Caliban - The Opposite From Within (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Opposite From Within (2004)


With the scattered passages of melody and clean singing, you would immediately think that Caliban has made a natural progression on The Opposite From Within. But after a few initial listens, it then becomes obvious that this progression is the not-too-distant result of a ragged journey.

The transitions to melody in The Opposite From Within are just too awkward. Caliban is, for the most part, straightforward, blast-beat metalcore. But the abrupt switches to melodic singing and slight octave use in a song like "Stand Up" is too sudden to work well, even though the addition of the screams somewhat smooth it out. The band is at their best when carried by growled verses over galloping double-bass and no holds barred riffing, but even then, they'll deploy this same formula over and over, and the songs sound way too similar as a result.

Producer and In Flames frontman Anders Fridén must have definitely provided advice to lead vocalist Andy Dorner in his screaming style - the way Dorner barks pulsating screams definitely carry similarities to the same style employed by Fridén on the last few In Flames albums. Plus, there's a definite Scandinavian metal influence in the guitar work at times, which comes as no surprise considering Caliban's originating area (Germany) but the whole package nowadays is quite rooted in American metalcore.

It's intense without pretension or over-dramatization, which is definitely one of the most welcomed "lack thereofs" I've had the pleasure of listening to in a while. But the failure to mix melody with aggressiveness well and avoid changing things up enough to keep my interest completely intact makes The Opposite From Within a just decent release that's held back by its own forced initiative to expand beyond its predeceasing work.

The Beloved and the Hatred