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MOMENTS FROM EPHEMERAL CITY

Caligula's Horse

Progressive Metal


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Caligula's Horse Moments From Ephemeral City album cover
3.90 | 83 ratings | 4 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The City Has No Empathy (Your Sentimental Lie) (6:10)
2. Silence (7:13)
3. Singularity (3:33)
4. Alone In The World (11:04)
5. Ephemera (3:19)
6. Equally Flawed (6:09)
7. Calliope's Son (Don't Ever Look Back) (5:09)

Total Time: 42:37

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Sam Vallen / All instruments, production, composition
- Jim Grey / Vocals

Releases information

Independent Digital 2011

Thanks to andyman1125 for the addition
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Moments from Ephemeral CityMoments from Ephemeral City
Import
PID 2012
Audio CD$117.41
$106.18 (used)

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CALIGULA'S HORSE Moments From Ephemeral City ratings distribution


3.90
(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
26%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (16%)
16%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

CALIGULA'S HORSE Moments From Ephemeral City reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Admin / Heavy Prog Team / Math Rock Team
4 stars Alone in the world...

Caligula's Horse is an obscure, young, indie Australian eclectic progressive metal band. Started as a solo project for Quandary's guitarist Sam Vallen, when vocalist Jim Grey joined the project, the band grew into a fully functioning project. Their debut album, Moments from Ephemeral City, fuses the melodic progressive rock/metal of the guitarist's main band Quandary with the heavier metal of his aspirations for a truly eclectic brand of progressive metal. Each track fuses a great melodic diction with heavy bursts of fury with strong diversity running through the entire album. An overall powerhouse of modern progressive metal, and a fantastic and professional album as well, showing this band's apparent maturity and (hopefully) lasting mark on the genre.

The City Has No Life opens the album, first light and jovial, with some nice guitar work. It soon transitions into a nice guitar solo, with some nice harmonizations between the guitars. Quickly it transcends into the throes of trepidation, throwing in heavier riffs and rhythms to back the accelerating solos. The song takes no prisoners, however, having no trouble in transitioning into a mellow and melodic section. Even from this, the song flies into the heavier spectrum yet again, only to transition again and again, keeping the listener tuned to the stereo as the band throws countless dynamic changes in this apparently highly diverse music. Even from the first track, one can see the alarming skill the band possesses, with effortless transitions and compositional goodies peppering the track the whole way through. Despite being harsh at times in a lyrical sense, it has use with accents on the harsh swears at the most opportune times, accentuating the music at the essential parts. Overall, the song perfectly displays this band's vision, and outlines the way this band functions very well.

Silence opens with a mellow ambient acoustic part, with another great guitar solo to back it. Throwing in more ambient tricks, the song has a more spacey feel, with a much heavier emphasis on melody than metal in this track. It has a very chill atmosphere, fusing a cool proggy feel with some contrasting melodies. Although not as strong as the first track in a metal sense, it still has a strong creative output and a nice atmosphere.

Singularity has a stronger metallic groove going for it, opening with a great sweeping solo. It is a superb instrumental, showcasing the instrumental prowess of Vallen and co. (I'm not sure if there is a "co."). Although the themes get a bit repetitive, the great soloing and layering going on during the track really give it a nice spice.

Alone in the World, the massive 11 minuter on the album, is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Opening for once with a crushing djenty riff and some nice groove backing it, the track is the most obviously metal on the album. It sweeps in and out of a killer riff session and a great melodic vocal theme. With another killer guitar solo, the song's instrumental section is easily the best on the album. Vallen's unique style, although apparently Petrucci- influenced, has a really great vibe to it and has some great harmonization going on. The mellow breakdown in the middle of the track provides a nice breather to the intensity of the track and makes a nice contrast to the intense metal preceding it. The exiting solo is great, utilizing some really nice sounding sweeps and shreds. Overall, it is a fantastic track, fusing much of the band's overall style into a nice concise track.

Ephemera is a fantastic little melodic track, with some sublime harmony between the vocal parts and some really great acoustic work. The atmospheres and ambient layers also really add to the track very nicely, giving it a fantastic spacey feel. Another great feature is the symphonic pieces, accenting the music nicely. Overall a shorter, but very pretty, track; it gives the album a nice dynamic.

Equally Flawed, next to Alone in the World, is my favorite track on the album. Opening with a fantastic little piano diddy, it soon transitions into a sweeping metal groove session. Combining some really great melodies to front the great metal riffs and some really nice lyrics, the song has not trouble getting into the upper sonic echelons, utilizing some really amazing arrangements between each instrument for different themes from earlier in the track and countless other really fantastic compositional pieces.

Calliope's Son, although it opens with most likely the cheesiest opening I've ever heard is a great track. Although the first notes set you up for one of the cheesiest track ever, they soon modulate into a really fantastic mode. The song flows into a really great adventurous metal track, reaching heights as the smash hit success Haken did last year (2010), with some really fantastic metallic section and some really great contrasts and dynamics between each instrument. Overall it's a really fantastic track which really closes the album well.

ALBUM OVERALL: For a debut, this is spectacular. For an album, it's damn fantastic as well. Blasting out of only a little experience with an indie prog metal band, Sam Vallen and his trusty vocalist Jim Grey have come forth with a highly professional and superbly crafted section of music, with a fresh style and a great vision for the genre. Each track has countless little diverse tidbits that really give the album life, breathe air into a great composition, and set this band off onto the great road to success, and a great cult following of devoted prog listeners. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#432031) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Moments From Ephemeral City' - Caligula's Horse (8/10)

Progressive metal has seen something of a resurgence in recent years. Of course, the style never truly halted, but it's only been in the past few years where the fusion of prog and metal has been given a new, modern face to it. Caligula's Horse is a band that aptly defines where I think the sound is at nowadays; a draw of melodies, chunky Meshuggah-like rhythms and general response to modern trends in rock. Suffice to say, this Australian act is able to avoid many of the tired conventions that once had me turn my nose at the 'new' progressive metal coming out. Made even more impressive by the fact that this is more-or- less a one man operation, Caligula's Horse and its debut album will not feel out of place in any progressive metalhead's diet.

Perhaps best known as the guitarist of Quandary, Sam Vallen forged Caligula's Horse as an attempt to get the heavier side of his musical expression out. Although vocals are offered here by the talented Jim Grey, Vallen does everything on 'Moments From Ephemeral City', from the songwriting to recording. Though Caligula's Horse now has a full band to play this music in a live setting, the debut is mostly the product of one man, and had I not known that, I would never have guessed it. Though Caligula's Horse is the debut of what could be called an 'indie' act, it is expertly executed, and the composition is only enhanced by Vallen's modern recording and emotive musicianship. In regards to the style and sound of Caligula's Horse, the fellow prog metal squires in Haken came to mind. There is a healthy acknowledgement of modern prog rock in Caligula's Horse, and the metal element of the band's sound comes out less than I would have expected. Regardless, moments such as the chugging climax to 'The City Has No Empathy' make Vallen's allegiances clear, drawing from the Meshuggah-conceived style now commonly known as 'djent'.

The composition is quite varied, ranging from Dream Theater-like instrumental fury to jazzy breaks and epic prog swells. 'Moments Of Ephemeral City' is graced by the fact that each song manages to stay significant and distinct from one another, although it was somewhat disappointing that there was never the same emotional intensity and flow of songwriting after the excellent opener. Jim Grey's vocal work is a very welcome addition to the sound of this band, giving another dimension to the sound through his smooth, even jazz-like vocal delivery. Through the heavier sections and soft observations, his voice fits the mood perfectly. Caligula's Horse leaves me wanting more of their music, although it would be even better to hear them explore their metal side more, which I felt was a little underdeveloped on the record. Regardless, 'Moments From Ephemeral City' is a great modern prog record, brimming with memorable musical themes and consistent execution. I have high hopes for this band in the future.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#637183) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars Moments from Ephemeral City It is very rare that I will find a local act with an album that I love so much I can listen to more than a few times. Months later, as I'm rapidly scrolling through my iPod, I find that every time I will still stop in the C category as I spot Caligula's Horse. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#1049757) | Posted by Ginja Ninja | Tuesday, October 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Pulling on the heartstrings from the get-go, Caligula's Horse is a melodic feast of tasteful guitar histrionics and perfectly textured grooves. I am always impressed to see the diversification of the Progressive "scene" in my home country of Australia. Thankfully for me and prog lovers abound, we ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#445540) | Posted by Dougie of Anubis | Tuesday, May 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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