CALIBAN – Announce “Zeitgeister”, out May 14th, 2021
It took German metalcore vets, CALIBAN recording a cover of Rammstein’s “Sonne” to realize that their native tongue was a seamless fit with their time-tempered collision of punishing riffs and Andreas Dörner’s urgent vocals. With fans hungry for the Essen-borne quintet to record an album exclusively in German, the band simply said: “Why not?” and “Zeitgeister” was born.
11 genre-defining LPs deep into their career, the band’s vision for the album came naturally – a career retrospective and deep-dive into CALIBAN favorites that haven’t had a live airing in some time.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but once we allowed us to make them as different from the originals as we felt it was needed it came fairly naturally”, explains guitarist and main songwriter Marc Görtz. Of course, some updating was necessary when it came to translating the songs to German. “It turned out to be surprisingly tricky,” says Dörner. “While I feel more at home with my native German it made it a lot more complicated, as I had more options to phrase something.”
Formed in 1997, CALIBAN’s legacy has been a tireless one, touring the globe and sharing stages with the likes of Kreator, Killswitch Engage and Dark Tranquillity just to mention a few “Zeitgeister” was a welcome homecoming. With the help of long-running producer Benjamin Richter (Moonspell, Emil Bulls and more) CALIBAN hand-picked seven tracks to bring new life to:
“Trauma“ (feat. Matthi from Nasty, originally “Arena Of Concealment”)
“Herz” (originally “I Will Never Let You Down”)
“Ausbruch nach Innen“ (originally “Tyranny Of Small Misery”)
“Feuer, zieh' mit mir“ (originally “Between The Worlds”)
“Nichts ist für immer“ (originally “All I Gave”)
“Intoleranz“ (originally “Intolerance”)
“Mein Inferno” (originally “My Little Secret”)
“Zeitgeister” also boasts a new track, “nICHts”.
Stay tuned for a first taste of “Zeitgeister” which will be released May 14th, 2021.
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Heavyweights CALIBAN aren’t interested in genres or being pigeonholed at this point. They’ve moved on. But as an integral part of the early modern metal scene in Europe—full-lengths Vent (2001), Shadow Hearts (2003), and The Opposite from Within (2004) cemented the Germans as must-hear, must-see talent—the tag was vouchsafed by fan and press alike upon CALIBAN’s crushing, breakdown-driven music. Now, more than a decade later, the attributes of modern metal persist within the Essen-based quintet’s music, but CALIBAN’s signature sound is informed by a more diverse set of influences. New album, Elements, is proof that the Germans are growing beyond the borders of the genre. “Elements is a logical progression from the last album [Gravity],” says CALIBAN guitarist Marc Görtz. “But we definitely expanded the range of music [we wanted to incorporate] on Elements. It’s going in extremely different directions. It’s heavier, but also more melodic. Also, Andy [Dörner] is doing all the vocals—harsh and clean—on the new album.”
Written over early summer through the fall of 2017, the main components of Elements took more time to complete due Görtz and CALIBAN’s exacting standards. The guitarist/songwriter says he didn’t really listen to other music while writing Elements. As a result, there are no defining or obvious influences coming into Elements that weren’t, say, on Gravity. It’s just CALIBAN, broader in scope, heavier in tone, and more melodic overall. “I started in early summer, writing the first couple riffs,” Görtz remembers. “But that’s not really considered a songwriting session. I constantly collect ideas. Then, I put them together, one after another, until they form a full song. I really try to not listen to too much music while I’m writing a new album. So, I guess there’s not one or two bands that I could mention as influences on Elements.” As with previous releases, CALIBAN invited a host of guests to appear on Elements. Long-time friends Matthi from Nasty and Sebastian “Sushi” Biesler from Eskimo Cowboy added vocals to “Ich blute für Dich,” as did Thy Art Is Murder’s Chris “CJ” McMahon, whose growls can be heard on “Before Later Becomes Never.” But the biggest surprise was the addition of Brian “Head” Welch, who added his unique voice to the pounding yet epic “Masquerade.”
“We always enjoy having other people on our album because it creates a totally different vibe,” says Görtz. “They add something very special to our music. We’ve known CJ for quite some time. Same with Matthi and Sushi. With Brian it was different. We all grew up with the music he was doing. He was very important to me as a guitar player. I started playing guitar because of Brian. It’s really a childhood dream to have worked with him. Having him on Elements is amazing.” Lyrically, Elements tackles the pressure of life in modern-day society. From love and hate to hope and despair, songs like opener “This is War,” “I Am Fear,” “Delusion,” “Sleepers Awake,” and the German-titled “Ich blute für Dich” express where CALIBAN’s heads are at in 2018. That these emotions are given symbolic values is something that makes perfect sense on Elements. “We used the elements Earth, Air, Fire, and Water as symbols for realization, ideas, power, and emotion,” Görtz explains. “These symbols inspire us to continue to do what we love the most, which is to create, evolve, and be inspired by our music. And these elements directly correspond to the cover art, which was done by Marcel Gadacz (Dream On, Dreamer). He did the art for Gravity, so we’re happy to have him back.”
Awakening—and studio wizard Benny Richter to co-produce with Görtz at his Nemesis Studios. CALIBAN also hired on Germany-based Andy Posdziech (Any Given Day) and buddy Sebastian ‘Sushi’ Biesler, as well as Australia-based Callan Orr (Dream On, Dreamer) to assist in the recording process. Elements was mixed by Görtz and mastered by Olman Viper, whose repertoire includes previous CALIBAN albums I Am Nemesis (2012), Ghost Empire (2014), Gravity (2016). “The production on Elements was pretty different,” says Görtz. “The instrumental side of the production was produced by me, Andy, and Callan. Then, Benny and myself worked on fine-tuning the music. The vocals, however, were produced by Benny, with Sushi acting as a vocal coach. We wanted Benny to focus on the vocals and the vocal production. Getting them right was very important to us.”
CALIBAN and Elements are coming for you!
By Chris Dick
Caliban - 1998 ∴ Advance Type - 1999 ∴ A Small Boy And A Grey Heaven - 1999 ∴ The Split Program - 2000 ∴ Vent - 2001 ∴ Shadow Hearts - 2003 ∴ The Opposite From Within - 2004 ∴ The Split Program II - 2005 ∴ The Undying Darkness - 2006 ∴ The Awakening - 2007 ∴ Say Hello To Tragedy - 2009 ∴ Coverfield - 2011 ∴ I Am Nemesis - 2012 ∴ Coverfield 2 - 2012 ∴ Ghost Empire - 2014 ∴ Gravity - 2016 ∴ Elements - 2018
Andreas Dörner - Vocals Denis Schmidt - Guitar Marc Görtz - Guitar Marco Schaller - Bass Patrick Grün - Drums