrust of energetic opener ‘Red Rope’ is soon taken to the sky by a glowing black metal soar. The welding of the poisonous vitality of thrashy punk and the dark majesty of black metal atmospheres is an instant hook for me. Throat shredding vocals howl over blasting drums and a gleaming Emperor-esque riff, before the energy drags you to a battered finish. ‘Bed of Nails’ has blood dripping from its savage teeth; a cacophonous assault on your brain leaves you bruised and begging for more. Calligram take on Kvelertak at their own game here, and it is a thrilling battle.
Calligram is an adrenaline-fuelled mixture of Discharge and Gorgoroth, where crusty d-beat fury meets black metal savagery. ‘Black Velvet’ gallops with icy, Norse intent while the unholy rage of ‘Drowned’ and gloomy closer ‘Bataclan’ gives you an ache for more of this righteous fury. ‘Demimonde’ breathes life into the broken corpse of British blackened crust, and we can only hope that Calligram have more of this to come.