Taking one leaf of their book directly from the nu-skool of old metal (i.e. the proper stuff with solos and blokes with hair longer than Cher), Caliban initially give the distinct impression of being an updated Sepultura jamming along to Slayer tunes.
Sadly this hope for all things thrash lasts merely minute, before performing The Beloved And The Hatred does an ugly about turn into an emo-like anthem of Funeral For A Friend proportions. To put it bluntly, this lot are said Welsh lads with a hint more raw metal fury and Germanic-tinged screams.
Secretly using a pneumatic drill instead of a human foot to power the double kick is a new yet extremely effective way of creating a faultlessly rigid, brutally driven percussion base. With drums and guitars locked in tighter than OJ’s hand to an incriminating glove, the effects are equally as deadly.
I’ve Sold Myself and following epic Standup are both dutiful examples of this. With cymbals flailing relentlessly, your ears are treated to a first class battering from seriously deformed guitars complete with a speed metal break that I’m sure is “borrowed” from Dimmu Borgir.
There will, no doubt, be issues for some hardcore fans, for with their awesome brutality come beaucoup emo-tastic sing-along moments. As is the trend with countless new bands who seek to mix the best of old and new, it seems to be getting all to easy to sound like a scene rather than your own band.
Veering head on into such territory with Certainty… Corpses Bleed Cold, Caliban do not even attempt to disguise their efforts as anything other than Killswitch Engage‘s My Last Serenade, with the exception of some new lyrics. The epic driving chorus and barked verse scream, “Thief!” all over.
Despite this abhorrent hiccup, things certainly pick up with My Little Secret, which sees some In Flames influence over yet more industrial tub-thumping. The discordant resonance of Stigmata is most defiantly back to the (old skool) future for Caliban, and they even keep the girly singing to a minimum, so fans of bully boy metal take note.
One Of These Days drops a seriously grimy breakdown, slipping into a groove that would make most stoner bands blush. Salvation meanwhile proves there is actually a bass player in the group for all of 30 seconds before his four string wizardry is again buried beneath what now sounds like Blindside‘s power chords with plenty of throat-destroying screams.
Cutting edge it ain’t, but if it ain’t broke then Jim don’t need to fix it does he?