Beyond Music

Review: Callisto – Secret Youth

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Band: Callisto

Album: Secret Youth

Genre: Post Metal/Progressive Rock/Experimental

Release Date: January 30th, 2015

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/callistochaos

Callisto was always a ‘under-the-radar’ band for me. Started with the ‘Ordeal Of The Century’ EP, they made their way from a rough, Hardcore-influenzed Sludge/Post Metal band to the epic, dreamy and noir-esque (like the name of their second full-length) sounding Prog/Post/Experimental band we know today. The entry of Jani Ala-Hukkala, a man with an insanely mezmerizing voice, change the whole direction drastically. Their third record, ‘Providence’, is still one of my favorite Post Metal records, especially because the amazing vocallines. But now, we will take a look at ‘Secret Youth’!

The record starts with a noisey intro, and the moment when the vocals kick in you definitely know that you are listening to Callisto right now. As usual, Jani Ala-Hukkala’s vocals are one of the main reasons to love this band.

Very fast you notice that they´ve kept their epic sound established with ‘Providence’, but added a more fuzzy and noisey sound to the repertoire. ‘Pale Pretender’, the first track, is a calm and weirdly distorted opening to that journey called ‘Sectret Youth’ .

The already known song ‘Backbone’ features the great duality of the opulent cleans and the crushing growls.

‘Acts’ is leaded by a very driven bassline and progress to one of the darkest songs on the record. But with every new song on the record, you recognize the main problem of ‘Secret Youth’: There´s no real earwig, there´s no difference, be it sound, emotions or songstructure. These guys know how to write song, and they know how to discover their talents and make a good record with them, but it´s hard to develop a connection with such a straight-line compostion without real edges. Every song is strong, every song is well-written, sophisticated and high-quality, but especially Post Metal needs more intensity. I enjoy every second of the record, but the whole atmosphere, the groove, the drive of the album is too uniliteral. There are no real up´s and down´s. Some glimpses of the right way are there, sure. There is this one moment in ‘Old Souls’, where the vocals, the didgeridoo-ish vocoding effect and the drone/noise sound are perfect together. But I need more of the these moments, more intensitiy, moments when I stop doing what I’m doing and the sound catches me, engages me and don´t release me. ‘Noir’ did this to me many times, also ‘Providence’, but on ‘Secret Youth’ momententums are too rare to receive my full attention.

Still a strong record and an awesome band, but yeah, they have some room for improvement.

Pros

  • amazing vocals
  • cool sound
  • great lyrical concept

Cons

  • insufficient highlights
  • lack of diversity
  • always the same mood

Overall Rating:

6/10

FFO: Kellermensch / Isis / Khoma

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