Caliban – Ghost Empire

There is a track on Ghost Empire, German metalcore mob Caliban’s 9th album, called “I Am Rebellion”.  It starts slowly before delivering some chunky metalcore riffs and a big melodic chorus.  In other words, it’s about the least rebellious metalcore track you will hear this year.  Is that a bad thing?  Not necessarily.  If you take a stroll through the music section of this website you will find a lot of articles about metalcore bands, it’s a genre I have a lot of time for.  However, it’s also a genre that can hit it’s saturation point quite easily and there are a lot of Killswitch Engage clones out their.  Not all of them can claim to have been going as long as Caliban though, who actually formed in 1997 two years before Killswitch.

Sadly most of this album is more of the same.  There are lots of big choruses and riffs that will make you bang your head while you have a good time.  Which sums up why this album is actually quite good.  It’s not particularly inventive but it is doing what it is doing well enough that it doesn’t really matter.  Tracks like “yOUR Song” are great metalcore tracks, and the fact that it sounds like it was recorded live is an interesting move on a studio album.

Elsewhere they join a long line of bands who are very much aware of the influence that Bring Me The Horizon are having (I can’t say I have listened to Caliban much before so this may be a longer running thing in their sound than I know).  Tracks like opener “King” have that synth heavy sound and a chorus that screams BMTH.  While “Chaos – Creation” has an almost thrash sounding verse before it morphs into it’s bouncy chorus and “Falling Downwards” makes the unusual choice to stay stripped back and reliant on the synth influences on nearly every moment of the track apart from the chorus.  While also featuring a guest appearance from Matt Heafy who sounds as good as you would expect.

This isn’t a bad album, in fact it’s actually a really enjoyable one.  However, I wouldn’t go into it expecting to have your life changed.  It’s a metalcore album that has some interesting moments but for the main sticks to that tried and tested formula we all know so well.

For fans of: Killswitch Engage, Bring Me the Horizon

Choice Cuts: yOUR Song, King

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