Caliban
Say Hello to Tragedy

Though regarded along with Heaven Shall Burn as one of Germany’s premier metalcore outfits and having been around since 1999 with 6 albums under their belt, Caliban have yet to garner huge success in the US and get the acclaim of their stateside metalcore peers. And while I don’t see that really changing with album number 7, even the backing of Century Media, Say Hello to Tragedy is a solid offering that make a concerted effort to delay the death knell of metalcore.

The last time I heard Caliban was 2004s Anders Fridden produced The Opposite of Within, and while I don’t remember much about that album, I’m pretty sure that Caliban‘s latest effort is a much heavier, burlier affair, surprisingly so. Even with the expected trapping that include sprinkles synths and clean choruses, the songs on Say Hello to Tragedy seem to have a energy and impressive heft that counteracts the sugary, commercial moments that make the band sound much more than a mere German Killswitch Engage clone, one of my main criticisms as I recall.

Indeed, even though armed with an Adam D (Killswitch Engage) mix, the very stout production of Benny Richter and guitarist Marc Goertz keeps things rather formidable for a metalcore record. Throw that in with a seeming increased sense of aggression and song writing, despite the clean choruses and such, and you end up with an album that almost seems to redefine and reinvigorate Caliban, who was fading rapidly into metalcore obscurity. Truth be told, the band sounds more like Bleeding Through than some of the other contemporary metalcore bands around (take that as you will).

Not that Say Hello to Tragedy will conform metalcore haters, but even as I start to sour on the genre myself, tracks like raging opener “24 Hours”, “Love Song”, “End the Sickness”, “No One is Safe”, cathcy “Unleash Your Voice” and closer “Coma” give me a sense of enjoyment I have not heard in modern metalcore for quite a while. Granted, there are a few tracks that are pure Hot Topic core like “Caliban’s Revenge”, and semi ballads “Walk Like the Dead”, “All I Gave”, and “In the Name of Progression” but on the whole the album’s tracks are more robust than not. Making for an above average entry into the genre from a band that has been flirting with mediocrity for most of thier career.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 24th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Ugh Bleeding Through is a comparison point? No thank you.

    In fact I think it needs to be said just how much American music sucks right now.

    I’m not talking trash about Caliban as I haven’t heard them (and I know they aren’t American), but it makes me angry that all the bands from overseas or Canada all want to sound like the American bands while the Americans are all trying to sound like old In Flames.


  2. Commented by: faust666

    I was pleasantly surprised by this release. 24 hours is one of the best metalcore songs of 2009. I hope they continue in this direction.


  3. Commented by: mike

    Heaven Shall Burn is the only German metalcore band worth caring about (and Neaera if you consider them metalcore).


  4. Commented by: krustster

    The song is “24 Years” not Hours but yeah, I agree it’s awesome. I really like this album. The Opposite From Within was mostly a KSE clone, but their last album The Awakening was a big step forward and this one continues the progression. There’s a lot of good stuff on here. Although most of it is standard verse/chorus/breakdown tapes, their overall sound is relatively unique and very enjoyable…not to mention heavy. Talk about red-hot breakdowns!


  5. Commented by: krustster

    also AARONIUS is stupid. The last Bleeding Through tape was really damn good, and what metalcore bands do you know of that really sound like old In Flames? HURF DURF NEW MUSIC SUX *craps pants*


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