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Album Review

Caliban is singer/mandolinist Lief Sorbye and fiddler Michael Mullen, both members of the progressive Celt-rock band Tempest. Caliban is their acoustic side project, one which focuses specifically on traditional material. Sorbye is a highly accomplished mandolin and bouzouki player, and he acquits himself beautifully on tunes like "Tipsy Sailor" and "The Open Door." Mullen is a fine fiddler as well, and an especially sensitive and tasteful accompanist. But Sorbye's singing is less enjoyable than his playing, and the stripped-down acoustic duo setting only makes his vocal limitations all the more obvious, especially on the lovely Norwegian ballad "Jeg Lagde Meg Sa Silde" and Richard Thompson's heartbreaking "Beeswing." He sounds better when there are more (and louder) musicians supporting his voice. This disc is by no means without its pleasures-it's just that most of them are instrumental.


Formed: 1997 in Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

German deathcore band Caliban was formed in 1997, and signed almost immediately with Lifeforce Records, which released their eponymous EP the very next year. A hard-working bunch, the band then embarked on a relentless touring and recording schedule, traveling as far as America and Japan while intermittently putting out records like 1999's Small Boy and a Grey Heaven, 2000's split CD with labelmates Heaven Shall Burn, 2001's Vent, and 2003's Shadow Hearts. All of this hard work gradually built Caliban's...
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Caliban, Caliban
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