Well, seriously, I wasn’t expecting this. Not being one of metalcore’s adherents (of which there are many), I came to Caliban‘s latest album with little expectation; I also came to it at the end of a very tough week at work when I wasn’t in the mood for, in the nicest possible way, any dicking about. I know I should have been a little more open minded but you know how it is. Anyway, enough rambling. I Am Nemesis is, erm, really, really good, actually. Yeah, you weren’t expecting that either, were you?
I Am Nemesis is the eighth album from the German metalcore proponents and, like their earlier releases, it has that sometimes compelling, sometimes irritating mix of hardcore and hard melody. Perhaps it’s the skill of having done this for some time now but on I Am Nemesis all their efforts have come together to produce a pretty sterling effort actually. On Open Letter which is as catchy as a cold, they appear to have perfected the addition of clean singing into their repertoire and it’s accompanied by a production that lets the music breathe properly- it’s a
Most of the songs follow a pretty straightforward pattern and are structured around the classic leitmotifs of metalcore but there’s a grip and focus to the record that doesn’t let up for a second. I really like the Meshuggah-like stylings of opening track We Are The Many the crunchy riffs that underscore Dein R3ich. There is an equal amount of raw heaviness and melody that scorches through The Bogeyman and I was carried along very happily thank you very much with the charm (if that’s the right word) of No Tomorrow and the really excellent Edge of Black.
I Am Nemesis is neither as raw or out and out aggressive as their early stuff but there is no commercialised sell out here either; this is, after all, a metalcore album and it remains as aggressive and punchy as you would hope from one of the metalcore scenes principal architects whilst having a bucketload of clean singing, great hooks and choruses to go along with it. I Am Nemesis has a great production, a shopping trolley full of tunes and a level of accessibility that I was unprepared for but warmed to enormously. If you like Caliban then you’re invariably going to use phrases like “it’s one of their best” or “aaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhh” or something. For the rest of us, be happy in the knowledge that we have yet another corking heavy metal album to indulge in. Tasty.