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.
- Dream The Dead
- Will's Song (Let The Colours Run)
- The Hands Are The Hardest
- Love Conquers All
- Songs For No One
- Fill My Heart
- Inertia And The Weapon Of The Wall
- The Cannon's Mouth