In Music We Trust >> Frontpage
October 21, 2017


Search In Music We Trust
Sign up for mailing list
Article Archives
>> Article ArchivesFeatured ArticlesInterviews & Show Reviews#ABCDEFGHIJKL MNOPQRSTUVWXYZVarious ArtistsDVD Reviews
Caliban
Shadow Hearts (Prosthetic Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

The title doesn't quite fit the intensity within. Sure, they're said to have "cleaned" it up a little since the early EP's but that says nothing about the show of instrumental force taking place here -- nothing short of an off the dial outburst of propulsive percussion, pit riffs and searing screams. First inclinations for me are a combination In Flames, Soilwork, Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall and Dead To Fall all doing Southside style thug-core "Victory" laps around the quickly forming riot squad. Caliban screws with a few minor key twists and pace breaking temporal adjustments now and again and probably earn the right to "Shadow Hearts," but anything short of "Pain," "Death," or "Dismemberment" almost seems sarcastic. The disc opens with the "Dark Shadows" instrumental, nothing of any great measure but a quick flip from tranquil to tear it out by the roots on the storming "Forsaken Horizon" and you're up and awake all night in no time. It's a tough act to follow with it's piercing Death Metal rumble and ol' school fills, consistent with the up and comers of the day who discovered that "keeping it real" meant more than dropping three or six pant sizes, two strings, and a tank top; So learn the chops to back up the angst and be a musician first, and malcontent second. Then if you wanna fuck with the order of things go for it, but at least you've established the core of your character before it's had a chance to wash away in the next tide of poor taste. Call it Metal-Core, New Age Thrash, Melodic Death, Speed-Core, or the next wave of German Metal-- now there's a scary thought. Yup, the German's caught on and there's plenty o' anger to go round. Others worth of mention include "Vicious Circle" which goes back to In Flames meets Pantera meets Slayer; the octave climbing, percussive insanity of "Bad Dream" with its made to order mid-point mosh pit; "The Seventh Soul" runs more effective guitar scaling and harmony fills as did the aforementioned "Forsaken," with an extra degree of repulse running through post-chorus to the merciful end; they fall into a pit of depressive repetition here and there, near the end where I lose focus and go through a brief "heard it all" before beef that subsides for a second on the slowly spun "Scream From The Abyss" then quickly becomes that which I've tried so desperately to resolve seconds earlier. "A Piece Of My Life" winds down by cutting the pace, opting for less speed, more density, and melody with a near anthem-like readiness that refuses to go away quietly, peeling apart every last lyric and note till we're all convinced that in fire, there really does exist, safety. Maybe not, but overall, I'd like to see a little more character change within the songs, not just at the onset, which they tend to do nicely enough, but too many times we're led down a singular technically rich path only to end up in a confounding mess of same style elements. They earn aces on their brutality level, but fall short on overall vision, which is what's allowed the "true" Nu-Metal style to transcend and grow.
Copyright © 1997-2017, In Music We Trust, Inc. All Rights Reserved.