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Caligula's Horse: The Tide, the Thief & River's End

This is a very nice mix of progressive metal and technical virtuosity. The band out of Brisbane, Australia, wears its influences well. I find the songs pretty melodic in their approach. "A Gift to Afterthought" is typical. This is a guitar-driven rave-up with varying tempos and heartfelt singing. But this is followed by the slow and somber "Water's Edge." This is an interesting choice, coming early in the record after a strong opener, but it helps demonstrate that the band is not afraid to play with expectations. Especially since toward the end it does a 180 and goes into a far more insistent styling. "Atlas" is also a slower tempoed composition, but with some staccato guitar thrown in. The stand-out song on the disc is "Dark hair Down," all angular musicianship and strong singing.

The band names a wide range of influences, from Jeff Buckley and Tori Amos (I suspect they mean this lyrically) to Zappa, Opeth and Devin Townsend. This latter seems most obvious; the songs are in the same kind of vein as Townsend's more proggy works. The band provides a lyric sheet, and it is worth reading. The writers are pretty literate, and the songs are thematically linked. This is an additional pleasure.

There is a lot of prog metal, and a lot of metal, that all sounds much the same. This distinguishes itself by its willingness to play with time and tempo, by its use of literate lyrics, and by the top-quality playing of its members.

Track Listing
  1. A Gift to Afterthought
  2. Water's Edge
  3. Atlas
  4. Into The White
  5. Old Cracks in New Earth
  6. Dark Hair Down
  7. Thief
  8. All Is Quiet by the Wall

Added: October 18th 2013
Reviewer: Dana Lawrence
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2963
Language: english

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