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Caliban - Supported by The Agony Scene, Maintain and Neaera
DemonDust like to be outside every now and then and only two days after the four-band gig in Haarlem we got to Arnhem to see another four bands in a row. This time, it was all metalcore with the main act Caliban supported by The Agony Scene. And although it was pretty cold outside, the sun was shining brightly and my mood was increasing with every minute, especially after the nice conversation I had with Mark and Andy by the main act, who told me that they would play some material from every album they’ve made so far. Metalcore, in Arnhem, that must be a blast, don’t you think?
To be honest I can’t recall that much of their show. Just take your basic modern metalcore, throw in some high pitched screams and a aggressive performance and you’ve got exactly what all those other bands are doing. I believe there were no emo vocals, just extremely nasty screams and roars. Nice to see for like three or four tracks, but then it quickly turns into one of those bands of which you feel like you’ve seen them over and over again, against your will, making you suffer with boredom. Nothing special.
Second on the bill was Maintain and this band also didn’t bother the two of us. Despite the fact that the variation in metalcore this evening was pretty high, I thought that Maintain could just have been replaced by any other band in this genre for a warm up. However, the warm up this band did was a pretty nice one. The interaction with the crowd was pretty nice (the venue was already pretty much filled by now) which made waiting for me a little bit nicer than I had expected on the forehand. If it was up to me, I’d say book this band some time and the opening act is a guarantee for a nice show.
The Agony Scene
After hearing the album, and seeing them open up for DevilDriver and Lamb Of God I revised my opinion on modern metalcore. There still is hope! These guys just added that small ingredient that makes them stand out between all those wannabe posers and fashioncore butfucks. Nastier, rougher, darker and very violent, something that surely appeals to me. They played a great show, with a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The breakdowns sounded very overwhelming and I could barely contain myself from punching someone’s lights out in the moshpit.
A real nice thing was that the vocalist didn’t sing most of his emo parts in the microphone, but he just sang them to himself I guess. I liked that, just keep it rough and evil I say! A monstrous show, by a monstrous band that I would like to see more often in the future.
For me, this was the reason to go to Arnhem and watch another four bands in a row (after the Hed. pe gig) Of course, a lot of songs were played from ‘The Undying Darkness’ and I was especially interested in the way the clean vocals would come out. It turned out to be a pity. Although the opening song ‘Rape Myself’ came out perfect, other songs from the new album didn’t really make it. I do not understand why Denis is making it so difficult for him to sing such incredible technical stuff. It sounds weird on the album (but it is actually absolutely perfect and clean) but live it’s still not that good. However, Andy’s voice seemed to be improved a lot, although his throat bothered him a bit that day. Songs from every album passed by and I indeed noticed a difference in the pre-Opposite from Within period according to the sound, but the accent lay on the last album with songs like ‘Song about Killing’, ‘Nothing is Forever’, the absolute killer song ‘Together Alone’ and my personal favourite ‘My Little Secret’ from TOFW. Unfortunately, me and DemonDust had to go earlier than the show ended to get our trains but I can surely conclude that Caliban indeed is developing itself more and more, just as Mark predicted with a good live performance, nice interaction and some killer breakdowns that will make you wish you had two necks.