Caliban
The Awakening

Caliban, alongside Heaven Shall Burn, is Germany’s prime export in the field of metal-core, and they’ve been around just as long as any of the well noted originators of the genre, as this is their sixth full length since their inception in 1999.

I must say right off the bat that I’m not the most familiar with their prior efforts, as I’ve mainly just heard them in passing, with nothing ever really grabbing my attention. What I can tell you is there couldn’t be another album out there that sounds any more metalcore than The Awakening. Gothenburg melodies – check. Hardcore vocalist who incorporates sugary clean choruses – check. Breakdowns in every song – check. I’m assuming that each of their releases is relatively the same sounding, and that they’re hell bent on continuing on their well-balanced metal/hardcore path while bands such as Heaven Shall Burn (to name just one) have begun to shed the “core” influences in favor of more straight forward metal ones.

“I Will Never Let You Down” opens the album immediately letting you know what your in for, and contains one of those “queue breakdown” moments you can spot a mile away that usually makes me cringe. “Let Go” and “Another Cold Day” restrain any use of clean vocals, sticking to the hardcore screams. By the time “My Time Has Come” rolls around with it’s Howard Jones sounding chorus, I’m thoroughly bored, and begin skipping through tracks looking for something – anything – that is worth mentioning to help fill out this review, and to possibly cure my boredom, but NOT to my surprise, it’s all the same, 3-4 minute radio format friendly stuff I’ve heard countless times before.

The Awakening can be summed up easily as follows: Musically, this is Alive or Just Breathing era Killswitch Engage. Vocally, this is Howard Jones era Killswitch Engage – take that for what you will. I think at this point I’ve had my fill of bands trying to ape KSE (even if Caliban has been around just as long) and of metalcore in general – metalcore just doesn’t have the replay value of a genre like thrash, which I’ll never tire of, and where I’ll never tire of bands that all sound relatively the same. If I’m in the mood, my copy of Alive or Just Breathing is never too far away. Next!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
November 24th, 2007

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