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Kaliban: The Tempest of Thoughts

Kaliban's debut album The Tempest of Thoughts was originally released a few years ago on Low Frequency Records, but didn't garner much attention. Now with their move on to the competent label Crash Music, the album is reissued with the same tracks, except that their order is slightly different. The new presentation of the songs certainly seems to be a better fit than the original pressing. The mix and production, however, seem untouched and I couldn't detect much of an improvement in either department.

Not to be confused with the modern hardcore band Caliban, this Finnish ensemble, spelt with -K-aliban, plays a classic mix of power metal with speedy guitar riffs, huge choruses sung by both male and female vocalists, atmospheric synth work, and a not-too-destracting-from-the-music type of rhythm section. The death growls done by guitarist/vocalist Henri Peltola may suggest Children of Bodom and Norther to some, but it's less intense and vigorous than anything Alexi Laiho has ever done. Peltola'a voice is gruff, limiting his chance to go for a deeper scream type of singing as the Norther and Wintersun vocalists tend to do, so he often changes to clean singing mostly in the choruses. Various guests offer keyboard services as well as female lead and back vocals as on "Forever in Bloom" and "The Crimson Ark" where Peltola basically duets with the female singer Kaisa Jouhki. Melodic guitar riffs, lots of classical synth addition, and a slow, midtempo bass-drum combo help make the vocals the centre of attention for a while, before the band kicks back in gear with either an acoustic interlude or a thick power chord fury. There are hints of folk music themes heard on "The Angel" where distant female vocals hum a nice melody to complement the acoustic guitars. Sadly, the main riff that follows the theme is weak, both production-wise and musically, and keeps the song from being the best piece on this album. Touches of sitar and didgeridoo are available on the most original track "Call of Siren" which features a brave classical passage performed entirely on strings and keyboard-driven melodies.

Although produced by Anssi Kippo of Children of Bodom and Sinergy fame, the album seriously suffers from lack of dynamics, a thin guitar punch, and hollow drum sound. Since the songwriting could also use more variety, this certainly prevents the album from leaving a good impression on the listener. Hopefully their next album on Crash Music will be a more memorable effort.

Track Listing

  1. Into
  2. Orchard
  3. Carnal Cage
  4. The Angel
  5. Forever in Bloom
  6. The Crimson Ark
  7. Call of Siren
  8. My Songs Silent
  9. Time to Burn

Added: September 11th 2005
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Score:
Related Link: Crash Music
Hits: 3121
Language: english

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