Fireworks

Caligula's Horse - 'Bloom' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0b/2c/da/caligulas-horse-bloom-48-1449171278.jpg Hot

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Touted as their perfect mission statement.

InsideOut seem to be becoming synonymous with brandishing the "Quality" trademark for Prog-related releases. Casting the net across the hemispheres to sign the Australian progressive Alternatives sees the quintet's third album being touted as their perfect mission statement. Quite some claim.

Since their 2011 formation around guitarist Sam Vallen and singer Jim Grey, they've not been idle, with their debut 'Moments From Ephemeral City' and 2013's conceptual 'The Tide, The Thief & River's End' both delving into Modern Prog and setting up a solid foundation from which to launch something special.

Central to CH are the guitars of Vallen and Zac Greensill which gives a smooth ringing melodic quality to the sound, verging on lush and alternating between layered textures and something a bit more primeval. Ushered in by the brief title track, which drifts lazily before becoming what is literally a wake-up call, it merges into 'Marigold'; all light and shade and illustrating exactly what singer Grey has referred to as "power and reflection – breathing in and out with a natural ebb and flow". It's probably the strongest feature of the album, the way in which the material doesn't appear too harsh or challenging although there are parts where the guitars get the chance to shred a little with brief forays into something a tad heavier – point in case, check out the technically adept guitar workout in 'Rust'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Elsewhere you'll find that across the nine minutes of 'Dragonfly' they get to explore an extended piece in what the Prog fraternity might call movements, either side of an atmospheric instrumental passage. It's also where Grey launches into a more dramatic vocal reminiscent of Nu-Proggers Leprous or even Muse. Ending the album with the acoustic and understated 'Undergrowth', CH show that they're confident enough not to do the expected and bookend the album with their best material and fill in from there – we've probably all got classic examples of albums which adopt that method.

When a band claim that their album is everything they've worked towards, they don't want to be falling flat on their faces. Caligula's Horse can puff out their antipodean chests, breathe a sigh of relief that their work is done (for now) and stand tall and proud.

Mike Ainscoe

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