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Caligula's Horse: In Contact

I couldn't help but be reminded of some of the great recent material of Anathema when listening to "Dream the Dead", the first track on this excellent new release from Australia's Caligula's Horse, titled In Contact. Filled with lush, instantly memorable melodies, layers of synths, and some gorgeous guitar solos, Caligula's Horse really created a song that proves to be irresistible and keeps you coming back for more. But, as we've seen from this band over the course of their previous three releases, they are not one to stick in one place for too long, instead liking to keep the listener on their toes. "Will's Song (Let The Colours Run)" follows, a caustic jump into Pain of Salvation styled progressive metal, with acrobatic time signatures and plenty of guitar thunder. This diversity continues with "The Hands Are the Hardest", a classy slice of melodic prog, featuring soaring vocals, layers of guitars, walls of keyboards, and tricky rhythms, while "Love Conquers All" offers up whispered vocals, synths, and gentle acoustic guitars for a more emotional approach.

And that's just the first four songs. "Songs For No One" blends progressive metal with hook laden pop, again the images of Anathema popping up but with clearly more guitar firepower than that band have ever shown. "Fill My Heart" brings plenty of drama, the haunting vocals blend with acrobatic drumming, serious guitar crunch, and a wealth of synths, before the Dream Theater inspired "The Cannon's Mouth" lends some potent prog-metal punch to the album. In Contact of course comes to a close with the mammoth 15-minute epic "Graves", a symphonic and at times atmospheric slice of adventurous prog with metallic embellishments, complete with some sensational guitar work and even a screaming sax solo!

Now four albums in, Caligula's Horse have amassed enough potent recorded material that should see their stock really start to rise on the world of progressive rock & metal. In Contact is highly recommended.

Track Listing

  1. Dream The Dead
  2. Will's Song (Let The Colours Run)
  3. The Hands Are The Hardest
  4. Love Conquers All
  5. Songs For No One
  6. Capulet
  7. Fill My Heart
  8. Inertia And The Weapon Of The Wall
  9. The Cannon's Mouth
  10. Graves

Added: November 19th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1910
Language: english

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Caligula's Horse: In Contact
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-11-19 22:29:40
My Score:

I first became familiar with Australian progressive metal band Caligula's Horse upon hearing their 2015 album Bloom. I have always professed the best part of reviewing music is discovering new up and coming bands and Caligula's Horse proved with that album they were/are a band to be taken seriously in the progressive music community. Well, the band continues their development with their latest release titled In Contact, again released on InsideOut Music. Just like their previous album the band injects moments of heaviness and complexity in just the right places, a perfect concoction of instrumental mastery and melodic sensibilities. In fact, In Contact may be a tad heavier than Bloom and maybe a little more diverse in stylistic approach. The band's penchant for atmospheric interludes is still there but the math rock/dgent style riffage is perhaps a little more intense this time around.

The songs are presented in four chapters; To The Wind, The Caretaker, Ink and Graves covering such themes as the connectivity between human beings, triumphs and tragedies and the creative process. The lyrics paint a dark visceral imagery that anyone can connect with and I think have continued to mature at a very high level.

Huge distorted riffs begin "Dream The Dead" with piano coursing between the barrage of heaviness. One of the strong points of the band's music is the dynamism between heavy and softer passages. The riffs stop abruptly, a common occurrence throughout the album and softly played keyboards and percussion lead into a mellower groove. The music builds into another progressive metal workout with math-like technical riffage and fabulous lead guitar before the intensity drops off once more. Gently picked guitar chords and strums lead into another tasty groove as the technical virtuosity is again on full display. "Will's Song (Let The Colours Run)" engages the listener quickly with galloping drums and tricky rhythmic patterns. The music reaches a feverish pace highlighted by blisteringly fast lead guitar proving Goleby can shred with the best of them. "The Hands Are The Hardest" is a little mellower with jangly guitar chords and a great melody. With the acoustic led "Love Conquers All" the lush vocals bear a hint of Steven Wilson whereas the heavy hitting "Songs For No One" is also one of the catchiest tracks here. The music of Leprous and Haken are good reference points.

The album ends with the fifteen minute epic "Graves" where the dynamic imagery between heavy and light, hard and soft is magnificent. The quieter atmospheric moments are offset by great builds in intensity.

Folks, believe me when I say this one is a real stunner and will surely place Caligula's Horse in the top echelon of progressive rock/metal bands in the current scene. Highly recommended!

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