Review: Caliban – Gravity

If you aren’t acquainted with Caliban, let me be the first to say, you’re welcome. This is the caliber of band that will have you looking around the room to make sure everyone else is hearing the same thing you are. Erase everything you know about ferocious transitions because the kings are here.

Originally forming in Hattingen, Germany, under the name Never Again, Caliban is a five piece metalcore titan. Forged in 1997, Caliban has brutalized listeners through ten studio albums, and two split albums with Heaven Shall Burn, an almost doppelganger of Caliban. The only members to make the stretch from ‘97 are vocalist, Andreas Dorner, and guitarist, Marc Gortz. Joining in 2002, is guitarist Denis Schmidt. 2004 brought in drummer, Patrick Grun, and in 2005, bassist Marco Shaller came aboard.

There’s slight disagreement among fans as to which album is the band’s breakthrough. For me, 2004’s ‘The Opposite From Within’, which was produced by In Flames frontman Anders Friden, is the clear choice. This saw the first collaboration of Dorner, and newcomer, Schmidt. Schmidt brought a new aspect with him when he joined Caliban, a clean, crisp vocalization that complimented Dorner. This album saw the band utilize the contrast heavily, and thus the Caliban sound was completed.

With legendary status imminent, and a series of vicious albums in their rear view, Caliban released ‘Gravity’, which is album number ten. Jumping into the album, it’s impressive. The fourth track ‘’Left for Dead’ is a punch in the face. A heavy groove metal style is showcased here; it’s standard for Caliban, but doesn’t disappoint. At 1:45 into the track, listeners get invited to a massacre as Dorner unleashes a devastating and harrowing chorus, which makes the song a stand alone. With a very heavy breakdown backer, ‘Left for Dead’ will have U2 fans running for cover.

‘Walk Alone’, the sixth track, surges out of the gates. Dorner reminds listeners who they’re listening to, with abrasive, rasping, throaty screams. The demented riffs, that accompany him, rapidly change levels, and lead into a clean, harmonious chorus delivered by Schmidt. The barn burner here takes place at 2:50, it’s a masterpiece in metal.

The tenth track, ‘Inferno’, is another brazen attack on listeners. Once again, the contrasting vocals shine bright. Songs like this are quintessential Caliban, it’s what they do, and they do it well. ‘Gravity’ is album number ten for a reason; the sound they have isn’t an accident. The unflinching steamroller that is Caliban does not have any signs of slowing down, and that’s good news for us all. 9/10


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