A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Wanderers gathered from the darkened fringes of time, they disguise their anachronistic appearances in the identity of a circus troupe, performing wherever they briefly rest in their ceaseless search. While the illusion effectively shrouds their true nature, it is also an apt parallel to their existence: the lives of circus people are an eternal odyssey; they have no home but the road, no allies but each other, and no masters but themselves. Perpetual outsiders wherever they travel, their presence is a fleeting experience but a lasting memory.
Led by a madman haunted by the sins of his past, they are a ramshackle assortment of lost souls bound by their search for redemption, isolation and guilt forever driving them forwards. Scouring the four corners of the Earth for five marionettes, in each of which is imprisoned a powerful demon lord, their hunt takes them to realms where few can travel and return sane.
A storm of chaos is gathering upon the temporal horizon. Puppets are made to be commanded, and should the marionettes find themselves without a master, the demonic forces trapped within them will once again be awakened.
CalatrilloZ is the project of three enigmatic time travellers, Zahyin, Mobius, and Count Viktor, based out of London, formed in what would become Italy in 1404. They play a blend of symphonic and progressive metal, blended with a classic horror soundtrack sensibility and socially conscious metaphors in their lyrics. They are releasing a series of singles, over the course of the next 8 months. They’ve released two so far, ‘Lords Of Misery’ and ‘A Glimpse At A Fool’s Destiny’.
Of course, Calatrilloz was not actually founded in 1404 (or probably not, as i can’t say for sure), but its an interesting comment on the nature of the back story, and how it is used to sell a band or album. The most significant example that springs to my mind, not exactly a timely reference at this point, was the first Girls‘ record, Album (good thing there was a back story, as this is probably the single most unsearchable band and album title in history). Much was made of Chris Owens‘ upbringing in the Light Of God cult, later running away and occasionally hustling, before receiving the patronage of a local millionaire. It’s an interesting story, and makes a compelling framework to hear and understand the record, but Girls wouldn’t have gone anywhere without Owens’ precocious talent and acerbic wit.
The back story is a good (possibly essential) lead in to a band’s work, but it doesn’t mean anything without the tunes to back it up.
I was snared by the fantastical origins of Calatrilloz, and took the opportunity to dig a little deeper, and found at their heart, real humans dealing with the same conundrum every other cultural creator is dealing with. Calatrilloz are dealing with it with applomb.
In a recent interview, front man Zahyin put it like this:
“In this world today, if you like something, shout out loud. There is no way a band like us will break through the barriers imposed by the Pop moguls, if we don’t get the face book likes, the FREE downloads, fans joining the mailing list.
I not asking for money, just for 5 secs, once, to click a like button, to download the Free song, and to vote for us whenever its needed.
Cost you nothing and means the world for us. Or, prepare yourself for a decade of Justin Biebers and shit just like that. Nothing that comes easy can be good!”
It cuts right to the quick of what it means to write about and be passionate about music. If you like it, shout it out!
Of course, everybody’s taste is different, so it’s perhaps an auspicious stroke of luck that Calatrilloz came to my attention, as I have a total fondness for fantasy, horror, circuses and metal. I knew within 4 seconds of hearing ‘Lords Of Misery’, with its martial drums and synthesized strings, that Calatrilloz were worthy of inclusion at Forestpunk.
Their brand of time-travelling symphonic metal is a tad clean for my particular tastes, as i prefer my metal raw, misanthropic and insane, but there are enough qualifiers to make me give this a chance. The electronic strings and piano have a whiff of the simulacrum about them, which makes this sound like a soundtrack to a B-Grade horror film or video game, which is then tethered to a NWOBHM vocal style, and clean, razor-sharp guitar riffs. Fans of Iron Maiden and old school thrash will find much delight in these grooves.
The closest musical approximation i was reminded of, however, was the simulated horrorscores of the Midnight Syndicate, meaning these tracks would fit right in on a fantasy role-playing mixtape, something involving grave robbing.
As you can see from the video posted above, there’s a lot more to Calatrilloz than just the music. With their theatrical presentation, and canny releasing schedule, Calatrilloz are poised to catch fire and break through.
This comment from Zahyin illustrates precisely why that should happen:
This time, its different. A Mozart spirit landed , and each melody, each bar, each riff, each second of the song was planned. It felt like writing epicness and majesty. A pleasant appearance with a witty core, elegance and boldness in each and every phrase, not a moment of unintended emptiness.
It felt like my soul as a composer was getting finally satisfied.
THAT is precisely the kind of QUALITY i will herald unto the ends of the Earth. REAL music, made by talented musicians, separate from bullshit industry machinations and flash-in-the-pan trendhopping.
Here’s a teaser for their circus-punk-metal-thrash second single, A Glimpse At A Fool’s Destiny:
Calatrilloz have shown themselves to be a band to keep an eye on, with an interesting concept, high production values, and talented musicianship. I am proud to include them in the Forestpunk archives, and you can definitely expect to hear more!
And if you like what you see/hear: SHOUT IT OUT! The underground needs to stick together, to rise above, to make the world a weirder and more imaginative place.
Recommended For Fans Of: Iron Maiden, The Midnight Syndicate, Man Man, Baroness