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Caligula's Horse: Rise Radiant
Caligula's Horse - Rise Radiant Album Art

Caligula's Horse: Rise Radiant

Progressive Metal Rock
4.0/5.0

With every new album, Australia's Caligula's Horse seems to go from strength to strength, expanding their creativity, gathering new fans, and entertaining new lands. On the strength of the previous 2017's In Contact, the band found themselves touring the Americas. Now the quintet returns with their fifth studio album Rise Radiant, which features new bass player Dale Prinsse (who often helped the band with mixing and production in the past).

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Caligula's Horse

The highlights of any Caligula's Horse album are manifold. But mostly the band offers the listener intriguing arrangements which can be delightfully cryptic in their complexity, yet accessible in their attention to melody, harmony and groove. Often, those first two elements, melody and harmony, are carried by the vocal arrangements through Jim Grey's voice which seems to effortlessly follow the ebb and flow of seemingly endless tempo and signature twists and bursts of staccato riffs and drums. These features are quite notable within the longer and more expansive songs like Salt, The Ascent, and Autumn. Yet, that last song exemplifies how Caligula's Horse uses both musical tone and texture to advance a song's theme. With lighter phrasing, mostly voice over quieter guitar and bass lines, the listener can feel the solemnity of the season and its falling leaves. And there's a terrific breakdown before the midpoint featuring the bass line, before a fine Sam Vallen guitar solo emerges.

Alternatively, a song like Valkyrie rises more heavy with its bristling riffage, big drums, and fat bass line, and so sounding more like a heavy rock song. Slow Violence has a similar character in its heavy rock groove, but jazzy polyrhythms make it flex more like prog rock. In the end, and essentially, with Rise Radiant, Caligula's Horse once more delivers another album of creative and intriguing, yet accessible, progressive metal rock. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Essentially, with Rise Radiant, Caligula's Horse once more delivers another album of creative and intriguing, yet accessible, progressive metal rock. Recommended.

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