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CALIGULA'S HORSE

Progressive Metal • Australia


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Caligula's Horse biography
Taking their name from the mad Roman emperor and his beloved steed Incitatus, CALIGULA'S HORSE is an Australian progressive rock/metal band intent on bridging the gap between dynamic, meaningful songwriting and instrumental prowess.


The brainchild of guitarist, songwriter and producer Sam Vallen, CALIGULA'S HORSE - initially composed of just Vallen and vocalist Jim Grey - released its digital debut "Moments From Ephemeral City" in April 2011, and received instant acclaim from lovers of all strains of progressive music across many continents. Originally intended as a studio-only project, Vallen and Grey put out feelers for a live band soon after the album's release, assembling the current lineup of Geoff Irish on drums, Zac Greensill on guitar and Dave Couper on bass and vocals.


CALIGULA'S HORSE's approach to songwriting is uncompromisingly eclectic, but no less accessible to audiences of all different musical styles. They take influence from such bands and artists as Devin Townsend, Pain Of Salvation, Opeth, Meshuggah, Porcupine Tree, Steve Vai, Frost, Periphery, Karnivool, Muse, Steely Dan, The Beatles, and Frank Zappa amongst many others.



After months of rehearsing the recorded material, and also recording two additional tracks as the "Colossus" EP - released in September of 2011 - the "C-HORSE", as some devotees like to abbreviate it to kicked off with live shows in October 2011. These are early days for a diverse and enthusiastic bunch of young virtuosos, but 2012 looks to be the breakout year for CALIGULA'S HORSE.

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Caligula's Horse official website

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Moments from Ephemeral CityMoments from Ephemeral City
Import
PID 2012
Audio CD$148.77
$106.18 (used)

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CALIGULA'S HORSE shows & tickets


  • Progfest on 30 Aug 2014
  • Protest the Hero + Caligula's Horse + Road to Ransome at The Hi-Fi, West End on 4 Sep 2014
  • Bigsound 2014 on 10 Sep 2014

CALIGULA'S HORSE discography


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CALIGULA'S HORSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 94 ratings
Moments From Ephemeral City
2011
3.84 | 143 ratings
The Tide, the Thief & River's End
2013

CALIGULA'S HORSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CALIGULA'S HORSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CALIGULA'S HORSE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CALIGULA'S HORSE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.43 | 19 ratings
Colossus
2011

CALIGULA'S HORSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Tide, the Thief & River's End by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 143 ratings

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The Tide, the Thief & River's End
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars I've rekindled recently interest in typical prog metal, because of the new bands out there that, while not radically changing the formula, subtly mix up the ingredients and adding a new layer. Well this Horse is why I stop at the boundary of prog metal and noisy American-style alternative and math metal. Listening to this, somehow I'm reminded of the band Zero Hour - that while mastering the technicality fails at the melody, and so relegated to obscurity, - and also Haken for certain vocal inflections. Here you've got your non-linear structures and your changing dynamics, but the whole affair is too noisy and guitar driven - and, with some exceptions, unmelodic one, at that. Vocals also kind of meh. Best songs probably the starter, for its the most melody-driven, the almost instrumental Old Cracks in New Earth (sans the weird chant), with good variation, and Water's Edge, cause its quieter.

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 The Tide, the Thief & River's End by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 143 ratings

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The Tide, the Thief & River's End
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by praj912

4 stars CHorse's 2nd album rides what some are calling the new wave of progressive metal, and it is riding it somewhere near the top, ready to drop in on the unsuspecting masses of mediocre prog metal.

CHorse blend their influences to create a unique sound, which probably has a bit more development in it yet. Yes, probably born of Tool, raised by Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation with regular baby sits by Opeth and that naughty Djenty uncle, but there is more going on than that, maybe Jeff Buckley, Paul Macartney and Roger Waters dropped by a little and there's an occasional loungey vibe too. Basically, there's a bunch of facets which keeps things interesting.

'A Gift to Afterthought' starts proceedings with a clean riff before cranking it up. Vocally you can hear the resemblance to Tool, but CH are more song oriented and there's more of an emphasis on melodies and the use of falsetto to enhance that.

'Waters Edge' cruises along with gentle falsetto melodies and acoustic guitars, never losing your interest, before building to an Opeth inspired riff barrage.

'Atlas' starts soft and almost commercial before mixing in a djenty riff to spice things up. It's almost radio friendly in parts, and the chorus is nice and catchy, but alas, there's a tempo change so radio won't get it...

'Into the White' is the backbone of the album, showcasing some beautiful melodies that build to a crescendo at the end of its 8 minutes. Nice and powerful. At this point it's worth mentioning the loose lyrical theme of the album, which seems to be based around a prediction of the worlds demise and the witnessing of the same. I'm sure climate change, refugees, oppression all had a bit of an influence. Well worth a read.

'Old Cracks in New Earth' is an instrumental piece, starting heavy but then showcasing a nice mix of smooth jazzy leads which showcase Sam Vallen's fluid lead guitar work. It is these leads which do provide that extra class to CH.

'Dark Hair Down' is the first single and begins with some nice lead work before cranking into a powerful Djenty riff in the verse. The strong chorus will get I your head and just wait for the blistering solo from SV.

'Theif' is a tasty acoustic piece with a nice calm feel, leading into the finale.

'All is Quiet by the Wall' kicks in with a big riff and another shredding solo before a nice riff in the verse that really grooves . The gang shout chorus is done well. There's still plenty of light and shade in this, one of the heavier songs. Happily, there's another couple of solos before a few choruses lead into the slow building finale a with the lyrical theme summary that "this is our home".

Caligula's Horse have what it takes to be appreciated by many. They have the class, they're savvy in the new business of music and they're only young. There should be plenty more to come. Look out!

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 The Tide, the Thief & River's End by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 143 ratings

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The Tide, the Thief & River's End
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars The Aussie prog scene continues to impress me with its sheer intensity, creativity, and attitude. Prog metal band Caligula's Horse is no different, and itself showcases some great concepts and ideas. Caligula's Horse is no ordinary prog metal band, as they utilize tech metal structures and riffing styles, but somehow they come off as softer than most metal. It's actually a puzzle as to how they pull this off so well, as the result is technical and a little djenty, but melodic and atmospheric, too.

These guys know how to play really, really, well, too. Geoff Irish, the drummer, is a beast of a player, and has masterful control of the bass pedals. I'm also impressed by both Sam Vallen and Zac Greensill on guitars, as we get great solos and also djenty chugging rhythm guitars that hit hard and feel so satisfying for some reason. I think part of this may be because of Dave Couper on bass and his awesome ability to fill and complete the sound of the band.

As for vocals, Jim Grey is one of the best, in my opinion. He may sound a little reminiscent of Maynard James Keenan, but only a little. He doesn't sound like anyone else. His voice is powerful and incredibly melodious, and he seems to sing with little or no effort. He really is a special talent, and I especially enjoy his other band Arcane (due to release a monster of an album in 2014).

This album has many twists and turns that I find rather refreshing. One moment the band will be jamming pretty hard, but the next they will be playing some delicate flute or doing a little bit of guitar noodling. I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the guitar noodling, such as on "Old Cracks in New Earth". I have to say that this is the one element that has caused me to lose a bit of connection with the album. On the other hand, I find this album superior to their debut album, especially in the riff composition and their melodies. "Atlas" is definitely my favorite track, but "A Gift to Afterthought", "Water's Edge", "Dark Hair Down", and "All is Quiet by the Wall" are all superb tracks that have some mind-blowing moments.

I do feel like I'm still waiting for Caligula's Horse to create their masterpiece. They have all the elements and they craft amazing music, but I'm still waiting to feel a complete connection with the lyrics and music. That said, Caligula's Horse is an excellent representative of the Aussie prog scene. I really hope people start paying more attention.

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 The Tide, the Thief & River's End by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 143 ratings

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The Tide, the Thief & River's End
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Eldrid

5 stars Caligula's Horse has crafted songs that are so alive and so powerful that I get tears in my eyes. Their music makes me do more than just listen, I'm feeling it, I'm living it.

What impresses me the most is how Caligula's Horse has managed to compose unexpected and modern music with plenty of classic rock and progressive metal elements put together into a perfectly coherent collection of tracks. I've heard many concept albums before, but never have I experienced one where every single note and mood fits into the bigger picture so naturally. The subtle, carefully placed changes in melody and tone become very powerful once you get to know the songs and the record as a whole. Everything is tastefully built around the many solemn, mellow passages, with the heavier, more aggressive parts providing powerful dynamics and variation. The transitions between the many ever changing moods are seamless and smooth and as a result it creates a flow through all of the songs that is truly captivating.

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 The Tide, the Thief & River's End by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 143 ratings

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The Tide, the Thief & River's End
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Sophocles

5 stars After their awesome debut, CH return to blow our minds! Not exactly classified under Prog Metal IMHO, since you can sense more tech structures on the guitar and alternative vocal lines, but ok. Anyway, this is a great release for this year.

First of all there is an extraordinary guitar work on leads and on rhythms, accompanied by a flawless rhythm section. Also the great melodies and structures in the voice remind me of Butterfly Effects and Rhisloo, nevertheless it shines. Great hooks! Keys bring a layer under this, helping to create a more rich sound, something that the crystal production significantly helps.

I think they call it Prog Alternative Metal... surely Australia has this alternative style on their prog music. Anyway we get a crossover release with identity that shows us its teeth and claims a piece of this years prog pie. It deserves it and we wait a lot from these guys in the future. This genre of prog music needs acts like Caligula's Horse.

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 Moments From Ephemeral City by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.79 | 94 ratings

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Moments From Ephemeral City
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Ginja Ninja

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 only thing that I'm disappointed about when I press on that magical name, is that my iPod gives me the choice between only two albums, instead of a catalogue so large, Woolworths would go for the 15% off. Moments from Ephemeral City is a two man project spearheaded by Sam Vallen the songwriter, lyricist, instrumentalist and producer, featuring the lyricist and vocalist Jim Grey.

Moments opens with the single "The City Has No Empathy (Your Sentimental Lie)", a vastly melodic song with some very long, very harmonic chord progressions, depicting a colourful and majestic city. City is a song rife with hooky vocal and instrumental melodies. The breakdown at the end builds the song to a huge, epic crescendo as vocal harmonies create chaos and gives the song a very anthemic-like quality. Structurally speaking, City has the most pop-like structure, and as Jim Grey says "it was the last song written for the album, and as it is one of the only full collaborations between us [Sam Vallen] on the album, I feel it connects the most with the audience."

After City comes "Silence", a slow ballad which unravels into a powerful, dynamic vocal performance from Jim and even Sam on backing vocals. The song seems to ebb and flow in the beginning as the very thinly textured verses seem to cruise along, broken up by heavy choruses. Then as the song takes off into the robotic sounding solo, the song lifts in the double time part with the stagnated rhythm guitar giving movement to the section. The next song "Singularity" is an instrumental song, with a few recurring lead guitar themes from Vallen; a musical trait I find quite rare in guitarists these days. Singularity is a great song because of the intelligent uses of dynamic changes, structuring ideas and theme and variation sections. This song represents Vallen's guitar style perfectly in terms of lead guitar, his performance is a mixture of both tasteful melodic ideas mixed with some Vai-like shredding.

The standout track on Moments for me is "Alone in the World", an 11 minute epic that starts in one place, then when it's GPS freaks out, it ends up in another country. Alone bursts straight into a heavy djent section and quickly ducks down in the verses where Grey's vocals set the mood of the song and with Vallen's effective vocal production creates a convincingly lonely sound from Grey. The guitar solo in this song can only be explained by listening to it, with a combination of some classic 80s metal solos into a sweeping, torrent of notes. As the song dies down, Jim's vocals again portray a sense of loneliness and as the final ending of the ensues, the mood is lifted again with an emotional and climactic solo from Vallen.

"Ephemera" is a really nice break in the album. It's a short acoustic composition with a tasteful, emotionally invested lead guitar piece. The vocals are all performed by Vallen creating a very ambient sound. Ephemera is an effective bridging track in to the piano introduction for "Equally Flawed". Again, Vallen's intuitive use of dynamics to bring the song down to nothing gives some great separation between sections. Grey's phenomenal vocalisation in Equally Flawed gives the song a boost in power, you can feel Grey's emotional investment as he achieves some amazing timbres in his voice. The last song "Calliope's Son (Don't Ever Look Back)", is an epic instrumental track and differs greatly from Singularity in that the song focuses a lot more on the rhythmic and harmonic aspects rather than Singularity. Calliope's Son is hugely heavy, with some very djenty riffs and sub drops that would make you scared of Subway. Sam's songwriting style which often includes not staying in the same mood for an entire song results in it eventuating into another Caligula style jam for the last few minutes.

Moments from Ephemeral City is an album truly unique with a timelessness to it. Vallen's guitar/songwriting style, spotless production along with Grey's fitting vocal sound has produced an almost perfect progressive metal album. It marks the start of Caligula's Horse and gives way for the band to develop musically, as I know they will.

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 The Tide, the Thief & River's End by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 143 ratings

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The Tide, the Thief & River's End
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Ginja Ninja

5 stars Caligula's Horse ' The Tide, The Thief and River's End

The progressive music scene is ever changing, as is the inherent nature of the style. As an ideal, musicians strive to look forward. Progressive music will always be a genre that artists aspire to add to, whether crossing genre styles, technical proficiency, or using phallic sex toys in lieu of drum sticks.

Caligula's Horse utilise all of these in 'The Tide, The Thief and River's End', and they've had two years between the Colossus EP to not only refine their sound, but redefine the band. What started out as a one man band, has now come into fruition as a band of musicians all contributing their musical prowess to this album. As a progressive/alternative rock piece, TTTTARE is not only an abbreviation that sounds like a pirate sound, but it's progressive music cloaked in a blanket of pop vocals, captivating songwriting, and pristine production, with Vallen's idiosyncratic guitar style.

I think a lot of people will find similarities between 'Tide' and Caligula's debut 'Moments from Ephemeral City', and the first one that I noticed is the track order and the dynamic of the album, not just in regards to loudness, but also emotionally; relentlessly emotional. Whether it's words of frustration, phrases of profound ecstasy, I feel involved. Often Grey blurs the lines between these two, committing to the most fervently charged performances in the bridge in 'Atlas' or the outro of 'Into the White'.

For the first time we see writing credits extended to Greensill in 'Dark Hair Down' the single and video clip release for the album. If his contribution to this killer track is worthy of credit, his own project 'Opus of a Machine' is very anticipated on my behalf. The marriage between Irish and Couper has never been stronger, and I hear so much Opeth influence in this drum and bass relationship, particularly in the latter half of 'All is Quiet...'. The stop-start accents in 'Into the White' make what feels like the calm before the storm still have so much playful personification in the music, in parts that seem larger than a band we are reminded of the 'realness' these musicians create.

As a listener, we are consistently narrated to by Jim and the backing choir (in particular the end of 'Old Cracks...' I tend to imagine as a subtle reference to Halo). Yet what is clearly a concept album, it is still deeper than what is narrated to us. I'll use 'Dark Hair Down' as a prime example for Vallen, Greensill and Grey's integration of storyline based lyrics and musical ideas, with a blatant theme involving the power of religion and it's impact on women still to this day. And that is one of the key ideas behind this album, that the story and the entrenched issues can be put in the context of any period of time, whether it be 100 years ago, or 5000 years ago when Earth was [with absolute certainty] created. The point is that to this day we are battling these basic human rights.

For anyone looking for the next wave of progressive/alternative rock music, Caligula's Horse have produced that album. In stores from October 4, The Tide, The Thief and River's End will be available for sale through the usual music purchasing outlets.

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 The Tide, the Thief & River's End by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 143 ratings

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The Tide, the Thief & River's End
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Dougie of Anubis

5 stars Well here it is, one of the most eagerly awaited albums for these ears in quite some time. I have been quite vocal in my support of this band since their debut release 'Moments from Ephemeral City' and I guess the big question has been would their follow album compete or better their previous slab of Progressive meat. I put it to you that it does indeed compete and then some with this album and is sure to make my top albums of 2013 with Steven Wilson's 'The Raven that Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)', Tesseract's 'Altered State', and Haken's 'The Mountain'. But to those who haven't heard the band before, what can you expect to hear? Caligula's Horse possess the juggernaut riffing of Periphery, the delicate emotional sensibility of Pain of Salvation, the perfectly tasteful and never over or understated rhythm section of Porcupine Tree, all cast to the harmonic ingenuity of Steely Dan. Some of you may be reading this and getting a little excited, it is exciting - it's downright awesome and executed flawlessly by a cohort of young yet seasoned masters.

"Here and now, it ends", the album opens with a lulling slapback delay motif which pumps into forceful guitar riffage that will feel familiar and comforting to those returning to the C-Horse, Jim Grey's vocals are commanding and have an intimidating presence which is glorified by the massive gang vocal sections that sound like an army backing up its fearless leader, somehow I feel as though conceptually this may link in with the album too from behind the scenes videos I have seen that detail the recording process of the record. I must admit, I have not fully delved into the conceptual side of the album yet and have been enjoying it on a musical, production and lyrical level at this point in my journey with the album. I find this to often be the beauty with concept albums in that there is a greater philosophical or even cosmic level to gain from such works of art that gives a record staying power and long term appeal. Certainly this will be the case for "Tide".

Whilst I feel as though the band has cut some of its fat (the Shrapnel Records übershred), which was something I have always praised the band for in terms of the impressiveness, I think it has actually improved the overall vibe and sincerity of the boys' output. Don't get me wrong, you will still hear more 16th note quintuplets than the average bear but I feel it's done in a way to serve the song and album as a whole.

'Water's End' is harkens back to the eastern flavours and delicate guitar work one will remember from 'Alone in the World' and 'Equally Flawed' from Moments. It is a beautiful journey through modal harmony and hushed falsettos highlighting his dynamic tenor voice. With a return of the roaring gang vocals and some clever metric modulation, the piece alludes back to some of my favourite guitar work on Moments' opening track 'The City Has No Empathy' which if I am being honest is still my favourite Caligula's song. This chanting melody towards the end of the track is particularly encapsulating with all instrumental members (Sam Vallen, Zac Greensill, Geoff Irish and Dave Couper) locked in fiercely creating a busy groove of utmost precision and ferocity.

'Atlas' is a beautiful mixture of terraced harmonies and breathtaking music akin to another of my favourite songs that the band released as the eponymous track on the 'Colossus' EP. There is a moment when a really dissonant chord enters and a separate layer comes in to accentuate it. It tickles my musician bone something chronic. I adore this attention to subtlety and detail more than words can ever say and that in itself says something special in that music like this transcends intellectualisation and really captures a feeling which is enough to give that wondrous shiver or goosebump moment that music at its peak is capable of delivering.

'Into the White' is one of my favourite tracks is my pick for one of the greatest songs on this album. Beautiful acoustic guitars, graceful melodic bass that Pete Trewavas would be proud of, the beautiful drum ambience, live woodwinds and playful, melodic soloing riding over syncopated djenty rhythms makes this track a true standout.

This album is completely self produced and mixed apart from external mastering and is a complete testament to Sam Vallen and Caligula's Horse's abilities. It sounds brilliant with a slightly softened presence giving a vintage edge to a modern sound. The tracks retain a lot of dynamic range with most tracks at DR7 and one at DR8 and DR11 each. I believe it's important to include these figures in my reviews nowadays as I believe the loudness war has gone on too long, thankfully Caligula's have not been the worst of victims.

'Old Cracks in New Earth' is a largely instrumental track bar the end initial ooh chant and incessant chants of madness/determination that conclude the piece. The track is what you'd expect on this album, the full gamut of dynamics, guitar insanity full of shred and tingling vibratos and feel. It also plays the functional role of melodically reprising key themes of the album unifying the concept and tonality of the album as a whole.

'Dark Hair Down' is the track that most would be familiar as it was the lead single of this release with a music video that has already had some serious mileage. It is the most straightforward in terms of structure and dynamics with a hard hitting prowess that pushes the whole track along with momentum. This does not stop it from being one of the most enjoyable. Its verse riffs with extremely tight syncopations and beautiful guitar layers make it a powerhouse of tune. It's the closest thing to a pop song on the record and I mean that in a complimentary way. The darkened fast Leslie organs augment the murky, visceral tones of the track with graceful splendour.

'Thief' is a light ballad and serves as a blissful interlude and pause from the relentless riffing of 'Dark Hair Down' which once again shows off the beautiful guitar playing and rich vocal timbre of Mr Grey. It is a gentle track that reminds me of the penultimate track 'Reflections' from Above Symmetry's 'Ripples' album and it serves a similar purpose of setting up the final monster.

A medical breakthrough; an organic cure for impotence for sure - this opening groove to 'All is Quiet by the Wall' is jizzworthy. This absolute monster intro groove will surely get your chubby pumping or some similar biological reaction for female listeners. Once you've adjusted to your self-produced dampness, this track will decimate you. The grooves, the delicateness, the sheer power and command of the band and gang vocals; this is the band unified at its peak and it's breathtaking. I hope you too will smile when you hear how in your face the guitar solos are mixed - these puppies soar! Perhaps one of my few criticisms of the album is that the beginning of this song sounds better when played in isolation from the album as an entire entity as the level of the previous track feels a little high compared with the start of the track. This is a similar criticism I have of one of my favourite songs by my favourite band Pain of Salvation on the title track of their 2000 album 'The Perfect Element, Part 1' so it is likely an idiosyncratic perception of this reviewer rather than what can be seen as a flaw.

All in all this record is one to surely shatter permutations of inferiority complexes of the Australian music loving population in the fact that we can present work that competes with and often exceeds that of the International market. 'The Tide, the Thief & River's End' is quite simply put - near perfect. 4.75/5

Standout Tracks: A Gift to Afterthought; Into the White; All is Quiet by the Wall.

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 Moments From Ephemeral City by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.79 | 94 ratings

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Moments From Ephemeral City
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

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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 Colossus by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.43 | 19 ratings

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Colossus
Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by Dougie of Anubis

5 stars Caligula's Horse - What can I say? This band is absolutely wonderful. I feel lucky to have shared the stage with this bunch of talented Australian musicians. This 2 track offering is slightly more straightforward to my ears but it really packs a punchy considering the art undertones that permeate its musical existence. The musicianship this time comes in the form of a full band as opposed to the debut two-man-band approach (which was albeit very successful sonically), which provided me with more enjoyment and was perceived as a well rounded affair. Little can be said apart from the fact that Caligula's Horse have a unique approach to Prog Metal which is not found too often in the world of Symphony X and Dream Theater clones. Sam Vallen and Jim Grey proove that they are perhaps the most exciting guitarist and singer in an Australian metal band. I look forward to more releases especially with the unified front of band members that make this EP slam so much harder than the debut album. 4.5 Stars.

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