Rating:
7.9
Caligula's Horse - The Tide, The Thief & River's End
1 October 2013


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


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.

Overall the sound is more geared toward traditional prog fans with passages completely devoid of metal elements. Jazz elements dropped here and there, groovy bass lines a la Rush coming from the baseline, and multiple harmonies that have more in common with traditional rock added in for good measure, all of those make for a surprisingly fresh blend of music.

Vocalist Jim Grey is at times close to Einar Solberg (Leprous), at times close to Lars Eric Si (Winds). His vocals are fresh and haunting at the same time. For me, his vocals are one of the killer components beside the prominence of acoustic guitars and unabashed rhythmic breaks.

The main attraction of their music has to be the seamless simplicity with which the band transgresses genres within the same track. This is the mark of an accomplished band. It is almost scary at times how much I end up enjoying a song that initially leaves me with the impression of detached indifference.

Compared to their debut album Moments From Ephemeral City, their latest album has a more polished sound. Some might say too clean even. But for this type of music I find it absolutely justified. The songs are perhaps less adventurous but more thought-through and well-rounded. Regardless, both albums deserve your full-fledged attention.

The margin of progression of Caligula's Horse is enormous. All things considered, this bold band from Brisbane have managed to bring their fresh vision to the world of progressive metal. An album definitely recommended for fans of Karnivool, Haken, Leprous, Demians, Riverside, as well as modern incarnations of Opeth and Katatonia and other great progressive outfits with hints and structures of metal music.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Caligula's Horse
Album: The Tide, The Thief & River's End


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 20.01.2014



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 5  
Users visited: 155  
Search this topic:  


Diverge - 20.01.2014 at 01:37  
I honestly cannot agree with some of the ways you characterized Jim Grey and even your assessment of the album relative to Moments, but the overall rating and sentiment is spot on.
R'Vannith - 20.01.2014 at 04:38  
The quality I like best about this band is without a doubt how eclectic their influences are, drawing from such a beneficial range of big name progressive metal bands. It makes this album consistently surprising and interesting. Their ability to blend them all together brings out that, as you say, "seamless simplicity with which the band transgresses genres within the same track."

It's strange but I find it to be original in this way, yes we can hear the influences quite obviously coming through in their music, but they never stick with one influence, and continually move on to another to keep things varied. Not to mention they have clear aptitude for writing progressive music.

As far as Australian progressive metal goes, I think this band strike a special balance between those sounds of more alternative leanings, such as Karnivool, while also pushing a progressive sound we haven't managed for some time, to my knowledge. A promising band indeed.
Monolithic - 20.01.2014 at 11:18  
Written by R'Vannith on 20.01.2014 at 04:38

The quality I like best about this band is without a doubt how eclectic their influences are, drawing from such a beneficial range of big name progressive metal bands. It makes this album consistently surprising and interesting. Their ability to blend them all together brings out that, as you say, "seamless simplicity with which the band transgresses genres within the same track."

It's strange but I find it to be original in this way, yes we can hear the influences quite obviously coming through in their music, but they never stick with one influence, and continually move on to another to keep things varied. Not to mention they have clear aptitude for writing progressive music.

That really echoes my opinion on CH's music in general. I think this is a genuine case of originality where you don't actually create a new dimension, instead you change your approach in songwriting and executing every note by keeping things varied without turning it into a mess.

Great review btw, Tutor.
Panterica - 21.03.2014 at 20:44  
One of the most pleasant surprises I had from the passing year. I'm not super excited about the production, but everything else is superb.
P.S - Am I the only one thinking that the vocalist sounds a bit like Tool's while the lead guitar player share some qualities with Guthrie Govan?
Now that's a combination I never thought I'll hear!
Prohi24 - 23.11.2014 at 16:00  
You're not alone, man! I hear Maynard on every their song . My girlfriend doesn't think so :-P. Anyways, for me these are pretty mild reviews, Sam is as innovative guitarist as they come regarding everything from rhythm, overdubbing melodies, great and tasteful soloing and of course the hardest thing, seemingly blending it all together! Grey has really great balanced vocals, one of the best that i heard in a while (especially as a fan of Maynard). Not to forget, whole band sounds tight and bursting with energy. All in all, great album, great music, one of the rare albums that i listened through and through like a 50 times and couple of weeks!

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Caligula's Horse - The Tide, The Thief & River's End 12 09.11.2013 by Hex_Omega
Reviews Arch Enemy - Rise Of The Tyrant 6 13.10.2007 by Piro
Reviews Virgin Steele - The Black Light Bacchanalia 6 12.12.2010 by Ellrohir
Reviews Scarpoint - The Silence We Deserve 6 13.11.2007 by Ozman
Reviews Blind Guardian - At The Edge Of Time 6 21.09.2010 by WorpeX



Hits total: 2935 | This month: 95