With 16+ years under their belts, Germany’s CALIBAN are by no means rookies to the metal circuit. Still they have maintained a fresh approach to every new album and will take some people by surprise with “Ghost Empire”.
Soon after CALIBAN released their acclaimed album “I Am Nemesis” in February of 2012, the band began spreading their virus on the “Get Infected Tour” featuring We Butter The Bread With Butter, Winds Of Plague, Eyes Set To Kill and Attila. Spring and summer saw them stopping at festivals such as Impericon Fest (D), Vainstream Rockfest (D), Dour (B) or Deichbrand (D). Autumn took them to Russia before they embarked on an extensive tour with Trivium and As I Lay Dying. This tour laid the foundation for their new friendship with Trivium which ultimately led to Trivium frontman Matt Heafy doing guest vocals on “Falling Downwards” – a track available on the limited as well as digital edition of “Ghost Empire”. CALIBAN wrapped up a busy 2012 by teaming up with their longtime friends in HEAVEN SHALL BURN for 3 legendary shows in order to celebrate both bands’ 15 year anniversaries.
During the summer of 2013 CALIBAN headed for China, played international festivals such as Greenfield Festival (CH), Nova Rock (A), Flame Festival (I), Graspop (B), With Full Force (D) and Elbriot (D), and added some one-off headlining shows in between. On said tour CALIBAN invited a camera team to join them on their nightliner in order to film an entertaining and in-depth documentary that provides the viewer with an intimate look into CALIBAN’s life on the road. This footage can be seen as part of the limited edition of “Ghost Empire”.
By the time CALIBAN played their three anniversary shows with HEAVEN SHALL BURN guitarist Marc Görtz was itching to start writing again: “I usually collect loose ideas for riffs and arrangements over a certain amount of time. Everything I write is recorded as a demo. I’m even programming drums to see if a riff or a whole song really works.” Co-producer Benny Richter gets involved at an early stage by bouncing ideas back and forth with Marc. Since “Ghost Empire” is the 4th album they have produced together, Marc Görtz and Benny Richter are a well-established team. “Benny is almost like a 6th member of the band. By now he knows exactly where I want to take my ideas and is helping to shape them up.”
“Ghost Empire” shows CALIBAN with a revamped sound that follows the same direction they took with “I Am Nemesis”, while pushing things even further. The biggest novelty is Andy Dörner’s vocals. Aside from screaming he is also singing on “Ghost Empire”, sometimes together with his companion Denis Schmidt, sometimes on his own and other times with one of the several guest vocalists on the album such as Chirstoph Koterzina on “Good Man”. For the stunning “nebeL”, the band’s first song sung entirely in German, they received support from their longtime friend BastiBasti / Callejon (– who did the art for their album “Say Hello To Tragedy”). “Andy working really hard on his vocals gave the whole album a complete new sound”, explains Marc.
The album was mixed by Klaus Scheuermann and mastered by Olman Viper who both played an important role in the sound of “Ghost Empire“, according to Görtz. “It’s always good to bring in a pair of fresh ears and allow people to find completely new interpretations for certain aspects of an album. Klaus has the perfect ear for our sound. He knows exactly what we need while never trying to push anything onto us. Right now, I cannot think of anybody else that I’d want to mix our albums. When it comes to mastering I don’t know anybody who’s better than Olman Viper.”
However, “Ghost Empire” isn’t just striking because of its songs and sound, but also because of its amazing artwork created by UK artist Christopher Lovell. The art is a direct reflection of the overall dark vibe and theme of the album, says vocalist Andy Dörner: “The lyrics are a mix of fictitious stories with real or even personal backgrounds mixed in. On the one hand it deals with human chasms, emptiness and failure, but on the other hand it is about solidarity and awakening.” You’ll find anything ranging from the emptiness of people who just care about their own benefit (“King”), visions of the Apocalypse (“Wolves And Rats”), revenge (“Devil’s Night”), strong emotions (“nebeL”, “Cries And Whispers”, “Who We Are”), a call to start a revolution (“Chaos – Creation”, “I Am Rebellion”) to a song dedicated to their loyal fans (“yOUR Song”).
CALIBAN will start the touring cycle for “Ghost Empire” where shows are most exciting – in small, hot and sweaty clubs on 3 exclusive release shows. Extensive touring is already being booked so watch out for dates and the billings of upcoming summer festivals where you can chime in to “yOUR Song”:
This is your song - this is our song
We’re coming home - where we belong
This is your song - this is our song
We’re flesh and bone, so sing along