Hot New Band: Caligula's Horse

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans and Aussie prog metal outfit Caligula’s Horse were sired by accident.

Releasing their debut in 2011 as a two-man side-project, Jim Grey of Arcane and Sam Vallen from now-defunct proggers Quandary landed themselves in a quandary of their own.

“We never intended to form a band at all,” says Jim, “It was meant to be a one-off album. The response was so good we ended up putting a band together.”

Expanded to a five-piece with the inclusion of Sam’s ex-Quandary bandmates, the Brisbane band are set to release their third album, Bloom, the follow-up to 2013’s conceptual work The Tide, The Thief & River’s End and a departure from the darkness of its predecessor.

“We wanted it to be colourful, uplifting, energetic,” Jim explains. “There are songs that are more aggressive but there’s also stuff that’s bittersweet and melancholy and it’s always delivered in a voice that’s passionate.”

Bloom was recorded in a way that would reflect that passion, steering away from conventional production techniques. Tracks were laid down in long takes with as little post-production tinkering as possible.

“There’s a tendency in modern metal to have a highly edited, polished production. Parts of this album are not perfect but they’re special. That’s just as important to capture as the pitch-perfect edited version. It’s created something really special and it’s my favourite album I’ve been involved with.”

Building a buzz around them in their native country thanks to support slots for such giants as Opeth and Mastodon, Caligula’s Horse now have their sights set on fans worldwide, kicking off with a 24-date jaunt around Europe with Norwegian avant-garde noise merchants, Shining.

“Coming to Europe is a huge step for an Australian band. It’s going to be a really exciting and energetic show”, the singer enthuses. “I live for it!”

*Bloom* is out on October 16 via InsideOut