CALIBAN continue to be the pioneers of German metalcore and after sharing the stage and touring with bands such as Slayer, Pantera, Machine Head, Morbid Angel and Kreator you can see why. If that’s not enough however, they also have two split albums with label-mates Heaven Shall Burn and ‘I Am Nemesis’ is the Eighth studio album release by the band in thirteen years and they’re still delivering music fast, brutal and with style.
On the first listen I seemed to find myself thinking that in this album Caliban have gone down the more direct root of hard-core (in comparison to their previous release ‘Say Hello to Tragedy’) and a couple of songs risk sounding too “samey” however saying that, they have once again put their lyrical focus towards serious topics, the downsides and chaos of humanity and combining it with shimmering guitar tones and fast riffs.
Opening track, ‘We are the Many’ is a fast introduction into the album, sporting an interesting catchy tune built on progression and tempo atypical of metalcore. The combination of the chant like opening vocals and brutal raw screams from Andreas Dörner mixed with “technical grooves with a Meshuggah-like heaviness” from guitarists Marc Görtz and Denis Schmidt. The subtle groove background from bassist Marco Schaller and heavy-as-possible breakdowns from drummer, Patrick Grün make this a promising start to the album.
Caliban haven’t forgotten about their brutal mosh side of things with personal favourites such as ’Davy Jones‘, ‘Deadly Dream‘ and ‘The Bogeyman‘ however ‘This Oath‘ and ‘Memorial ‘ shows us that the band pull of heavy and harmonious in the same move with melodic yet heavy guitar riffs and Dörner’s hoarse scream. The album as a whole delivers a constant balance between unrestrained aggression and catchy melodies.
The album also features guest vocals from Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence, Marcus Bischoff of Heaven Shall Burn and Keyboard contributions from Marcel Neumann of German deathcore destroyers We Butter The Bread With Butter. (The Bogeyman, Dein R3.ich)
The Special Edition of the album as well as a strictly limited box set will come with Caliban’s very own cover versions of songs that were influential to the band. Incuding covers of Mötley Crüe, Rammstein, Six Feet Under, Misfits, At The Gates, Pink Floyd, Anthrax as well as a remix for “Edge Of Black”.
After thirteen years Caliban seem to have stuck with what they know best and sadly they still strictly fall under the core flag, which in this case isn’t a terrible thing as the album will make you bang your head and nod along, nevertheless they risk sounding like a mix of many bands you’ve heard before, and not too much of their own sound any more. [7/10]
Label: Century Media
Release Date: February 3, 2012 (Europe) February 28, 2012 (United States)
01. We Are The Many
02. The Bogeyman
04. No Tomorrow
05. Edge Of Black
06. Davy Jones
07. Deadly Dream
08. Open Letter
09. Dein R3.ich
10. Broadcast To Damnation
11. This Oath
12. Modern Warfare