Next month London-based five piece Calligram will release their new album Position / Momentum through Prosthetic Records, which sees the band delivering an album full of blistering howls and blackened riffs. The follow up album 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.
We asked guitarist Tim Debos about three releases that influenced the songwriting on Position / Momentum…
(Photo credit: Andy Ford)
Turnstile – Glow on
For a long time, we weren’t sure whether some of the skatepunk or catchy riffs that we had would make it onto the record because we thought that they weren’t evil enough. We even decided to get rid of ‘Ex-Sistere’ at some point because of that, but in the months leading up to the recording, we were listening to Glow On a lot and it clearly showed us that you could write a perfectly aggressive yet really catchy record. We can’t hide our skatepunk or stadium crust influences, stuff that we listened to a lot in the van or at practice, so it’s perfectly normal that it shows in our music. And ‘Ex-Sistere’ turned out to be the first single of Position / Momentum.
Headie One – The One
About a year before going into the studio, I really got into producers such as M1, Ghosty or Fumez. Their beats are so dark and yet often really melodic at the same time, I got obsessed with trying to create the same kind of vibe with my riffs. A lot of the parts that I wrote on ‘Ostranenie’, ‘Seminario Dieci’, ‘Tebe’ and ‘Eschilo’ were heavily influenced by those producers and they still influence me a lot these days. I’ve started including more effects, synth and violin sounds in the music that I write and this is something that started while writing and recording our new album.
Miles Davis – Ascenseur pour l’échafaud/Lift to the scaffold (movie soundtrack)
When we were writing ‘Ostranenie’, we started talking about adding another instrument during the quiet part in the middle of the song. I’m a big fan of Miles Davis and Chet Baker and I knew that a trumpet would sound great on that part. I also knew a trumpet player, a former student of mine, who would be perfect for the job. To give the others a better idea of what I had in mind, I played them ‘L’assassinat de Carala’, some rung out piano chords with a dark trumpet melody over them and I think that it convinced them that it could work. As soon as I got in touch with my student, he was really into it and knew straight away what I meant when I sent him the Miles Davis track as a reference. We didn’t even have time to work on it but he just turned up at the studio and nailed it.