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Caliban - Dystopia Award winner

by Shea Higgerson at 18 May 2022, 6:09 AM

CALIBAN returns with lucky number 13 “Dystopia” and this German metalcore group hasn't slowed down one bit since their first album in 1998 — it’s clear they’re still bringing energetic, heavy music to the world. I’ve said this before, but It goes to show that there is so much music in the world to discover and that can sneak by, because this band has missed my listening ears for all these years and this is a solid metalcore album that makes me wonder just how I’ve been unaware of them all this time. But finally, and thankfully, they’re on my radar now.

Things started off wild with “Dystopia,” and I could tell it was going to get brutal. I really enjoyed the contrast of the cleans and screams. What an excellent start to an album. The first song was complete with a nasty background and the beloved “Blegh!” And if you didn’t think they could get any heavier, they come through with “Phantom Pain,” which has a gnarly breakdown and vocalist Andreas Dörner screaming “Leave me the fuck alone!” And trust me, you’ll want to leave him alone after hearing the anger behind his vocals on this one.

“Alien” is definitely a stand-out song on the album with its catchy chorus and riffs. I love the lyrics in the chorus: “I am an alien/I wander alone into the unknown/I am an alien/I’m coming home wherever I go.” I was a pretty big fan of the lyrical content of the entire album. I didn’t find it to be overly cliche or cheesy; it was suitable for metalcore music and often relatable. Another song I really enjoyed was “sWords.” It’s intensely heavy and fast and immediately caught my attention. It’s just a wicked cool song and check out these lyrics: “Words are like swords/Why don’t we have a tongue of glass/When just one word/Could take your fucking breath.” Wow.

Every time I thought things might cool off on this album (and not that I wanted them to) these guys just kept bringing the heat and the intensity. It was just punishingly heavy and would not let up, and I loved every minute of it. I loved how they stayed true to their sound, but experimented just enough to keep the album interesting and surprising. The song “Dragon” kind of reminds me of a PARKWAY DRIVE song and they’re one of my favorite bands of all time. I’m sincerely into this album and will have to dedicate some free time exploring their older releases. This album was solid from front to back.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Dystopia (feat. Christoph Wierzsorek)
2. Ascent of the Blessed
3. VirUS (feat. Marcus Bischoff)
4. Phantom Pain
5. Alien
6. sWords
7. Darkness I Became
8. Dragon (feat. Jonny Davy)
9. Hibernate
10. mOther
11. The World Breaks Everyone
Andreas Dörner - Vocals
Marc Görtz - Guitar
Denis Schmidt - Guitar
Marco Schaller - Bass
Patrick Grün - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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