Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
The Tempest Of Thoughts
Crash Music
6/24/2005 - Review by: Vinaya Saksena
Kaliban - The Tempest Of Thoughts - 2005 - Crash Music

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Carnal Cage
3. Crimson Ark
4. Time to Burn
5. Orchard
6. Forever in Bloom
7. Angel
8. Call of Siren
9. My Song Silent
10. Divine Landcapes (Demo Version)
Popping this one in the boom box for the first time yielded a pleasant surprise, if only momentarily. Really, this one seemed to have all the makings of a metal album I would love: flawless musicianship, crisp sound, and a strong sense of melody. But then, something went terribly wrong: the singer opened his mouth.

Yes, it probably sounds like the sort of cruel joke you often hear musicians making about the guy at the front they resent for hogging all the attention. But in all seriousness, I am of the opinion that too many potentially great bands have been reduced to merely okay bands by the presence of a voice not worthy of the music enclosed. Such is unfortunately the case with Kaliban, although frontman Henri Peltola redeems himself somewhat with some killer guitar playing. He and co-guitarist Toni Kettunen rattle off one impressive barrage of riffs and dueling leads after another, fully earning my respect as musicians, as does their capable rhythm section. But man, those vocals have got to go. I’m not the anal retentive type of power metal fan who feels that all frontmen must belt out standard D&D tales and support group mantras in castrato-like tone, but this almost Morbid Angel-like growling simply does nothing for Kaliban’s music. It’s too bad that the band shows such an aversion to clean or even tuneful vocal styles on most of this album, as songs like “Carnal Cage” and “Time To Burn” demonstrate a fairly mature and thoughtful approach to power metal-type song construction. On that note, “Forever in Bloom” shows promise with some Evanescence-style female vocals, until Peltola once again ruins the elegant display with his tuneless croak. The aforementioned “Time to Burn,” meanwhile, has a nifty, surprisingly non-clichéd sitar intro.

On one level, I feel like I am being quite cruel- denying a respectable rating to a record with no dearth of good ideas on it, almost exclusively due to a vocal style I just don’t like. But at the same time, I feel that the band’s musical potential is so great that they are actually doing themselves a major disservice by not exploring the possibilities of a more melodic vocal style. Heck, the solution might be right under the band’s collective noses in the form of guest vocalist Kaisa Jouhki. When her expressive vocals kick in, the majestic possibilities of this band become readily apparent. Unfortunately, that also makes the band’s current limitations painfully obvious.

Rating: 6

--Vinaya 06.23.05


The Tempest Of Thoughts
Crash Music
Vinaya Saksena6/24/2005


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