Australian progressive metal/rock act Caligula’s Horse have finally made their major label debut with their third release, Bloom. But I will say this right now, so there’s no discrepancies onward – Bloom is a much more commercial sounding record, and it’s a bit less on the heavy side (even though there still are some rather chunky bits) than the band’s previous outings: The Tide, The Thief and The River’s End. Though let’s be honest here, you didn’t come to Bloom for a headbanging metalfest. You came to the album because you were looking for beautiful, atmospheric and heavily detailed progressive hard rock/alternative music quite in the vein of artists like Tool, Chevelle and Karnivool. Well, fellow listener; that’s exactly what you’re getting with Bloom. Whether it be the pleasantly thumpy and rather catchy “Marigold” or the adventurous prog endurance of “Dragonfly” you’re sure to get exactly what you’re looking for here. There are much lighter pieces on the disc like the album’s title track and it’s closer “Undergrowth” but these pieces feel pleasant within the mixture of flamboyant guitars in what is essentially a real rocker of an album. There are indeed metal moments to be found as well, but the band seem to be heading towards a more commericial style and sound that proves itself as a rock record and should feel refreshing on the radio. As a matter of fact, you should call your local rock radio stations and have them play the album’s singles, which I can almost guarantee are more interesting and emotionally intellectual than most of the fodder I hear on it these days.
Bloom is the kind of album that should be hugely popular. It should be doing better than anything that Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Rhianna or Nick Jonas has come out with; and should score much higher than other rock related acts like Imagine Dragons, Papa Roach and Five Finger Death Punch (I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but that record was a chore to slog through). From top to bottom, you can tell that these musicians actually sat down and wrote these pieces, and that it took a long time for them to do so. Bloom wasn’t thrown together hastily at the last minute in a studio – it’s a work of art and needs to be further embraced by listeners as a whole. I’ve been listening to progressive music for a long time, and I can definitely consider this album among one of the best modern efforts I’ve heard in a long time. It surely speaks to a new audience and follows djent riffs with a fervor, but I can’t find anything truly wrong with it structurally and feel it not right to nitpick. This is definitely a new shade for the Australian quintet, but it’s a shade that should be well-recieved and should be well-represented worldwide. These guys have already done the hard work, and have given you a record to be proud of in Bloom. Now it’s your turn to get the word out and expose the sound of true alternative music to a public that has been so brainwashed by what I like to call, “quick buck earworms.” If you’re looking for memorable progressive rock music, here it is. (Eric May)