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Words will easily fail when attempting to describe the sonic worlds created by the Turku-based sextet Callisto, as no language can adequately convey the feelings of pathos and elegance this music evokes. Their sound is deeply rooted in the somewhat somber atmosphere so characteristic of the northern landscape they inhabit, but instead of toying with suicidal themes they seek the beauty in melancholy, and manage to make it sound strangely uplifting. Lyrically Callisto is christian but cryptic, walking a similar path as bands like Trouble or Woven Hand.
Callisto began their musical exploration in 2001 inspired by such ‘post-hardcore’ bands as Neurosis and Breach. In mere eight years they have progressed far past any genre boundaries, from the godly racket of their early days and their first album True Nature Unfolds to the dark cinematic sophistication of Noir and ultimately to their adventurous masterpiece Providence, now released. The most striking change in Callisto’s sound is the new singer Jani Ala-Hukkala, whose varied vocal styles mark a departure from the band’s earlier style. The original vocalist Markus Myllykangas has not quit the band, but will instead concentrate on his guitar playing duties from now on.
Never interested in repeating themselves, Callisto have taken a bold step away from their earlier, more instrumental material and composed a vocal record. The songs on Providence are built upon layers of melodies, but this is not pop music. The band colour their sound with mellotrons, prog rock overtones, some jazzy bits and other stylish influences drawn from the seventies, and wrap everything up with vocals that range from screams of anguish to peaceful melodies and beyond. Those who have adored Callisto’s past works will still find a lot to digest in these majestic compositions, and also those into progressive heavyweights such as King Crimson, Landberk or Opeth are in for a real treat.
Providence is produced, engineered and mixed by Jonas Olsson and mastered by Svante Forsbäck. The artwork is contributed by Martin Kvamme of Unit Delta Plus (Fantomas, Satyricon, Turbonegro).