HistoryFormed in 1997, as Never Again, Caliban signed to Lifeforce Records following the recording a two-song demo tape. The new moniker was inspired by the Shakespearean character. The band from the west of Germany released a self-titled EP in the summer of 1998. Shows with Morning Again, Earth Crisis and Cro-Mags followed and the Germans recorded a full-length album called A Small Boy And A Grey Heaven.
The year after the band and Heaven Shall Burn released a split-EP. Vent appeared in the spring of 2001 and was licenced by Imperium Records for Japan. As a result, the gang plated at the Beast-Feast 2001 in Yokohama. A tour of the USA with Bloodjinn followed. Jojo, the singer for Destiny, was drafted to help the band for several shows as Andy had to return to his day job.
In August of 2002 Caliban entered the Woodhouse studio in Germany in order to record its third record Shadow Hearts. It was released in the winter of 2003. The band began touring the USA with Remembering Never, Scarlet and Dead To Fall in the summer of 2003. Caliban entered The Room studio in Gothenburg to record its fourth album, The Opposite From Within, which was produced by In Flames' singer Anders Friden and mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap. The album was issued by Roadrunner and licensed by Abacus and Century Media. The band and Heaven Shall Burn again issued a split-CD on Lifeforce Records in mid-2005. The group toured the USA in May, 2006 in support of its new release The Undying Darkness alongside Ion Dissonance and Sworn Enemy. The Awakening was issued in the autumn of 2007. The US release was handled through Century Media. Caliban, Heaven Shall Burn and Sonic Syndicate announced a Darkness Over X-Mas Tour for Christmas of 2007. The band signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records in the middle of 2009. The group's seventh album, Say Hello To Tragedy, was due for release on August 24th. Caliban would issue Ghost Empire through Century Media in January, 2014. The album was produced by guitarist Marc Görtz. German-based Caliban released a new album, called Gravity, on March 25th through Century Media. It was produced by Benny Richter and guitarist Marc Görtz. Caliban’s Elements was released through Century Media in April.
CALIBAN - THE AWAKENING - CENTURY MEDIA
I guess it’s sort of odd that the element that sticks out most about this German band is lead singer Andreas Dorner’s eyeliner: it’s probably the most distinctive element of Caliban, and that’s really a testament to the group’s utter mediocrity. Caliban, despite revered status in the metalcore scene and the sales to match, has always unfortunately relied on formula to make its point, and I say unfortunately because the collective, for what it’s worth, does get heavier with each release, and The Awakening is the apex (thus far) of the band’s vitriol. Last year’s The Undying Darkness was probably the most generic metalcore effort ever recorded and Caliban seems to have taken the subsequent criticism to heart: I’m assuming there’s a reason this latest record is called The Awakening. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that there are riffs here and there on The Awakening that do actually interest, but they’re immediately followed by embarrassingly bad and cliched clean vocals that bring Caliban back into its usual pitiful stratosphere. On a side-note, the first track’s title, “I Will Never Let You Down”, reminds me of Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again” and I guess that’s where Dorner must get his eyeliner tips. Not that there’s anything wrong with eyeliner. - James Tape
CALIBAN - SAY HELLO TO TRAGEDY - CENTURY MEDIA
It wouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that Caliban is a voracious reader of its own press (but no one’s ever actually mentioned anything of the sort) given that Caliban has toughened up its sound considerably in the wake of the mediocre reviews that greeted 07’s The Awakening. Though not abandoning its metalcore foundation, Caliban is now playing a style that values intensity over sugar choruses, and a band will never be faulted for that in this particular book: it feels bizarre to be even remotely on board with Caliban, but one can’t deny the transformation that’s taken place. That’s not to say that Caliban is now part of the upper tier as this German band still treads in mediocre waters; any newfound political capital is immediately drained with those auto-tuned clean vocals that are embarrassingly put forward on a good number of Say Hello To Tragedy’s tracks, and the cringe-worthy power ballad (!) Walk Like The Dead is an utter waste of four minutes and 15 seconds. Then again, End The Sickness is the proprietor of a wicked central riff and album opener 24 Years might (might!) be just good enough - mechanized effects and all - to be tucked at the very end of a compilation I’m making for an eventual drive on the Autobahn. - James Tape