Caligula's Horse - Bloom

(CD2015, 44:17, Inside Out Music)

The tracks:
  1- Bloom(3:16)
  2- Marigold(6:19)
  3- Firelight(4:38)
  4- Dragonfly(9:23)
  5- Rust(5:32)
  6- Turntail(5:02)
  7- Daughter Of The Mountain(7:55)
  8- Undergrowth(2:50)

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Caligula's Horse (which is a great name for a band actually) have just released their third album called Bloom. To tell you the truth I had never heard of these guys before, but I am sure that Jim Grey (vocals), Sam Vallen (guitar), Zac Greensill (guitar), Geoff Irish (drums) and Dave Couper (bass guitar) will have a successful future ahead of them with this new amazing album. Caligula's Horse hail from Down Under and they released their debut album in 2011 and their follow up album The Tide, The Thief And River's End (see review) saw the light in 2013. Caligula's Horse is obviously (check it out for yourself) influenced by Opeth and you can hear/notice this in their guitar sound and Jim Grey's vocals.

The opening track is the title track and it kicks off very quietly with acoustic guitar and a simple melody, but after 1,5 minutes the song really explodes and becomes heavier and darker. Follow up Marigold is one of my favourite songs on the album, as it is a mix of very heavy riffs/hooks and subtle, rather soft melodies. Marigold also has a great chorus and a stunning, sparkling guitar solo by Sam Vallen. The longest song on the album is called Dragonfly and this one is another favourite of mine; as the track has many twists and turns and lots of tempo changes and the guitars on Dragonfly really “sound” like Opeth or even Katatonia. Rust also starts rather quiet and mysterious, but it evolves into a very intense and angry sounding “grunge”-like track with exploding guitars and a great addictive chorus! Turntail features a pop-like chorus but also sounds heavier during musical passages. Daughter Of The Mountain is another long track (clocks over 7 minutes) and is again filled with lots of musical variety; introspective moments are followed by heavier parts and the chorus is again very seductive. The third album of these prog metal Aussies ends with a disappointment as Undergrowth is a dull predictable acoustic song, but lucky for me this utterly boring song “only” lasts 2:50!

Conclusion: Bloom is an excellent progressive rock/metal album and I think that Caligula's Horse have a great future ahead of them if they can maintain this standard of their music. Bloom is vivid, vibrant, emotional, subtle and ambitious and everyone must give this album a try! Best songs to listen to: Marigold and Dragonfly.

**** Martien Koolen (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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