The Undying Darkness (Abacus)
by Hansel Merchor
Is déjà vu for real? I’m 101 percent sure I’ve not heard The Undying Darkness before, yet it sounds so familiar. The particular way in which the drums and the guitar work together is quite entertaining. The six-stringers speed up and so does the drummer with double-bass work, which is a must by now. Sure, that’s been done more times than a porn star’s ass, but people aren’t sick of the approach yet. German powerhouse Caliban does the whole metalcore meets the NWOSDM (New Wave of Swedish Death Metal) thing quite well, and for a debut full-length, The Undying Darkness is really good. But this record drops the chops and relies on about two dozen clichés. Check the guitar squeal on track… sorry I can’t tell you which track it is, because even though The Undying Darkness contains 12 songs, my promo copy says I’m on song 48. Or check the above-mentioned machine lock between guitar and drums: It recalls Fear Factory. The switch in the vocals is another issue. When mad, his throat sounds raw and blistered; when friendly, friendly is annoying. And we’ve all heard that a thousand times already as well.