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Album Review: TBA

Friday, December 4, 2015

Album Review: Caligula’s Horse – Bloom

My first taste of Australian progressive technicians Caligula’s Horse comes as quite a shock. Having sampled the delights of Skyharbor & Alaya at recent UK TechFests and been blown away by each one’s recorded output, I see it as an honour to seek out like-minded souls. Yet here lying in my in-tray is a band that shares numerous similarities with each of the aforementioned tunesmiths but, with two albums already released, had not even grazed my radar.

Formed in 2011 in Brisbane by lead vocalist Jim Grey and guitarist Sam Vallen, their previous releases include euphoric debut Moments From Ephemeral City and 2013’s darker, more potent The Thief & River’s End. The success of the latter led them to share stages with acolytes Mastodon, Protest The Hero and The Ocean so can third album Bloom live up to it’s stirring moniker?

Well, it certainly acts as the perfect vehicle for Grey’s elegant vocal. It delicately introducing his softer side on the opening title-track before providing a musical framework for it on the elegaic melodic numbers like “Marigold” and “Daughter Of The Mountain”. The easy emotion he elicits prompts the listener’s heart to soar, the soul to become enveloped and the hairs to stand on end. Do also explore album-closer “Undergrowth” for his full monstrous range. Think of Daniel Tompkins’ (TesseracT) unerring capacity to beguile and you’ll not be far off the mark.

Deeper in there are big grooves, vast lyrical hooks and chorus-led giants like “Firelight” and “Turntail”, echoing both Intervals’ effortless power and Skyharbor’s knack for creating living pieces. Then come more malevolent hits such as “Dragonfly” and “Rust”, both riddled with hate-fuelled lyricisms – “She smiles like an open grave” and “Fuck your prayer for rain, pray for rust”.

Bloom certainly proves Caligula’s Horse are maturing nicely, varying their repertoire well to include a little light and a little darkness; all the while crafting music riddled with passion whilst keeping one eye firmly on the scene around them. First impressions have left me suitably impressed; now the band have swam into my field of vision, they most certainly won’t be my last.

Also online @ Ave Noctum =
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