7/2/2009 - Review by: David Loveless
For nearly twelve years now, Germany's Caliban has been tearing up the scene with their brand of metalcore. Starting things off with their debut album, 1999's "A Small Boy and a Grey Heaven", Caliban has been extremely busy. Releasing 6 albums and touring the world relentlessly, one can only expect them to grow into their own and stand out in a genre filled with high hopes and endless disappointments. On their latest album, The
Awakening, Caliban does just that. The metal parts are heavy and tight, the melodic parts blend perfectly as if they took lessons from Iron Maiden or Soilwork, and the vocals have a respectable blend of screams and clean vocals.
The first track, I Will Never Let You Down, is your typical metalcore piece, with a fast riff followed by a slower, low-key breakdown. A melodic chorus complimented with clean vocals proves their expanding arsenal of metal versatility. The next song, Let Go, keeps the blood flowing with its brutal sound and fast pace, containing spots of blast beats and melodic riffs that blend perfectly with the raw power of the song. Another Cold
Day - my favorite track on the album - shows a heavy Soilwork influence. The breakdown that occurs around mid-song is superb, especially with the eerie acoustic arrangement going on at the same time. Skipping over to Give Me A Reason, Caliban prove that they are not just limited to metalcore. The powerful riffs, math-metal breakdowns, and occasional blast beat, shows they are capable of crossing the metalcore boundaries to appease fans
of other metal sub-genres. The title track starts with ballad-like acoustic before emerging into a sludge metal riff and intense vocals. Although this lasts for only about a minute before fading into the same direction that the song started, the impact is massive. The album closer, I'll Show No Fear will please fans of Shadows Fall with its intense, but simplistic metal riff.
Caliban has come a long way since their 1999 full length debut. Although they have continued down the metalcore path - with fast, melodic riffs and ultra brutal breakdowns - they also continue to explore new paths with each and every release. Even though the style gap continues to lessen between them and bands like Soilwork, The Awakening is nevertheless a strong release. Twelve songs of punishing, yet melodic, metalcore have never sounded better or more intense on a single album. If you are a fan of metalcore and melodic death metal, this is a must-have album for you.
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