Company: Century Media Release: 2014 Genre: Metalcore Reviewer: Greg Watson
Delivers a heavy punch
Metalcore is one of the more maligned genres in metal. Most metal heads have a love/hate relationship with it, which can make it hard for bands in the genre to really break out. Caliban is one of those bands. For a while, they've been shrouded in the shadow of the genre's best and brightest, waiting for the spotlight to finally bring them out of the shadows.
With "Ghost Empire", Caliban is close to achieving that status. From start to finish, "Ghost Empire" delivers a heavy punch and a solid dose of riffs. Songs like "King", "I Am Rebellion" and "Chaos-Creation" have a great mixture of melody and big, down tuned riffs. Metalcore staples like chanted choruses and drastic switches from clean to death vocals abound throughout the album.
What strikes me most about this album are two things in particular. First off, the guitar playing on this album is pretty damn precise. If you take out the down tuned riffs, the melody and chops of the guitarists Marc Gorte and Dennis Schmidt are really very solid. Playing with speed and precision, this duo shows that they've honed their playing abilities to a razor sharp precision. Second of all, the song writing on this album is quite impressive. Songs such as "Good Man", "Devil's Night" and "Your Song" are very well written songs and songs that perfectly mesh musically and lyrically.
A hidden gem off the album is the track "Nebel". Sung in their native German tongue, the song is just a fun break from the norm. "Nebel" reminds me of the hidden track on Solemnity's "Reign In Hell", minus the hilarious folk kazoo. Overall, "Ghost Empire" is a solid release. While it isn't on the level of BMTH's "Sempiternal", "Ghost Empire" is the springboard that could catapult Caliban to the top of the metalcore ladder. Go out and check this album out, you won't be sorry you did.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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