German metal means one thing to me: power metaaal.
Except Caliban isn’t at all and that’s not the association worth worrying about. One minute into “We Are the Many” and you are absolutely blown away. This isn’t what you expect at all because it’s heavy as shit. Look at the album cover. Does this look like peace sells? The screaming is so guttural and keys make appearances for an atmospheric effect that few bands achieve bit hits on. Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence does backup vocals.
Rrrrrrrp. Hold up, what? I thought this was metal. The thought of Suicide Silence makes me want to puke then look at it and say, “Mmm dinner,” just as long as I don’t have to hear them again. What is even worse is that Caliban tours with Attila (throw Black Veil Brides in the mix?). So honestly, what gives?
Caliban is without question better than those bands. It’s, shall I say, realistic compared to those Kiss wannabes. Likewise, as this is Caliban’s eighth studio album, I Am Nemesis is different from previous efforts. Gone is the simplicity and added are atmospheric guitar melodies that don’t make you wonder about its heaviness one bit. If you need proof, check the rhythms of “The Bogeyman” and “No Tomorrow” as well as the lyrics, which deal with lies, fear, and loss of control.
Truthfully, I’m not comfortable with the metalcore term for Caliban because there are elements from a plethora of metal subgenres – yet this is the closest. I mean aside from “Edge of Black” which is straight up core-tastic, if you’re unfamiliar with Caliban this sounds more like Meshuggah or Lamb of God. Though it’s worth mentioning that “Memorial” achieves clean vocals at one point to successfully pull off what is metalcore to the highlight of I Am Nemesis.
While some misplaced cussing and intricate guitar parts fill up the bottom half of the record, “Modern Warfare” goes out with a blast- a metallic meets technical blast. And remember they throw a traditional German sound on top. At this point, genres are damned.
So despite the rather nasty associations, I Am Nemesis is worth checking out because it has zero relation to its relations. Unfortunately that’s how they can go missing. Ditch ‘em, go rouge and go metal.