Caliban – Dystopia (Album Review)

Caliban – Dystopia (Album Review)

Germany’s Caliban have made an impressive impact on the Metal world with a career spanning well over two decades now. Consistently releasing new material through the years, starting in 1998 with self-titled EP via Lifeforce Records, some might even argue Caliban inspired the the Metalcore movement that spread across the globe in the early 2000s. Now on the precipice of their 25th anniversary in 2023, Caliban is back in 2022 with their thirteenth overall studio album Dystopia.

Coming a little less than one year after the release of their career retrospective album Zeitgeister, Dystopia arrived on Friday, April 22, 2022 through Century Media Records. Together, Andreas Dörner (vocals), Marco Schaller (bass), Marc Görtz (guitar), Denis Schmidt (guitar), and Patrick Grün (drums), team up to bring their fans twelve new tracks. So how do these new songs stand up to Caliban’s previous work? 

Well, lets start from the beginning with the title-track. Featuring a guest spot from Christoph Wieczoreck of Annisokay, the opener also features the familiar Metalcore production and vibe that Caliban inspired. Complete with an Industrial leaning intro that bleeds into a more pronounced verse, a massive chorus is followed by a Deathcore styled verse that fits so well yet feels dark and atmospheric.

Next there is “Ascent Of The Blessed,” an even stronger song that reeks of being single material, but still while retaining a Metalcore niche. There is an impressive variety amidst it all as the band displays their experience while blending so many elements at once, yet still remaining on point without being obscure.

Continuing their collaborative efforts with others, “VirUS” includes Heaven Shall Burn’s Marcus Bischoff and is another strong outing of razor sharp guitar riffs and powerful vocals. Meanwhile, Caliban continues to sound extremely fresh as the album wears on with other stand out moments that include “Alien,” “Phantom Pain,” and “Darkness I Become.” Furthermore, more melodic cuts like “Hibernate” shines bright and shows that Caliban can still create haunting moments at will. 

Overall, Caliban does not sound dated unlike other bands that have been around half as long. The production of Dystopia is clean yet still quite potent. Their ability to blend styles is stellar. This is evident with the Industrial synth elements throughout Dystopia, while the harsher Deathcore moments hit hard and even some Nu Metal tones seek in there. A band that will win over even the strongest of skeptics, Cryptic Rock gives Dystopia 4 out of 5 stars. 

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Kenny Lenehan
[email protected]

Kenny Lenehan is a Scottish Musician and Music journalist. Leader and Multi Instrumentalist of Dark Metal Outfit XAAR.

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