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Caliban
Ghost Empire

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.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: CALIBAN
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Ghost EmpireCaliban
    2014
    Greg Watson1/5/2015
    The AwakeningCaliban
    2007
    David Loveless7/2/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: CALIBAN
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    CoverfieldCaliban
    2011
    David Loveless6/28/2011
    GravityCaliban
    2016
    Greg Watson4/20/2016
    I Am NemesisCaliban
    2012
    David Loveless4/18/2012


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: CALIBAN
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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