Germany's CALIBAN proved how popular this style of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, Swedish-influenced, growl 'n' croon can be with the success of "The Opposite from Within". In fact, I rather enjoyed the band's most recent split with the far more inflammatory HEAVEN SHALL BURN, though that may have had more to do with a helping that is more easily digested in one sitting. So yes, "The Undying Darkness" will also appeal to fans of a metalcore style that has now officially been run into the ground. The quintet is fairly good at what it does even if "The Undying Darkness" does not exactly sound fresh or exciting.
Not every track sticks to the formula of thrashed-up, often syncopated riffing on the verse and soaring melodic vocals on the chorus. "Song About Killing" and "No More 2nd Chances" rip from start to finish in relatively convincing fashion. Vocalist Andy Dorner gargles broken glass the entire way through and the tunes offer up a crunch-fest of precision riffery. The sounds are captured competently by producer and IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Fridén (who also contributes guest vocals) and mixed to near perfection by the mighty Andy Sneap.
The standard formulaic fare is not overly hooky. In fact, most of the melodies are pretty average, although I did find "I Rape Myself" to have an especially memorable chorus. "It's Our Burden to Bleed" (for which a video has been made) is right up there as well. I was shocked to hear KREATOR's Mille Petrozza contributing vocals on "Moment of Clarity", a twist that allows the fiery thrasher to break apart from the pack — a cool song, I must say.
"The Undying Darkness" is not the most cutting-edge metalcore release I have heard, and it sure as hell will not do much to distinguish CALIBAN from the throngs of imitators. That said, it is a basically entertaining release with a handful of good songs and several decent, if predictable, ones. The competition for your dollars is awfully tough, and I am not sure that CALIBAN has stated its case strongly enough here, but the average melodic metalcore fan will probably enjoy the disc.