Callus – Hogpocalypse
Running Time: 49:00
Release Date: 27/01/2019
Review by Rick Tilley
If you have been following Ever Metal regularly for the last year, then there is a 96.7% chance you have heard us mention Lancaster based Metal band Callus, at least once. Having seen/met them, for the first time at Hammerfest 2018, and being utterly blown away by not only the quality of their music but by how awesome they are as people, Beth and I went on to watch their progress through the Mammothfest Battle Of the Bands competition, which culminated in them winning their regional final, interviewed them twice, managed to get them on the bill at Wrexfest, reviewed their debut EP, wrote multiple gig reviews, watched their joy as they were asked to play The Jägermeister Stage at Bloodstock 2018 (where they went down an absolute storm), did a ‘Callus Day’ on the Ever Metal pages (where we exclusively premiered a trailer for the debut album) and also attended Vocalist/Guitarist Louis Clarke’s wedding, to the lovely Jennie, where Beth was asked to be official photographer. It’s fair to say we have, not only championed them as a superbly talented band that need to be on your radar, but have become firm and good friends with them!
Debut album “Hogpocalypse” has been a long time coming and with everything I’ve written above, whatever the outcome, this review was always going to be a tough one to write. On the one hand, if the album didn’t live up to expectations, how was I going to tell them how I felt and on the other, if it was good, how was I going to write it without you, dear readers, thinking I was just blowing smoke up their backsides? Well I’ve had a good long think and the only thing I can do is tell the truth, as I see it, and hope that everyone who reads this believes my integrity because “Hogpocalypse” is a triumph!
If you’ve not heard Callus before then the first thing you need to know is that they don’t sound like anyone else. They combine a whole host of genres together in a unique way so one minute you are listening to a down-tuned, Doom-laden, Sludge filled, Punky edged riff reminiscent of the Melvins and the next you’re listening to killer Thrash akin to Megadeth or Overkill. Round that out with snippets of Traditional Metal, all quite often in the same song, and their sound is a breath of fresh air. Next up is the fact that this all comes out of three people. Founding members, the aforementioned Vocalist/Guitarist Louis Clarke and Vocalist/Bassist Ben Wormwell plus Drummer Ryan Ormerod make unholy and thunderously heavy music (on album and live) that sounds more like six or seven people, however, everything is incredibly catchy and you cannot stop yourself from moving to the music…try keeping still, I guarantee you won’t be able to do it!
Callus don’t play particularly complicated music or fill it with blazing guitar solos but they hypnotise you with quality riffs and rhythmic playing. It’s all about how vocals, guitar, bass and drums work together to bring power, precision and HEAVY to the table. Every track from the opening, stonking, riff of ‘Boar’ to the closing refrains of ‘Zygote’ are mesmerising and will have your neck snapping in so many different directions that you better hope the local hospital has beds available!
Everything presented here is eerie and horror filled, it’s crusty, rat infested and thick with evil but it’s also beautiful to behold and proof that space in the music is sometimes just as important as filling that space. “Hogpocalypse” is the soundtrack to an H. P. Lovecraft Book/Film where you don’t know if you’ll ever come out on the other side with your sanity intact but you jump right in anyway because the journey is too good to miss. Once you’ve heard tracks such as ‘Leg Slice’, ‘Skunk’, ‘The Dunwich Horror’, ‘The Primordial’ or ‘Where Savage Things Grow’ you’ll want to do that too!
Louis, Ben and Ryan are all young, but very accomplished, musicians and kudos must also be given to Ryan’s beautiful production and mixing which was done at his home studio. This is a complete do-it-yourself album with everything being self-recorded and to have a product of this quality must make the three of them incredibly proud because it puts many ‘more expensive’ albums to shame!
“Hogpocalypse” is everything I wanted and so much more so all I can say is huge congratulations to Callus for their hard work and dedication to get to this point. If they have the guts to keep going then it will be a travesty if they aren’t justly rewarded! Miss them at your peril!
02. Infinite Beef Machine
03. Under The Waste
05. Leg Slice
06. The Primordial
07. The Dunwich Horror
08. Where Savage Things Grow
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images