Fluid and Smooth

With their tenth anniversary approaching this year Caliban return with their sixth studio album 'The Awakening'.

Guitarist and main songwriter Marc Gortz has called the album "a mix of all the stuff we do next" and there are elements of previous albums that are noticeable on here but 'The Awakening' is much heavier and more mature than any of their previous material I have heard.

The band seem to have found a new level of self confidence on this release and this is most noticeable in their guitar work. Previously it has often sounded like generic metal but now it is a lot more fluid and smooth. Andreas Dorner's vocals are now very much made up of shouts and screams and his clean sung vocals are few and far between, which in some cases makes it incredibly hard to understand what is being sung; the vocals disappear and seem to turn into a wall of noise.

Title track 'The Awakening' for me is the stand out track on the album, it opens to an eerie sounding keyboard that builds up atmosphere and suspense and it's well over a minute before any other instruments come in, and when they do they are so subtle you can barely notice them. Over two minutes in and the song really kicks off and becomes what we've come to expect from these German metalcore monsters.

As much as fans will enjoy this album I can't help but feel that Caliban are trying to keep to with their American counterparts, and while Caliban were top of their game a few years ago those days are behind them now.