Release date: 1 October 2013
Style: Alternative metal, Progressive metal

Rating:

8.4 | 57 votes

Owners:

35 have it
12 want it


01. A Gift To Afterthought
02. Water's Edge
03. Atlas
04. Into The White
05. Old Cracks In New Earth
06. Dark Hair Down
07. Thief
08. All Is Quiet By The Wall

Review
Lyrics (8)


Line-up
Jim Grey - vocals
Zac Greensill - guitars, vocals
Sam Vallen - guitars
Geoff Irish - drums
Dave Couper - bass, vocals

Staff review by
Demonic Tutor

Rating:
7.9
2013 was a great year for progressive metal fans as long as they knew where to look. A perfect example of a hidden gem of an album was Caligula's Horse second studio album. The Australian combo managed to bring their dynamic vision of alternative metal blended with progressive metal not without evoking current greats such as Karnivool, Haken and Leprous.

Read more ››
published 20.01.2014 | Comments (4)

Staff pick by
Introspekrieg

09.11.2013 With their debut "Moments From Ephemeral City" in 2011, I wasn't sure if it was a one-off fluke or indicator of future greatness. Now that "The Tide, The Thief & River's End" is finally here, I am extremely happy to find that they have improved in every aspect and put out another solid album. For fans of Karnivool, Fair To Midland, Lunatic Soul, Haken, Opeth, Tool, and Leprous.

Listen

Introspekrieg's picks | More picks ››
  Thumbs up: R'Vannith, BloodTears, Nefarious, Ivor

Found in 11 lists
Top lists

MechanisT XIII  | #22
R'Vannith Albums of interest: 2013  | #37
Diverge Gems From 2013, Now with Pad Thai!  | #59
hadriel Hadriel's Favorites Of 2013  | #7
Red_Travis My Top Albums Of 2013  | #77
Starchild Best Albums Of 2013! #by Starchild#  | #4
LascaillesShroud Top Albums of 2013  | #13
Lethrokai This Prog Fan's Top 35 Albums Of 2013 (All Genres)  | #8
More lists with this album (11) | Create a list! ››



Comments

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Comments: 28  
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Hex_Omega - 09.11.2013 at 14:02  
Rating: 8 Good album but hm... Sounds too similar to Leprous in some moments.
mz - 09.11.2013 at 15:39  
Rating: 9
Written by Hex_Omega on 09.11.2013 at 14:02

but hm... Sounds too similar to Leprous in some moments.

This could be a compliant. Definitely a good thing =p
Hex_Omega - 09.11.2013 at 18:25  
Rating: 8
Written by mz on 09.11.2013 at 15:39

Written by Hex_Omega on 09.11.2013 at 14:02

but hm... Sounds too similar to Leprous in some moments.

This could be a compliant. Definitely a good thing =p

I prefer originality
Diverge - 09.11.2013 at 20:50  
Rating: 8
Written by Hex_Omega on 09.11.2013 at 14:02

Good album but hm... Sounds too similar to Leprous in some moments.

Leprous is definitely not my comparison of choice here.
musclassia - 10.11.2013 at 17:46  
Rating: 8
Written by Diverge on 09.11.2013 at 20:50

Written by Hex_Omega on 09.11.2013 at 14:02

Good album but hm... Sounds too similar to Leprous in some moments.

Leprous is definitely not my comparison of choice here.


Me neither, I hear some of Haken, Karnivool, and others in the album, but it didn't make something like Tall Poppy Syndrome spring to mind. Still, very nice album.
Lethrokai - 11.11.2013 at 19:25  
Rating: 9 Really impressive album. The prog scene has REALLY been delivering this year! Great for prog fans like me.

Loving the emotion that both the singer and guitarist seem to share. Can't believe I hadn't heard of this band yet.
LascaillesShroud - 12.11.2013 at 00:47  
  I usually don't like squeaky clean production too much, but this album is really well done and just beautiful.
LeKiwi - 12.11.2013 at 02:29  
Rating: 9
Written by LascaillesShroud on 12.11.2013 at 00:47

I usually don't like squeaky clean production too much, but this album is really well done and just beautiful.

Squeaky clean is a trend in this vein of metal, you're going to have to get used it and look past the production.
LascaillesShroud - 12.11.2013 at 03:28  
 
Written by LeKiwi on 12.11.2013 at 02:29

Written by LascaillesShroud on 12.11.2013 at 00:47

I usually don't like squeaky clean production too much, but this album is really well done and just beautiful.

Squeaky clean is a trend in this vein of metal, you're going to have to get used it and look past the production.


That's kind of what I did is it not? By admitting the album was really done and beautiful. Also, squeak clean may be a trend - but it's not nothing I have to get used to. Plenty of bands are still doing really good, raw productions - or just good, vintage sounding production. (Everything from Wound and Returner to Jess and the Ancient Ones)
SWAMPL0RD - 12.11.2013 at 04:11  
  ^^^ I personally like the trend towards "clean production." Musicians now have great technology that I'm sure some older bands would have loved to get their hands on back then. To me post-production/ mastering is becoming as important as it is in the film industry. The song writing can be great and the track recording can go perfectly for the musician, but sometimes things just need a little "polishing" so to speak. Also, it helps if you have a good pair of head phones to really appreciate all the little details. On the flip-side some bands/albums need that "raw production" sound to produce the vibe they're looking for. Too me it's kind of like, "This is exactly how we sound, and if you don't like it, we don't give a shit," mentality.
LeKiwi - 12.11.2013 at 14:41  
Rating: 9
Written by LascaillesShroud on 12.11.2013 at 03:28

That's kind of what I did is it not?

I know you did this time, however you'd be limiting yourself if this case was an exception. That may not be the case, but that's all I was trying to point out
LascaillesShroud - 13.11.2013 at 00:45  
  Well I'll always give something a fair, and full listen. Just statistically if production is TOO clean it just hinders the music for me.
Northern Danger - 13.11.2013 at 09:21  
  By the way,awesome album!
Diverge - 14.11.2013 at 03:24  
Rating: 8 This band has so much promise. I wouldn't say that they have everything perfected yet, but there are certainly lots of great moments on here. I tend to get lost in the early-to-mid part of the album right after the incredible opening track, but I get sucked right in for the last two or three tracks.
theembryo - 24.11.2013 at 09:47  
Rating: 8 Good view by Introspekrieg, and with a thumbs up from such as R'Vannith, BloodTears, Nefarious, & Ivor I found a first listen to the release to be a great pleasure. Worth the order in at Welkin.
Great thanks to MS for this heads up!
Starchild - 11.12.2013 at 18:39  
Rating: 9 Original, fresh sound, brilliant songwriting, awesome vocals... Debut was great, but this one is even better. Fantastic album!
Gelati - 24.12.2013 at 23:14  
Rating: 9 It's like Leprous went to djent school and threw a couple of intimate jazz breaks in. I fucking love it.
Dima - 25.12.2013 at 07:09  
Rating: 8 Love track 3
Diverge - 30.12.2013 at 01:05  
Rating: 8 With a couple of listens, my opinion has finally solidified.

Caligula's Horse begins the album with a stunning opening track that certainly stands out and gives a great first impression to new listeners. It is fairly Karnivool-y and Haken-y, but vocally, Jim Grey delivers one of the best performances of the year. Grey has improved in some aspects on the album. The second and third tracks, however, represent an immediate drop in quality relative to the quieter tracks on Moments, their debut. I find these moments are bearable only about 70% of the time, and I tend to skip them. While Moments had an instrumental interlude very early in the album that displayed the technical abilities of Sam Vallen and wound you up for the next track, I find that the absence of such a track on this album is a very poor structural decision. From Into the White onward, the album is stunning and not skippable at all; I especially enjoy the transition between the two final tracks. So structurally, in my opinion, this album has a very prominent flaw that the predecessor doesn't have.

The band demonstrated on the first album that they were capable of a dynamic, technical approach; Sam Vallen doesn't quite feel as involved on this album, even if the riffs are better and some of the ideas executed in the second half of the album are more interesting. The djenty-ness and unbelievable guitar work on the debut is, to a large extent, disregarded. This album lacks the ambition of the first album, and while the tracks here are sturdy, thought-provoking and filled with wonderful riffs and great moments, the djenty dynamism was a real strong suit of the band on Moments. It's gotten to the point where this album feels even worse every time you listen to the debut. I once gave this a 9, and downgraded to an 8; to see potential squandered this badly is a real shame, and while the damage is not irreparable, Vallen could very easily underwhelm again. Ideally, I want Caligula's Horse to turn into a Sam Vallen-solo project executed by these musicians, but given the success of this album, I don't really see how that will ever happen again. It's still very good, but certainly not in the excellent territory for me.
Lethrokai - 31.12.2013 at 12:02  
Rating: 9
Written by Diverge on 30.12.2013 at 01:05

The second and third tracks, however, represent an immediate drop in quality relative to the quieter tracks on Moments, their debut. I find these moments are bearable only about 70% of the time, and I tend to skip them.


I can understand feeling that way about the third track, but the second track was actually my favourite track on the album. I found it drew the best from both the softer and heavier worlds that CH was trying to explore.
Diverge - 02.01.2014 at 22:20  
Rating: 8
Written by Lethrokai on 31.12.2013 at 12:02

Written by Diverge on 30.12.2013 at 01:05

The second and third tracks, however, represent an immediate drop in quality relative to the quieter tracks on Moments, their debut. I find these moments are bearable only about 70% of the time, and I tend to skip them.


I can understand feeling that way about the third track, but the second track was actually my favourite track on the album. I found it drew the best from both the softer and heavier worlds that CH was trying to explore.

Haha I tend to be very picky with my prog metal nowadays, and overall it's a very good album. The quality of prog really dropped this year, in my opinion, so I might also be biased by my year-long sentiment towards the genre. I can understand why some people really like that second track, but I think Caligula's Horse was more successful with the quieter songs they created on Moments. Silence is vastly superior to any of the quieter tracks on this album.

For me, 8= very good with a few lapses,
9= uniformly very good with a few amazing moments
10= uniformly very good with many astonishing moments.
Unfortunately, the lapse was large enough here to interfere with my enjoyment of the album, and the technicality of the arrangements wasn't there. I rated it a 9 until I heard the debut, though.
BloodJuNkie - 04.01.2014 at 06:21  
Rating: 5
Written by Hex_Omega on 09.11.2013 at 14:02

Good album but hm... Sounds too similar to Leprous in some moments.


There's a huge gap between Leprous and this band!
mz - 06.01.2014 at 23:57  
Rating: 9 A lot of potential here. Beside the bands mentioned here, this album reminds me of Rishloo. Duno why and I'm not saying that these two bands are very similar but I somehow think about rishloo when listening to it. The main problem is that all of most of bands cited as similar bands , including tool, leprous, fair to midland and uneven structure have done a better album than this.In addition, as I said, I tend to compare this with rishloo and that does not do anything good for Caligula's Horse. All in all, a very good album with great musicianship and vocals and I hope they outdo their masters in the future.
mz - 08.01.2014 at 22:10  
Rating: 9 Voting up this to 9. Although what I said in previous comment is true, that does not say much as tool managed to produce my absoloute all time favorite and also rishloo's last album is among my top 20 albums of all time.
R'Vannith - 20.01.2014 at 04:47  
Rating: 8
Written by mz on 06.01.2014 at 23:57

A lot of potential here. Beside the bands mentioned here, this album reminds me of Rishloo. Duno why and I'm not saying that these two bands are very similar but I somehow think about rishloo when listening to it.


I agree entirely with this, for me the strongest way it comes across as similar to Rishloo is in the vocals. That feeling isn't always present, but it certainly becomes clearer to me at certain points in the album.
mz - 20.01.2014 at 10:58  
Rating: 9
Written by R'Vannith on 20.01.2014 at 04:47

I agree entirely with this, for me the strongest way it comes across as similar to Rishloo is in the vocals. That feeling isn't always present, but it certainly becomes clearer to me at certain points in the album.


yeah vocals are what the factor in this similarity. Compared to rishloo, C'sH is more calculated and less adventurous. Rishloo is kin of "raw" progressive rock band if you get what I mean.
Mr. Blonde - 01.02.2014 at 05:07  
  I honestly cannot understand why clean production values would ruin the vast majority of prog metal albums for anybody. When I say prog I mean in the context of "this type of prog". Surely prog death or prog black or prog (anything else often associated with extremity) would sometimes benefit from murkier production indeed.

But this type of virtuosic, alternative rock'ish, prog metal needs quality, clean production like grindcore needs shitty production. If Caligula's Horse had lousy production values, they would go no where. Modern technology is partly what allows bands like Karnivool and these guys to exist and excel. The late 70's UK prog acts would've killed for the recording technology available today. There is though a certain nostalgic (even for those not alive yet) charm to vintage, analogue driven recordings even in prog rock, I'll admit that much. I can appreciate different types of production values based on genres. The overall debate is sort of like film vs digital video in a sense. Surely there are films, particularly crime noir, horror, etc... that would look a lot cooler in 16mm film than shot with a flashy RED HD system. But in general, HD just keeps getting better and better, so why not use stunning visuals for most regular movies. Record industry is the same way. Unless the genre dramatically benefits from intentionally raw, gritty, murky production, I'd say the default option should be to go clean, and show off some stunning audio. Otherwise, why even bother improving technology?
Stunning Cactus - 02.02.2014 at 02:20  
Rating: 9 I am really loving this album right now. A very fresh sound to me.

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