Published Apr 05, 2018Despite having been around for over 20 years, Caliban sound remarkably young on their 11th album. The German band come off just as pumped now as they did back in 2004, when The Opposite From Within was tossing up a Gothenburg scene still reeling from the innovations of In Flames and Dark Tranquility.
Caliban, to their credit, have tried to leave those sweaty hardcore days behind on Elements. The synths have been dialled up; the riffs are cleaner cut and the vocal production just keeps getting bigger. Fans of Bring Me the Horizon and Parkway Drive will get off on the huge choruses of "Intoxicated" and "Before Later Becomes Never," the latter containing a killer cameo from Thy Art Is Murder vocalist CJ McMahon. "Carry On" is probably the album's biggest curveball, a hip-hop-shaded Linkin Park tribute that can't help coming off as angsty, in a middle-school breakdown sort of way.
Unfortunately, most of Elements ends up just being derivative. It's like Caliban have come full circle, and now they're chasing the bands they once inspired. Elements is full on contradictions, #modern ideas clashing with dated clichés. Still, the first four songs save Elements' from succumbing to its worst moments. (Century Media)