Review Summary: Post-metal act shows promise but lacks perfection.
Perhaps Callisto isn't a top-tier post-metal act; going up against pioneers like Isis and Neurosis is no small task when said bands have exceedingly big shoes to fill. At least Callisto has the formula down pat: moderate to slow tempos, churning, sludgy guitars and stylistic shifts whenever it all starts to feel monotonous. On True Nature Unfolds
, they offer up a promising slice of post-metal that is, if nothing else, a small acheivement in a growing musical field, in that it secures them their own foundation to build on. Whether that is good enough to merit them the status of their heroes is open to interpretation.
Where Callisto seperate themselves is their willingness to break out of the commonplace every once in a while. True Nature Unfolds
finds them utilizing clean vocals in (very) small quantities, female vocals, horns, and occasionally, double-timed chugging, which is often seen as forbidden in this genre by their peers. These techniques certainly aren't common, but they at least break away from the lingering distorted crescendoes that the band unerringly falls back on. These changes of pace are a welcome addition to their sound for the listener, and the droning guitars themselves are certainly effective and appropriate.
The only issue lies in Callisto's unwillingness to completely break the mold. Acts in this genre are certainly treading a small amount of new ground, but the truly fantastic ones are creating something wholly their own; the change-ups that Callisto allows on True Nature Unfolds
are appreciated, but it seems like they are there because they have to be, as if the band knows that otherwise there is not a lot of novelty here. If the band would break form more often and to greater effect, I wouldn't put it past them to compose much greater and original arrangements; there is a lot of potential as is, but to some degree that seems a downfall.
True Nature Unfolds
is an excellent showing from Callisto, but it would seem that there is much more this band can do with what they're given. Flashes of this are dotted throughout this record, which is decent enough in its reliance on the genre's originators, but only made better by the band's willingness to put their own spin on things, to make something that is theirs and not their influences'. It is at least a good sign of things to come from a skilled and seasoned act like Callisto.