Caliban – ‘Elements’ (Album Review)
In recent years, Caliban turned a creative corner as they began introducing djent influences into their well-established metalcore core. 2016’s Gravity was their best offering at that point – but now, Elements looks set to divide opinion and stir up some controversy.
“You can’t fault Caliban for pushing into new territory, even if it’s going to make a few people uncomfortable”
Accessibility in metal is a volatile topic – and Elements contains some of Caliban’s most accessible work to date. There’s plenty of brutality scattered liberally throughout Elements, but glimpses of outside influences from Linkin Park to Bring Me The Horizon are already sparking off some online word-wars. Meanwhile, Elements screams “we don’t give a fuck what you think,” and that’s for the best – because some of Caliban’s most extreme fans are not going to think good things about this album.
Personally, I enjoyed Elements – especially after giving it some time and a few listens. Caliban may not have escaped Metalcoreland entirely, but there’s an obvious sense of boundary-stretching and a deliberate striving toward creative growth. Given how few bands make it to their eleventh album – and how many fall into deep ruts if they do – you can’t fault these guys for pushing into new territory, even if it’s going to make a few people uncomfortable.
In the big scheme of things, Elements isn’t going to drag metal kicking and screaming into territory that hasn’t already been explored – but running at about 51 minutes, it’s a hectic scramble through a corner of the metal landscape that Caliban are relatively new to.
Will Caliban’s next album go as far as Minutes To Midnight, Sempiternal, or That’s The Spirit? I seriously doubt it. But in any case, these guys will hopefully attract some fresh fans with Elements, and get plenty of support for a twelfth album that gives even fewer fucks than this.
LTK RATING: 85%
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Elements drops April 6 – pre-order it on iTunes here.