Rise Radiant is the fifth album of Caligula's Horse. For these Down Under prog metal rockers is it their best effort by far and that really is an accomplishment as their previous one In Contact (2017, see review) was already a classic album. This remarkable Australian quintet came up with their most compact and angry album and their music is again comparable to notorious bands like Haken, Leprous, Tesseract, Opeth and even King Crimson.
The first two singles of this album, The Tempest and Slow Violence, are really riff heavy and anger driven tracks that hit you in the face and kick you in the teeth right from the start. Oceanrise is one of the highlights, featuring great riffs galore and magical vocals by Jim Grey. Valkyrie is definitely the heaviest song of the album as it is filled with dense guitar hooks and really head banging riffs and melodies. Then again Autumn is a melancholic kind of ballad with quiet passages and vocal wise this is one of the best songs on the album. Rise Radiant ends with The Ascent, the longest song of the album, and that one really is a true heavy weight prog metal monster; check out the twin guitars and the sensitive, dramatic vocals (sometimes falsetto); really excellent stuff. Two extra bonus tracks are included as well. Namely the Peter Gabriel (with Kate Bush) cover Don't Give Up and the Spilt Enz cover Message To My Girl.
Rise Radiant is a gem, which you should listen to more than once as it is Caligula's Horse's best effort by far, as I said before. For real enjoyment, play at maximum volume!!!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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