Combining melodic hardcore with synth driven evocative ambiences UK band Callista with their debut EP In My Blood certainly capture the imagination. The six track release ripples with promise and an enterprise which makes the band a very intriguing proposition, and though the release itself is not without flaws it leaves a sure thought that Callista has something brewing which is well worth keeping an eye on.
Hailing from Worthing and surrounding areas, the quintet immediately draws the listener in with opener Everything I Hate, a track which initially accosts with big sinewy rhythms and a persistent grooved fire of riffs, a combination which makes a strong lure especially with the bass prowling menacingly within their confrontation. As coarse vocal squalls add their passion to proceedings with the niggling groove still gnawing on the senses, the song explores its corners with the dawning electronic warmth of the keys and blistered melodic veining. Musically the song flirts with drone within its hardcore abrasion for a captivating persuasion but all the time the vocals leave their caustic touch to temper and nicely conflict the melodic prowess of song and band. Bringing a peace with their absence beyond midway, the vocals allow the immersive breath of the track to wrap around thoughts and senses with skill and imagination which in turn leads to a brewing incendiary climax with pleasing results.
The vocals are admittedly a challenge at times though certainly not abhorrent, but a lack of diversity within the earnest tempest of growling spite does grate by the time the release departs. The following Anxiety Builds excels and suffers in the same way as the opener, though both tracks satisfy and leave that mentioned promise. Musically the track is an absorbing and enveloping piece, if very brief, but vocally the now twin abrasion of virulent malevolence detracts from its power. Again they are no worse than within many other bands and with a better production which allows a better balance you sense the track and EP would elevate to even greater heights.
The title track has a wonderfully subdued and restrained opening, its entrance a reflective wash of mellow ambience and subsequent emotive keys added by a gentle bass resonance and respectful beats. Soon expanding into a tempest of acidic sonics and harshly touching riffs, the imagination is gripped tighter, the coarse vocals and crusty atmosphere adding to the power of the track, where a better balance between extremes is found and built upon. The best track on the EP; it is an inspiring encounter for thoughts and emotions and alone inspires an eager appetite for the next unleashing form the band. The closing vocals again test a little but their brief fury adds a strong contrast with the again gentle beginning of next song Hindsight. The keys led track sculpts another picturesque emotive soundscape with clean vocals for the first time unveiling their feelings and presence. Sadly they are not great, certainly adequate but against the impressive sounds flounder, though again the idea and its realisation is promising, but just need to be honed.
Finishing with the melancholic RIP, where again the keys enjoyably lead one into a thoughtful and diverse furnace of energy and passion, and the stifling oppressive emotive ambience of Ruined, the EP leaves inspiring a strong intent to watch the band closely, such the quality and inventiveness in certain aspects. The keys are especially impressive along with the melodic craft of the band within its songwriting and inventive fusion into powerful ambient textures. It is only the vocals which give issue to be honest and even they suggest greater things ahead with revision and assistance.
Callista and their In My Blood EP deserve more than a moment of time from any fan of melodic hardcore and atmospheric soundscapes, which with its free availability via their Bandcamp profile is an investigation which should be firmly taken.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from