GETTING INTO: Australian Metal, As Chosen By Caligula’s Horse

Aussie prog rockers Caligula’s Horse released their acclaimed new album ‘In Contact’ last year and are now planning for their full European headline run for October-November. The band hit the UK for 5 dates with Circles and I Built The Sky for an all-Australian invasion. To celebrate the upcoming tour, we got Dave Couper and Josh Griffin from the band to fill us in about the best metals bands coming out of Australia at the moment.


CIRCLES

 
As chosen by Dave Couper (Bass)
 
 
Credit: Electrum Photography
 
Circles have been at the forefront of Australia’s progressive metal scene since they debuted in 2010, and have played alongside many national and international luminaries/contemporaries in that time, as well as touring Europe. The djent heaviness of their early recordings, especially the critically acclaimed ‘Infinitas’ (produced by guitarist Ted Furuhashi), is overlaid by a combination of lush melodic vocals and strong growls. After a recent lineup change, new vocalist (and guitarist) Ben Rechter has already added an extra dash of Dan Tompkins-like pureness to the melodic vocal aspect, which stands them in awesome stead as they are about to release their long-awaited follow-up album ‘The Last One’, then tour Australia with UK legends Tesseract, then hitting Europe. The movement and energy in their stage performances is second-to-none, driven by Drew Patton on bass/heavy vox and anchored by David Hunter on drums. 2018 and 2019 are going to be big years for Circles, no doubt!”

Best tracks:
Ground Shift
Erased
Tether


JAMES NORBERT IVANYI

 
As chosen by Dave Couper (Bass)
 
 
Credit: Promo
 
“Standing firmly at the darker end of the harmonic spectrum of young super-shred Australian guitarists, James Norbert Ivanyi melds powerful modern metal riffs and blistering lead lines with a hint of the odder of 70’s prog keyboard-heavy material, and the occasional saxophone and flute. Concentrating on self-produced material since 2013, his most recent EP ‘Denalavis’ is short but jam-packed with virtuoso goodness, and even with the variety of ideas in each track, everything flows marvellously. An acclaimed teacher and a fixture on clinic scenes on three continents, it is even more astonishing to partake in hearing the tracks performed live; in this, James is currently assisted by the equally monstrous talents of Liam Horgan on bass and Liam Weedall on drums. Absolute precision abounds!”

Best tracks:
Malignant Inahbitants
A Fatal Eminence
Terraform Diminution


I BUILT THE SKY

 
As chosen by Dave Couper (Bass)
 
 
Credit: Promo
 
“This band of cloud lovers, led by yet another of the young Aussie super-shred guitarists Rohan Stevenson, has released a superb back catalogue of what one might term “virtuoso post-rock” material but fattened up with heavy riffs and soloing interspersed with tasty splashes of the two-hand tapping skills made popular in recent times by the likes of Animals As Leaders. With Ro being another teacher and clinician of repute, IBTS’s work ethic, social media presence, and common decency have complemented their sublime musical skills, and when Ro is joined by Sam Tan on bass and Rob Brens on drums, the fun on- and off-stage (and on- again) never stops!”

Best tracks:
Translucidus
Stratiformus
Celestial


OPUS OF A MACHINE

 
As chosen by Josh Griffin (Drums)
 
 
Credit: Adrian Goleby
 
“We’re all huge fans of Opus Of A Machine, and seeing them back in action with the release of their new album ‘Stray Fire’. It’s sweeping, it’s emotional and most importantly, it’s full of riffs!!! And like ‘Simulacra’ before, it’s full of bangers. While it was sad to see Zac Greensill vacate the guitarist post in Caligula’s Horse, it has been such a pleasure to see him and the boys thrive again. Finally to Opus: Boys, if you’re reading this….PLAY ‘THE FEEDING’!!!”

Best tracks:
The Feeding
Beacon
Strength In Stone


PLINI

 
As chosen by Josh Griffin (Drums)
 
 
Credit: Promo
 
“What is there to say about this guy. Every song is just full of life and joy! When Steve Vai calls the ‘Handmade Cities’ album “one of the finest, forward thinking, melodic, rhythmically and harmonically deep, evolution of rock/metal instrumental guitar records I have ever heard”, there is really nothing else left to say. He recently dropped his latest EP ‘Sunhead’, and it’s genuinely further proof that you can in fact groove out to 5/8. Get involved!”

Best tracks:
Electric Sunrise
Kind
Handmade Cities


Caligula’s Horse are on tour in November with Circles and I Built The Sky on the following dates:

NOVEMBER 1 – LONDON, Boston Music Room
NOVEMBER 2 – GLASGOW, Audio
NOVEMBER 4 – BIRMINGHAM, Mama Roux
NOVEMBER 5 – MANCHESTER, Star And Garter
NOVEMBER 6 – BRISTOL, The Lanes

You can follow the band via their Facebook (here) and Twitter (here).