Friday, 29 April 2016

Caliban "Gravity" (2016)

Once the heart and soul of Germany's Metalcore scene, veterans Caliban sound so distant from their roots which I am familiar with. Its no surprise that time has brought change but their is little of the once ferocious groove oriented Metalcore outfit I last listened to over ten years ago. Back then they stood out from the crowd with Andreas Dorner's distinct throaty screams and relentless apatite for heavy chugging guitar assaults. Now their heaviness reflects the modern aspects of Metal, heavy polished production and Djent friendly riffing that takes advantage of the mammoth tones that can be achieved. Caliban have also become a lot more melodic, something that started back in the early 00s when Denis Schmidt joined the band to add the clean vocal dimension.

Now their melodic and colorful afflictions would be reminiscent of BMTH's "That's The Spirit" with far more harmonious and pop sensibilities in their compositions best heard on "Broken". However this is in polarization with a hunger for aggression that arrives in slamming, simplistic, chugging, rhythmic grooves utilizing the lush production. Most of the songs go through the motions, some with more aggressive leanings and others throwing in the "whoa-oh-oh" group shouts as they steer towards the pop hooks. There is also a feature from Agnete Kjolsrud of Djerv who's unique voice is a welcome suprise. I last heard her on Dimmu Borgir's "Abrahadabra" where she was utilized in a similar way to her feature on this record.

There isn't a lot to criticize about this record, its very much a case of what your in the mood for and being Caliban's 10th record so there's no doubting their ability to write a decent record. However it doesn't surpass being solid. The heavy chug fest is entertaining enough but where it needs a more emotional side its poppy leanings don't charm or dazzle me. It leaves a bit of a shallow taste, decent entertainment but lacking a deeper connection. Good fun but not something I will return to often.

Favorite Songs: Mein Schwarzes Herz, Walk Alone, No Dream Without A Sacrifice
Rating: 5/10