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. Since then, the band has 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. The most striking change in Callisto’s sound is the latest singer Jani Ala-Hukkala, whose varied vocal styles mark a departured from the band’s earlier style. The original vocalist Markus Myllykangas has not quit the band, but is concentrating on his guitar playing duties and back-up vocals.
Never interested in repeating themselves, Callisto has taken bold steps away from their earlier, more instrumental material and composed more vocal records, such as Providence in 2009. The songs on Providence are built upon layers of melodies, but are still 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. Their latest album Secret Youth was released in January 2015 via Svart Records, after a couple of years of silence. During this break, the guitarist Johannes Nygård changed to Tero Holopainen. With the new album, a seventh member was added to the band; Jani Rättyä.
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).