It’s been five years since this Finnish noise crew released Providence – a gauzey post- metal odyssey that introduced clean vocals into their pastiche of religious iconography and darkly atmospheric texturing.
Never ones to shy from experimentation, Callisto had clearly fixed a course far beyond the jagged hardcore crust of their first two releases. And yet Providence withered from a frustrating dearth of variety, one track bleeding seamlessly into the next.
Five seconds into Pale Pretender – Secret Youth’s opening salvo – you realise that the new album is a wholly different trip. Gruelling metallic polyrhythms surge and crash with the claustrophobic heaviness of a storm at sea. It’s a staggering course correction that reaffirms Callisto’s thirst for noisy experimentation. However, what Secret Youth dispenses in dizzying aggression, it lacks in sturdy melodic footholds. Although Breasts Of Mothers and Grey Light shimmer with glistening post-metal dynamics, the balance of the record suffers badly from a gaping absence of memorable hooks or climactic payoffs. For fans only.