CALLEJON – Zombieactionhauptquartier

CALLEJON - Zombieactionhauptquartier
  • 8/10
    CALLEJON - Zombieactionhauptquartier - 8/10


Nuclear Blast
Release date: November 28, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Five studs from the German Rheinland area come over the Metalcore scene like a commando. Because their second album, although one has to count two EPs to their discography, too, is a tempest of riffs and aggression and melancholy at the same time. In order to avoid being accused of being just another band of that style, the five Germans call their music Screamo-Metal. But in spite of all those desperate tries to be original and anti-mainstream, their basic style is Metalcore. But that is not negative, because if something is tiring in Metalcore today, it is continuous repetition and hundreds of mediocre releases without character. Fortunately, that is exactly the opposite of Callejon.

The typical screams, standard groovy breakdowns and songs that end after four minutes, in a way which one saw coming 230 seconds earlier, is not their cup of tea. The ingredients are the same, but the outcome is so different, as they use influences from various sides as spices. The opening track “Zombified” is a kick in the teeth that the listener is afraid to show similarities to the cover pic. A neck breaker with Iron Maiden-like twin guitars, and one of the few breakdowns. Judged by this track alone, a characterization would be easy: Germany’s answer to Unearth. But Callejon do not let themselves be described so easily.

Instead of recording just a raw, brutal album, variety is the key word for Zombieactionhauptquartier. The next song, “Spiel Mir Das Lied Vom Sterben” contains clear vocals which reminds a bit of German Rock stars Die Ärzte, of course with a much heavier approach. It continues in a similar vein, before song four lets the aggression out again. The alternating between heavy tracks and melodic parts keeps the listener interested, and the album diverse. The clear production and powerful guitar sound leave nothing to wish for.

But before you go out and buy the album, there is a few things that need to be mentioned. First, as you may have guessed, the band sings in German. While during the harder Metalcore parts that is not so obvious, the more melodic, clear vocals driven songs, and parts, reveal melancholic and intelligent lyrics that go far beyond the 400-words-tops-Metal-aggro-dictionary.

Secondly, the album contains two atmospheric ballads. And those are found as songs seven and eleven, being essential parts of the album and definitely no fillers. This may not be to everybody’s liking, but the releases of bands who try to aim for the overall consensus have been characterized sufficiently above. The song “Phantomschmerz” actually could be played on mainstream radio as it is hardly heavy at all, but is nonetheless a great song. Unfortunately, the second ballad cannot meet that level of quality.

Also, the last song “Porn From Spain” contains a collaboration with German Rappers K.I.Z. Fortunately, it is the final track. While the song itself is good, rap is just too much and let’s one reach for the skip-button to start again with “Zombified”. But this bastard called Zombieactionhauptquartier, born from Unearth and German Pop, manages to combine the best of both worlds, so if you like your Metal fresh and interesting, you gotta get this one.

A final note: Today it is a habit to send out promotional CDs with voice overs. While everybody can certainly understand the aggravation one feels when the intern from the PR department talks over a great chorus, an intelligent solo or an especially moody section, in this case band and label tried to be a bit more original than that. The voice overs are spoken by the band themselves and are different on every song, varying from – roughly translated –  “stop this crap” to “making music is not a real job”, “try to work with a muck-rake” to “I am going to stab you, with your moldy teeth”. Still not good, but at least very funny.

Songs to bang to: “Zombiefied”, “Spiel Mir Das Lied Vom Sterben”, “Mein Puls = 0”, “Infiziert”.

Songs to smooch to: “Phantomschmerz”, “Fremdkörper”, “Und Wenn Der Schnee”…


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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