Caligula's Horse
In Contact


5.0
classic

Review

by areinking USER (1 Reviews)
September 21st, 2017 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Caligula's Horse outdo themselves once again.

It's hard to overstate the achievement that is "In Contact".

The music is relentless, yet restrained; heavy, yet soaring; familiar, but adventurous like nothing Caligula's Horse has produced before. It is passionate, melancholy, tragic, and occasionally euphoric. It is definitely the quintet's densest offering, and it takes more than a couple casual listens to fully appreciate it. But once you sit back, close your eyes, and really experience the album, you will catch a glimpse of the spark of genius that inspired this album.

Concretely, the album is a conceptual anthology. Its three movements tell the stories of three artists who are searching for inspiration. The lyrics are poetic and abstract, so it helps to watch the interviews with the singer, Jim Grey, and the lead guitarist, Sam Vellen where they detail the album's concept track-by-track. I found that additional perspective added a lot to the album on an emotional level. The themes are overall very dark -- much more so than their sophomore release, TTTARE -- and I found myself with a lingering melancholy after a few consecutive listens.

The songs themselves work best in context, but "Dream the Dead", "Will's Song", and "The Cannon's Mouth" stand confidently on their own. Some of the best moments exist in contrast: the acoustic bridge in "Dream the Dead" is simple but welcome after the wrenching emotional tension of the first six minutes. The first two movements end on simple, tender, and infectious acoustic pieces, both of which provide the listener a chance to recover. The third movement contains an expertly delivered spoken word track that felt out of place at first, but made more sense with each consecutive listen. It would take far too long to detail every brilliant moment in every song on this record. That said, the review would be incomplete without mentioning the 16-minute-long album closer, "Graves". The saxophone/guitar duet at the end is absolutely fantastic. Definitely listen to "Graves" if the rest of the album somehow doesn't appeal.

Still, "In Contact" is not flawless. The first and second movements are of quite different lengths, and that places the two acoustic pieces, "Love Conquers All" and "Capulet", too close together which slows the pacing. The concept is somewhat impenetrable from the lyrics themselves, which can be a little hard to make out when Grey sings falsetto. It would be all too easy to miss out on this dimension of the music. The spoken word track could be too easily seen as self-indulgent. Graves, while brilliant, carries on a touch too long. But these are really minor blemishes.

Ultimately, I believe this album will be the yardstick against which all future C. Horse albums will be measured. Though the band has a long history of exceeding their previous efforts to produce some of the best progressive music out there today, In Contact is a leap forward. It flirts with perfection and - if nothing else - proves it's within Caligula's Horse's reach.


user ratings (73)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2017


13099 Comments


of course this was gonna get a 5, you goddamn metalheads and ur liking everything

Digging: Enter Shikari - The Spark

bloc
September 21st 2017


43074 Comments


I will give this a listen today

Kalopsia
September 21st 2017


1700 Comments


damn, forgot this came out. gonna have to jam

this band is consistently amazing, but i have a hard time keeping them in my rotation.. like i like them, but the music doesn't engage me enough to keep coming back for more.

Digging: Dorje - Catalyst

suppatime
September 21st 2017


788 Comments


I like the music but idk about this guy's voice and vocal melodies.

bloc
September 21st 2017


43074 Comments


"I like the music but idk about this guy's voice"

I feel the same way. The music shreds, but why does every fuckin Australian prog rock/metal vocalist have to sound like this

Kalopsia
September 21st 2017


1700 Comments


something in the water i reckon

bloc
September 21st 2017


43074 Comments


Yeah, cum

Kalopsia
September 21st 2017


1700 Comments


i hear cum is very good for your skin. next time you nut one out just rub it on your face.

Beardog
September 21st 2017


1539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed about the vocal melodies, it feels like they're just slightly off most of the time. They're not really engaging or memorable.

RippingCorpse1986
September 21st 2017


29 Comments


Pos'd, good review.
I met their music a few months ago. Band is great, I won't deny it, but I have a kind of hard relation with their albums. Maybe it's just a matter of giving them another opportunity, I hope so.

Lefondre
September 22nd 2017


127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good lord there is some mind melting guitar in this and I don't know what y'all are on about with the vocals, they seem fine to me.

Digging: Caligula's Horse - In Contact

Beardog
September 22nd 2017


1539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your right Lefondre, the vocal parts are actually pretty nice on this record, just not on the ones prior to this release. This record is a pretty big improvement over their earlier albums

Lefondre
September 22nd 2017


127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Personally I've never had a problem with the vocals for this band although to be fair I've only listened to this and Bloom so I can't comment on their early material. I did see them live earlier this year and found Jim's vocals to be excellent though.

Piglet
September 23rd 2017


7286 Comments


wasn't completely sold on some of their earlier material, will be interested in how this fares

unforgiven89
September 23rd 2017


209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do people seriously dislike Jim's vocals? Dude has some of the best pipes in metal, easily. Also knows how to write great vocal melodies.



Album is amazing as usual.

Evokaphile
September 24th 2017


4789 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this album is pretty neato

Digging: Counterparts - You're Not You Anymore



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy