Recent Reviews

19.11.2017

12.11.2017

05.11.2017

29.10.2017

22.10.2017

[ More Music Reviews ]


Caligula's Horse: In Contact
Caligula's Horse - In Contact CD Album Review

Caligula's Horse: In Contact

Progressive Rock/Metal
4.0/5.0

Formed a mere seven years ago Australia's Caligula's Horse has created an abiding presence in the world of progressive metal with three albums and one EP in five years. They make their return with a new long player, In Contact, which features new drummer Josh Griffin and new guitarist Adrian Goleby.

Caligula's Horse Band Photo

Caligula's Horse

Like 2013's The Tide, The Thief & River's End, this work is another concept album. Caligula's Horse describes In Contact as "an immense conceptual work discussing the nature of art and creativity, a celebration of what connects us as human beings - the shared space across our many differences. Told over four separate chapters, it is an album full of deeply personal stories, characters with their own bittersweet hope and tragedy." That's some pretty deep stuff. Yet, it's not clear from press material which how the ten songs are divided into four chapters.

Nevertheless, musically you can expect more of the same from Caligula's Horse: intricate and engaging progressive metal, draped in an alternative rock wrapper, and lead by Sam Vallen's impressive and fiery guitar work. If there's some compositional themes, one is juxtaposition, where heaviness and intensity is contrasted with lighter parts. This is heard at the start within Dream Of The Dead where furious riffage gives way to acoustic and vocal segues. Something similar is found within Songs For No One and the massive finishing number Graves. And all three have Vallen's killer, tear the roof off, solos.

In another sense that same juxtaposition defines the whole. The heavier Dream Of The Dead and Will's Song are followed by the more moderate The Hands Are The Highest and then the light and eloquent Love Conquers All. Then after the aforementioned, middle song, Songs For No One, the reverse transpires. Capulet mimics Love Conquers All, and then flows into Fill My Heart, light through the middle, only to develop sharp briskness in the latter third. After this and before the end, there's a spoken piece called Inertia and the Weapon of the Wall. I don't know if it's some creative writing from the band or an actual speech from some person, but it is emotional, volatile and, well, perplexing. It may have something to do with censorship. But it ends with "spitting in the canon's moth" or some such thing. And the next song is, The Cannon's Mouth, with more musical volatility braced against those calmer moments.

Needless to say, and as usual, a Caligula's Horse album, such as In Contact, requires some attentive listening (several times) for adequate consumption and dissection, even if musical patterns of the past return in the present. In other words, if you liked Caligula's Horse's previous material, you will enjoy this album. However, if you don't like having to work to hard to decipher and enjoy progressive music, you may feel differently. Otherwise, recommended.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Needless to say, and as usual, a Caligula's Horse album, such as In Contact, requires some attentive listening (several times) for adequate consumption and dissection, even if musical patterns of the past return in the present. In other words, if you liked Caligula's Horse's previous material, you will enjoy this album.

Find A Review

Alphabetical Index

a b c d e f g h i j
k l m n o p q r s t
u v w x y z #
Album of the Week
Click to read the Samarkind 2017 Debut CD Album review

You might be surprised when I say that some weeks the music I consider for review is so predictable to be merely mundane. And then I have to find words to say about it. I'm not necessarily looking for something ... [ Read More ]