CALLISTO – Secret Youth
This Finnish six-piece group intertwine a number of post-hardcore and atmospheric sludge metal elements on their fourth studio album "Secret Youth", my first experience with the band. Callisto possess a lot of those brooding riffs and ringing continuous themes that may start off slow and build to a swirling crescendo. Vocalist Jani Ala-Hukkala has a little Chris Martin (Coldplay) meets Ian Astbury (The Cult) going on through his morose, melancholic patter, the songs designed to make you float on air in another comfortable galaxy.
It’s nice to hear bassist Juho Niemelä lead certain heavier themes within "Grey Light" and the darker "Backbone", and overall I think the 10 tracks on "Secret Youth" possess a lot of musical integrity and respect amongst these musicians to be cohesive and compassionate in their songwriting. Overall though, much of this material doesn’t lift itself beyond what has been heard from acts like Cult of Luna or God is an Astronaut, and that could potentially be a problem in establishing their own following.
Maybe this is a record that requires more headphone exposure to truly ‘get’, but for now Callisto remains in the occasional sphere of playing time for me.