Calabrese dwell in a dark and gloomy graveyard where ghosts and ghouls frequent, however the three-piece rock the tombs with their brand of horror-influenced Punk-Metal better than most. Whilst their peers favour a more Rockabilly assault, Calabrese give us a fast-paced Punk Rock likened to The Offspring if they got their writing inspiration from Alkaline Trio rather than the Descendants. If nothing else, the band name is enough to give you the willies • I hate broccoli with a passion that is unsurpassed…
The album starts off with a ghostly spoken intro likened to that of Vincent Price on Alice Cooper’s great album, ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’. The song, ‘They Call Us Death’ speeds into the high-octane Punk that is the core of this album. The dark vale hovers above on the more Rock/Metal drive of, ‘Black Anathema’. Next we have the intricate music that sounds a little like dentist drills in the background before kicking into some luscious chugging riffs. ‘Deep In The Red’ is exactly what I mean when I compare Matt Skiba’s lyrics with Dexter Holland’s vocals, and neither is a bad thing at all.
There is another slice of atmospherics at the beginning of, ‘Near Twilight’ before the song kicks into a sing-a-long Punk-Metal anthem. Then things speed up even faster in, ‘Blood Of The Wolf’ as the vocals boarder on screaming in a Thrash/Metal orgy that spits blood and refuses to show mercy. I applaud the beginning to, ‘Within The Abyss’ that plays some gentle piano, lowering your defences before the guitars assault your ears with shredding licks. The band then keep the tempo going to the max with next song, ‘Venomwolf’, and you realise that this is a niche and genre all of it’s own. The B-Movie monster imagery is mixed with music that pushes the boundaries between Punk and Thrash a little like Suicidal Tendencies did back in the early 80’s.
You may very well have sweat dripping down your cold spine by now but the songs remain relentless. ‘Summon The Beyond’ jabs you in the stomach with the hard drum beats and demon imagery, whilst in, ‘Violet Hellfire’ we have classic Thrash riffs and the sound of bells ringing out with sombre doom. The innocence of a female voice at the beginning of, ‘The Machine Of Instant Death’ speaks out naively, “A very strange place, really. Cold and musty; and the kind of place you’d expect a ghost to like to wander around in.” then you can only wonder of her demise as the song thrusts full throttle into dark Punk Rock. ‘Endless Night’ barges by with a boisterous gusto, and ‘Loveless God’ follows on its heel like Frankenstein’s monster in a whirlwind of riffs and screaming vocals.
Calabrese could be grouped with The Horrorpops, The Horrorgans, The Meteors, The Misfits, Zombina And The Skeletones and Nekromantix, but this would be purely on the lyrical content and the imagery. Musically the band are harder and faster than any of those bands. There is less slap of a double bass, and more emphasis on hard and fast riffs. It’s a mix of The Misfits, The Offspring and early Slayer. It’s not quite Thrash Metal, but it’s not quite Punk Rock either. Like with the genres and with life itself the band are between worlds; neither here nor there, rolling into town like the carnival of the undead unleashed especially for our listening pleasure…Amen.