This fourth full-length album from the Australian prog metallers provides a forceful reminder of how, when intelligently written and consummately performed, a genre that’s often derided for recycled predictability still has the capacity to amaze. Part of the unquestionable appeal of Caligula’s Horse is their ability to blend progressive moments with the directness of alternative rock, and there’s also a maturity here that was sometimes lacking on their previous recordings. That ripening of their sound is striking on the likes of the slick The Hands Are The Hardest and Fill My Heart, the latter drifting through segments of delightful bombast and acoustic tranquillity. Indeed, it’s that knack for fusing musical moods that makes In Contact such a compelling listen. The only black mark is the curious and unnecessary am-dram monologue Inertia And The Weapon Of The Wall. The concept may well have been well‑intentioned, but it’s a needless excursion into self-indulgence. The album closes with the exhilarating Graves, which is more befitting of their growing legacy. Those who may have despaired that progressive metal had succumbed to regression will find solace in this, the band’s finest album to date.
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