Caliban The Undying Darkness

Caliban’s last album, The Opposite from Within, was a perfect mixture of melodic, high energy metalcore and even heavier thrash sounds. It’s painful to say this but this German band are more a victim of the times than anything else, having been one of the pioneers of the melodic hardcore/metal movement that has grown and morphed into one of the most overcrowded and lifeless sub-genres of metal today. So the hope was they would pull something really different out of their hats for this album. But instead it’s the same heavy verses, soaring melodic choruses, duelling melodic riffs, galloping beats… they still do it better than most, but it’s pretty tough to slog through at this point. The highlight is still the melodic vocals, which sound great and elevate each song to a level of accessibility and catchiness that sounds really, really good. But having heard so many bands do this since Caliban’s last record, it’s almost impossible to make it through this album once, never mind repeat listens. They’re a great band, but it’s time to reinvent themselves or get lost in the overpopulated genre they helped create. What a difference a couple years makes. (Abacus)