Caligula’s Horse – In Contact (2017)

In Contact is the fourth album of Australian progressive metal band Caligula’s Horse, and one which has moments of amazement, but mostly falls in to prog metal tropes which very, very quickly wear thin.

Besides the opening tracks of ‘Dream the Dead’ and ‘Will’s Song (Let the Colours Run)’ and the 15 minute album centrepiece ‘Graves’, there is very little worth listening to on In Contact. The latter of these is by far the best, infusing a Squadra Omega style nod to jazz with it’s blaring horns in just the right places, and clearly having more work put in to making sure it’s melodic and vocal ideas were fleshed out fully.

The lowest points are the cliche prog metal attempts at being heartfelt with slow, acoustic guitar driven pieces, on this album the tracks ‘Love Conquers All’ and even worse, a recital of a poem (or an excerpt from a book?), with no musical accompaniment, on the track ‘Inertia and the Weapons of the Wall’. Played straight, this may have been a decent palate cleanser, but the band decided to do just a tiny amount of electronic manipulation to the voice, rendering this already barely captivating voice (maybe it’s just me, but Australian accents trying to sound epic just always seem to fall flat) completely lifeless.

There is, at best, 30 minutes of worthwhile material on this album, which leaves 40 minutes of generic prog metal filler.

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