Cameran - A Caesarean (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


A Caesarean (2005)

San Martin

While it's important to know who Cameran are, it's also important to know who they aren't. For instance, they are not the Academy Award-winning director of Titanic and Avatar. They also aren't the Grammy-nominated rapper responsible for hits like "Hey Ma" and "Oh Boy." What they are is an incredibly talented, forward-thinking Austrian post-hardcore ensemble with the potential to properly blow away any listener expecting otherwise.

Although the comparisons are actually less simplistic than conveyed here, it's hard to imagine a band like Cameran had Refused not blazed a path for more abstract portrayals of hardcore years earlier in The Shape of Punk to Come. A Caesarean was even recorded in Umeå, Sweden and with Magnus Lindberg, who also worked with Refused.

Cameran, though, is a level or two milder than Dennis Lyxzén and company even at their artsiest. While the opening track "Zombie Walk" pulsates with a rise-and-fall intensity and energetic shouts, its lyrics command gently, "Delve deep into the ocean / And leave all the killing fields / But witness the devastation / Over Paris I'll fly again." It then breaks into a less shouty verse more reminiscent of a Zach de la Rocha stanza with a little less fluent English. Its successor "Spin Variations" clocks in at an ambitious 5:32, but glows with the same warm, cyclic guitar lead and docile verses in between booming choruses. "The Forging of Battle Plan B" opens with a muddy vocal track set back in the mix, which slowly comes to the forefront, takes a weird underwater Auto-Tune twist for a line or two, and then goes back to normal.

Where A Caesarean begins to lose steam is with "Headphone Music Op 001," which would run parallel to "The Apollo Programme Was a Hoax" if the latter was devoid of lyrical content. The CD gets back on track with the shifty "Hideko" and "Osaka, She Knows!", but lulls into tedium again with "Tu Es Monono?" The closer "A Million Years Now" virtually encapsulates the album as a whole, an interesting number awash with intensity and spoken word that stretches far too long at 11:15 and ends up negatively affecting the overall enjoyment.

Even with the questionable inclusion of the soft, long instrumental tracks, A Caesarean packs a certain type of punch you can't get anywhere else. Trim the fat here, and you have an excellent album. As it is, it's still pretty darn good.