Release DetailsLABEL Lifeforce Records
RELEASED ON 7/26/2005
Caliban vs. Heaven Shall Burn
The Split Program II
posted on 7/2005 By:
Before dueling with this specific release, I had no idea that Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn had collaborated with each other, let alone that they had previously released The Split Program some four years earlier. But, after conducting some research at my local library, I stumbled onto the useful, aforementioned information. So, how’s the final product then? That’s not an easy question to answer, due to the myriad attributes that need describing, but I’ll hazard a reply and say that The Split Program II is relatively cool, but entirely unnecessary.
Obviously, both bands each occupy half the record: Heaven Shall Burn lead off by contributing six numbers including covers of Merauder and Endstand; Caliban follow by issuing five songs. Thus, the structure is not abstruse. Now, I’ve delved into the most current releases from both entities, so I knew what to expect from them and – when forced to choose – I’d give the nod to Heaven Shall Burn. And, The Split Program II simply reinforces that notion. Again though, both bands can be confined to the metalcore subgenre, and the two groups once resided alongside one another on the Abacus Recordings roster, which gives a general inclination as to what each music-maker, here, sounds like. The opener “Unleash Enlightenment” is basically an extension of Antigone. That is, fuzzy metalcore that’s infused with melody, and the guys have oft been described as a melodic death outfit. Either way, Heaven Shall Burn’s integrity doesn’t falter on this split.
Caliban, conversely, play a more traditional version of metalcore. The groove-heavy instrumentation (a la As I Lay Dying, Unearth, etc., etc.) is interweaved with commonplace vox and Killswitch Engage-esque singing. It’s not a façade I’m too comfortable endorsing, and The Opposite from Within didn’t floor me, either. Still, in spite of my negative feelings toward tunes such as “The Revenge” and “One Day,” they’re still mildly enjoyable and are designed to make you move, which they do. But the latter half of the disc is devoid of requisite idiosyncrasies, and I simply can’t vouch for it.
Ultimately, The Split Program II is a nice little package for those metalcore freaks out there. I think it’s mostly extraneous, though. What I do recommend, however, is picking up Heaven Shall Burn’s Antigone, and leaving it at that. So, do that I guess.
Register to post comments.