Caliban – Dystopia (Review)

Caliban - DystopiaCaliban are a German metalcore band and this is their twelfth album.

Caliban play metalcore that combines the hardcore and modern metal ingredients in ways that taste quite idiosyncratic. There’s a darkness at the heart of Dystopia, and that manifests in a collection of songs that hit the spot very nicely.

Caliban are good at providing pummelling groove and harsh rhythms. I like that some of the heavier parts show some real aggressive tendencies. I think this is at least partially down to the band remembering the -core part of the metalcore equation; Caliban know how to use speed and aggression, as well as chunky riffs and crushing breakdowns. Additionally, some surprisingly menacing atmospheric parts appear here and there, usually provided by eerie melodies of an atypical sort. It’s good stuff.

Then, in juxtaposition against the above, we have the cleanly sung sections, (usually choruses), which are usually far more uplifting. These are frequently dominated by soaring clean vocals, bright melodies, and hopeful atmospheres. When compared to the darkness and heaviness of the rest of the music, these sections are striking in their radiance and luminosity. It’s sometimes almost as if Caliban undergo a transformation into a different band during these moments, and it could have been a jarring one were it not for the skill with which the transition is usually handled.

Overall Dystopia is a strong album that frequently brings a voice of its own to a crowded and frequently poor quality genre. Caliban have been doing this long enough to amply prove themselves though, and have managed to carve their own path within metalcore and hardcore.

If you’re a fan of modern heavy music that also takes cues from the past, then check out Dystopia. Caliban have written some good songs here.

Highly recommended.

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