Review CALIBAN ‘Dystopia’

German metalcore veterans Caliban delivered their latest full-length studio album ‘Elements’ in 2018 and has four years later a new record in the starting blocks. ‘Dystopia’ waits for its release on April 22nd, a new musical wrecking ball with eleven hard-hitting smashers.

‘Dystopia’ is Caliban’s thirteenth longplayer and in this case, ‘13’ isn’t a number that brings bad luck. In contrary. ‘Dystopia’ is an emotional and massive release. The band started to work on the album a while ago and changed plans in a way to first finish the ‘Zeitgeist’-EP from a year ago before lasering in on ‘Dystopia’ again. After a short excursion with German lyrics on ‘Zeitgeist’, the Essen-based quintet returns to English for their newest offer.

As the album title implicates, ‘Dystopia’ is a heavy-loaded and heavy-hearted album. It’s not the bright part of life, the five-piece band writes about in their lyrics. It the (inner-) conflicts of our time, acting as a source for lyrics that are about truth and lies, about freedom, the belief in yourself and inner struggles with the feeling of loneliness.

The music on ‘Dystopia’ mirrors the lyrics in a good fashion and intensifies the message. The new album includes all one can expect from Caliban. The raging outbreaks, the clean and more melodic parts and all in all an intense trip through the world of metalcore, that is what Caliban’s new album provides.

As with the previous releases, the band doesn’t tie themselves to a one-dimensional approach when it comes to songs. Frontman Andreas Dörner screams and shouts, outburst that give goosebumps. At the same time, he can make an adjustment towards clean and melodic vocals which gives the album an electric atmosphere. And it reflects the lyrics very well too, since it’s these poles and everything in between the entire album is built upon.

The new Caliban album also comes with three guest appearances. No less than Heaven Shall Burn frontman Marcus Bischoff enriches the massive ‘VirUS’, one of the most brutal and vicious tracks on the album. That the two voices go together extremely well is what we know already since ‘Terminate the Unconcern’ from Heaven Shall Burn’s ‘Of Truth and Sacrifice’ album when Dörner added some vocals. ‘VirUS’ Is for sure a highlight on the album and sums up what Caliban stands for.

The title track features a guest too. Annisokay’s Christoph Wieczorek add some vocals to a song that starts dark and with a gothic vibe, before the baton is handed over to the harsh guitars and aggressive riffs. Together with a heavily pounding beat and good hooks, the tune has all ingredients in place to introduce an album that shows excellent metalcore.

‘Dystopia’ is a product of our time, and the impact of the last two years can’t be denied. It’s like the last months have been an extra fuel for Caliban’s music and the new longplayer is the outlet for a lot of things that have been piled up over the last 24 month. However, ‘Dystopia’ is the anticipated next step for Caliban who deliver to expectation with passion and commitment.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Dystopia (feat. Christoph Wieczorek)
  2. Ascent Of The Blessed
  3. VirUS (feat. Marcus Bischoff)
  4. Phantom Pain
  5. Alien
  6. sWords
  7. Darkness I Became
  8. Dragon (feat. Jonny Davy)
  9. Hibernate
  10. mOther
  11. The World Breaks Everyone

Label: Century Media

Genre: Metalcore

Release Date EU: April 22nd, 2022

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