Anthems, Angst and Announcement
Now with their 8th record release, Caliban tours again with the newest title: Ghost Empire. The German established metalcore band has had its share of changes. It is (arguably) one of the oldest bands of the newer metal genre and has succeeded all the ebb and flow of this defining genre’s culture, including their own adjustments. Since being formed in 1997, Caliban has gone through a series of lineup changes. This current lineup has been together since the formulation of 2006’s The Undying Darkness and the band has remained steady on their music and their members ever since.
Ghost Empire is loaded to the brim with fifteen full-length songs and fires off with heavy hitters like “King.” With strong lyrics of what it’s like to be on top: “I’m king of kingdom gone / I’m all alone,” this is a great introduction to the mood and element of another great collection from Caliban.
“Chaos Creation” follows up with a true arena feel. One continuing trait of the band is the ability to make single tracks that they can play long and hard that easily pump out to a live audience. The band has its history of making anthemic songs.
“Wolves and Rats”-– this is it. This is the song that is probably the most auditorily commanding track on the album.
That includes one track “nebeL,” featuring BastiBasti of Callejon, which is entirely in German. Why is this a big deal? For the Ameri-centric listener, we get a dose of reality– heavy world music. None too different, and not at all bad!
Obviously melodic and mixed with some elements of typical metalcore, “I am Ghost” has elements of loss and longing, another element of about half of Caliban’s material. Do the lyrics within this one song alone, though, denote the feel of the overall album? Thought provoking… It’s possible…
Until “Devils Night”, when we say “goodbye and farewell” to the song of angst and emotional devastation.
…Okay, so, yes. You can call them a little “emo-ish” but, be damned if you say their songs are not catchy. To bump the EMO-meter, “Your Song” is getting some harsh criticism; some think that it’s cliché with elements of yet another crowd charged theme or anthem. But It’s meant to be a live show song, a fist pumper for the fans.
“Cries and Whispers” has the angriest opening in this full production release, offering small efforts of melodic comfort, but with tears in the lyrics about an aching heart and voices in the head. The anger soon turns to emotional frustration (there goes that emo element again), then: BAM! Back to the heavy element.
Let’s see what “Good Man” has to offer. There is most definitely an underlying theme within the entire album’s composition (but what is it?) “Good Man” offers a follow-up of emotional angst not unlike what comes through a personal journal. “Do you remember? / The joke’s on me for being a good man.” The song almost sways into “I Am Rebellion,” followed by “Who We Are”– now we get the message: Caliban is not going anywhere.
Is this the sign of a Cult of Caliban? Thrash about as you are right here, right now. Ghost Empire earns High Fidelity inclusion because not only is it well produced from tech to musicianship, but also it is packed with extremely well written with lyrics and trill.