Caligula’s Horse‘s newest album, ‘Bloom’, is one of pure serenity and awe inspiring beauty. The fact this album connects together like a story with a beginning, middle and end for something that can be as ambiguous as a collection of songs shows that this band has thought about what they are doing, and can develop it effectively and fluently. This isn’t to say that this band can’t show a heavier side to them and, throughout the course of the band’s third release, this is extremely well balanced.
The best song on this album has to be ‘Dragonfly’. The opening to this track is reminiscent to ‘Ki’-era Devin Townsend, in which an acoustic guitar is played to quite an inventive and ambient electronic effect provided by Sam Vallen. This brings the listener into the song with somewhat of a sense of wonder and exploration, and gives an eerie yet inviting feel to this piece. The song is then picked up to a pure sense of brutality by the chunky riffs of all three of the band’s guitarists, giving this piece more of a metal sounding edge.
For it to fluctuate so freely between a very heavy progressive metal through to a slow ambient piece is something not just creative of the band itself, but frankly something that borders on pure genuine unadulterated talent. The singer Jim Grey brings something to this piece throughout the entire thing that borders on what most range vocalists should get to; screaming out lines Matt Bellamy dreams to reach before going to some of the more softer and beautiful tones of his voice shows that Grey possess one of the best singing voices not only in metal, but in most of rock to its fullest extent.
The band have also thought about listeners with headphones, which often tends to get overlooked in the mixing process. The song that most holds this amazing mixing is ‘Rust’, in which the lines “can’t save us” are sung. During this, the use of binaural technology makes the words float around your head and gives the whole experience much more of an immersive feel. This one process gives this track something amazing to look out for, and shows that the band cares about the listeners’ enjoyment and their own creative prowess to include something as good as this.
One of the main criticisms people say about prog music is its creativity for the sake of being creative. This album almost reads out like the perfect audiobook experience, and transcends much more than what it takes to be a great music album. As closer ‘Undergrowth’ ends with the perfect melodic ambience of the acoustic guitar and Grey‘s amazing voice, so too must this review. In one word? Perfect.
Written by Bradley Cassidy