Named after the wild, deformed slave in Shakespeare's “The Tempest”, Caliban are five German musicians who despite their young age are already seen as veterans of the European metal-core scene.
The strange mix of diabolical ruse and mighty impetuosity not only makes Caliban one of the most important characters in Shakespeare's dramas but also the patron saint to the musical orientation of this quintet from Germany's Ruhr region. Within just a few years they have become one of the most important and influential bands of that genre.
Formed in 1997 (under the name Never Again) Caliban signed to Lifeforce Records after recording a two song demo. The release of their self-titled EP in the summer of ྞ was the start of a co-operation which was to lay the foundation of Caliban's incredible success. Countless tours across Europe including support gigs for bands like Earth Crisis and Cro-Mags strengthened their reputation and got them an ever increasing army of Caliban “apostles”. Their full-length debut album "A Small Boy And A Grey Heaven" (1999) finally opened the door and became a European metal-core groundbreaker. Even then Caliban knew how to combine Slayer-esque, precise metal guitars with emotional hardcore shouting, leaving their own, distinct mark on that sound. Initially seen as mix of Slayer, Poison the Well and Hatebreed by the critics, Caliban didn't jump on the metal-core bandwagon recently but rather led the way representing that genre at home and internationally.
The following split EP with their friends, Heaven Shall Burn was to become a metal-core classic and when the band's second album "Vent" hit stores in April 2001, its release via Imperium/Howling-Bull Records in Japan led to Caliban being invited to play at the famous Beast Feast 2001 in Yokohama together with Slayer, Pantera, Machine Head, Biohazard and Morbid Angel. Back from Japan, Caliban embarked on their first US tour with Bloodjinn followed by a run with A Life Once Lost, Dead To Fall and The Red Chord in the summer of 2002 and an appearance at New York's infamous Hellfest.
In August 2002 Caliban entered the Woodhouse studio in Germany to record their third long player, "Shadow Hearts". As third albums tend to decide the make or break of an act, expectations for this record were very high. Caliban did, however, manage to transform pressure to a new metal-core milestone introducing a new style of post-modern, destructive metal-core with an unparalleled sense of heaviness and musicianship. This release saw a mature band moving further in the direction of harmony and melody without ever denying their metal and hardcore roots. The following tour in Japan with Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall strengthened their focus and it was their friendship with people like Mike D (Killswitch Engage bass player who is now also designing T-shirts for Caliban and designed the current cover artwork for “The Undying Darkness”) which helped to finally establish them in the US metal-core scene.
At the start of 2004 it was time to record a new album and In Flames front man Anders Friden agreed to produce. “The Opposite From Within” was recorded in Anders' studio, “The Room” in Gothenburg, Sweden in January 2004. With the creative support of this experienced mastermind it was soon clear that they should move to a bigger record label and eventually they signed a deal with Roadrunner Records.
It's incredible how forcefully the last album, “The Opposite From Within“ carved its way through the European music jungle. However, Caliban's new power machine “The Undying Darkness” is even more mature, powerful and inescapable. They've ventured to the next step, consistently developing and perfecting what they'd begun: singer Andy Dörner (shouts- and growl-parts) and guitarist Denis Schmidt (who handles the melodic sections) make full use of their vocal ranges and literally outdo each other on “The Undying Darkness“. Main songwriter Marc Görtz is at his most creative ever: brutal guitar stakkato-salvos, complex alternate bombastic and clear walls of guitar, beautiful harmonies that consistently flair up and incredible rhythm that makes you eager to see how this will be translated live on stage by Patrick Grün. This is just part of a sound cocktail that will knock the socks off every metal-core fan.
Highlights like the first single, “It´s Our Burden To Bleed“ thrill with its hardcore drive, whilst dramatic and emotional tracks like “Nothing Is Forever“ and “I Refuse To Keep On Living…“ will move even the most frosty soul.
“The Undying Darkness“ was again produced by In Flames frontman, Anders Friden and recorded at the Prinzipal Studios in Senden, Germany in September & October 2005. It was mixed and mastered at Backstage Studios in the UK by metal god, Andy Sneap (Machine Head, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage). And yet that's not all. Caliban have also invited some guests to perform on some songs: Mille Petrozza of Kreator enthusiastically revives the old school in “Moment Of Clarity“ and the fantastic version of Bjork's “Army Of Me“ features the amazing voice of German vocalist, Tanja Keilen (Sister Love).
What's left to say? Over to Andy Dörner for the final words:
“…In our world fire burns brightly
Take care or you get hurt
Flames kiss you goodnight….
It´s Our Burden To Bleed…”
- Caliban, “It´s Our Burden To Bleed”