Dec 192011

There’s now extensive evidence that hundreds of millions of years ago, all of Earth’s continents were joined together in one “super-continent” that scientists call Pangaea. Over immense periods of time, Pangaea divided into two smaller super-continents called Laurasia and Gondwanaland. Those giant land masses eventually divided into the continents we see today, and they have been drifting apart ever since, through the operation of plate tectonics.

Less than hundreds of millions of years ago, I listened to a shit-ton of melodic metalcore. In fact, it made up a significant majority of the metal I used to crank up on a daily basis. It was like a big land-mass of music where I lived. Over time, I’ve steadily drifted away from it, to the point where I almost never listen to it at all. I’ve moved away from it, or it moved away from me, and there’s now an ocean between us. The genre became saturated, but in my case, the main explanation is that my tastes changed.

It’s not enough to say that melodic metalcore stagnated, though it has. I now listen to genres of metal that haven’t changed much more than metalcore has changed over the same period of time, or even longer (old-school death metal anyone?). My tastes have simply moved in the direction of more extreme music.

One of the melodic metalcore bands whose albums I used to eagerly consume as they came out was Germany’s Caliban. They’ve been putting out albums since 1999, and they still are. The latest (their 8th) is called I Am Nemesis, and it’s scheduled for a North American release by Century Media on Feb. 28, 2012. This morning, the band released an official music video for the first single, “Memorial”. For Caliban, time has stood still.

The song invokes feelings of nostalgia for a time when music like this meant something to me. But the nostalgia didn’t last long. Nostalgia, in general, isn’t something to which I fall prey, believing (in general) that the present is better than the past, and the future will be better still. So, although I had a fleeting moment of happiness when I heard this song, the feeling has passed.

It has all the usual elements, including some headbangable rhythms, some snarly vocals, and a catchy, emotional melody — one that’s still lingering in my head, though I suspect it will be gone soon. To celebrate the holiday season, the video is also constructed around a commentary on religion, or at least churches and priests.

To return to the opening analogy, there is a scientific hypothesis that Pangaea was not the first super-continent, and that the process of drift occurred before — with land masses starting as one, then moving apart, and then drifting back together again to form Pangaea, whereupon the process started all over. Does anyone think we will be pulled back to melodic metalcore someday? Or maybe you never drifted away from it in the first place. Does it still mean something to you, apart from a trip down memory lane? Or did you never get into it in the first place?

You might ponder these questions while you watch the video for “Memorial”, which premiered on Metal Hammer.

  13 Responses to “CONTINENTAL DRIFT”

  1. My turds after drinking too much coffee are rather massive and all stuck together, only to slowly dissipate and spread out over the whole of the water world beneath my heavenly ass. Each piece a part of the whole…each island but a reminder of the main land and the glorious, puckered hole from which they plop, plop, plopped. Each fractured shard of shit infected with teeming colonies of bacteria, thriving with naked abandon, until at last the gaping maw of the Plumbing swallows them whole.

    *broodingly takes a drag from the cigarette mysteriously discovered between my fingers*

    Daily Pangaea.

  2. I was one of those people who never really got into metalcore. Personally, I like my metal like I like my nutsack: fuzzy, dirty and dripping with evil. So genres like metalcore, djent, technical death metal – with their emphasis on “clean” production (can you tell I’m not a musician?) – don’t really do it for me. There are exceptions to every rule, of course; I love me some NILE. But when I hear stuff like this…while I can appreciate the metalness (it’s a word) of it…it really just doesn’t turn my crank at all.

    • I always get confused as to what’s metalcore and what’s deathcore… But generally they don’t do much for me. I liked Trivium’s Shogun and Ascendency when I first heard them, but that’s all I can think of…

      The sing-scream thing sometimes works damn well, but all too often it feels like a gimmick that is relied on, instead of thoughtfully used.

      But I’m no musicians, so maybe my ears are just blind.

      Although, it’s weird, because I like growlies and I like cleanie singers, but combined is just generally not what I want.

  3. I try to get all high-brow with plate tectonics, and in no time we’re talking about fractured shards of shit and nutsacks. Thank you for correcting my drift gentlemen!

  4. Must… resist… urge… to say… that Caliban… are… super… generic…

    And… also… terrible… live…

  5. I always get these guys mixed up with Carnifex, who I love because they’re slowly doing that downward slide into Death Metal.

  6. I’ve always seen Caliban as some sorta poor mans Heaven Shall Burn, probably thei split CD has something to do with it. Not that I’ve ever really listened to Caliban, just a couple of songs to state it’s not for me. And after listening to this song I see why Andy thinks it’s generic.

  7. The chorus is lame. And it is not because of the clean vocals; it is just very contrived sounding. Guitar tone is nice though… Anyhow, hopefully Heaven Shall Burn will release something next year. It will undoubtedly shatter my eardrums.

  8. I paused Dismember for that? Stupid metalcore bands

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