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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 6/10


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Over the weekend I checked the album selections for 2015 on quite a few websites that cover the various genres I love. Some of them, especially those with long lists like mine, feature bands I’ve never heard of. No doubt my lists include bands many people don’t know.

I believe I speak for all of us at Metal State when I say we end every year with a nagging, twitchy feeling that we missed something great during the year. It’s almost certain that we did. In the last 12 months we were offered a couple of thousand albums to review. No person, and no team of four reviewers, could possibly listen properly to that many albums.

To the bands that did make it onto my lists, even if I ranked you #50 that means I liked your work more than a few hundred other albums I played and enjoyed. The same goes for the lists my weird esteemed colleagues have posted. More good music is being made now than at any time, and I’ve been listening to plenty of music during most of my two-thirds of a century on this planet.

 

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Reggie’s Top 15 Albums of the Year + Honorable Mentions


2015-woodWell, here we are again, another end of year list.  First, big thanks to you for reading and engaging with us.  I have to say, this year’s list is more well-rounded than previous year-end lists.  I guess it is because I continue to get exposed to new bands and others that have been out a while, but are new to me.  Take my #1 for example.  I knew they were out there, but took it took me a while to sit down and have a serious listen.  I am glad I did.  One major difference between this year and my other lists is the (almost) absence of thrash metal bands.  While there are a few, not as much as I would normally have on my list.  Seems as though my taste in progressive based metal is expanding.  I guess it’s time to see for yourself.  Enjoy, and let’s have another great year in metal. Read the rest of this entry

Atmospheric Videos: Caligula’s Horse – Into The White (live, supporting Opeth)


The C-Horse team certainly know how to make spectacular live videos! Similar to the last one, this video for the beautiful tune “Into The White” is filmed with fantastic images and audio, really emphasizing the greatest moments in the song. It’s recorded at the Brisbane concert at Eaton Hills Hotel, where Caligula’s Horse had the well deserved honour to be the opening act for Opeth. Who needs Opeth when you can listen to these guys? *wink*

 

Atmospheric Videos: Caligula’s Horse – A Gift To Afterthought


Yesterday, through Revolver Magazine, Aussie prog rockers Caligula’s Horse premiered a new video for the opening song of their 2013 album “The Tide, The Thief & River’s End”. The video was filmed at The New Globe Theatre in Brisbane, Australia by director Adrian Goleby. The main goal was to make a video to visualize the intense atmosphere during their live shows, and they managed to do so with great success!

“We love the videos we’ve done in the past, but this one captures something pretty special… This energy and interaction is what C Horse is all about, and this clip is dedicated to all of you: our amazing fans who let us experience it every time we tour.”  – Sam Vallen, guitarist

 

Streaming: Opus Of A Machine – Simulacra


Opus of A Machine started out in 2012, formed by Caligula’s Horse‘s guitarist Zac Greensill and they play a brilliant mix of raw and honest-sounding progressive rock/alternative metal reinforced with powerful clean vocals. Check out their newly released album here:

Facebook      Bandcamp

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Song Of The Week: Caligula’s Horse – Dark Hair Down (live)


A seriously good live recording by a seriously incredible band. 

Down
It was his neck or her wrist
Clean nails on iron fist
Dreams of peace beyond the wall
She’d cry out for mercy but she had no voice at all

Here
Here and now it ends
This quiet victory
Her promise she would make amends
He lay not yet cold on the ground
This day of all days she would wear her dark hair down

This time the wheel has come around
Free of her cage she crows with a fearless sound
“Your fists can’t hurt me now”
A fearless sound
She’ll wear her dark hair down

Down
And blood brought the answer that time could not provide
Scars that read like home could hide
Her prison swallowed everything but piercing open eyes
She proudly bore the mark
Where his brand had met her head
She spat “The coward could not kill what was already dead.”

Dark hair down
This time the wheel has come around
Free of her cage
A fearless sound

Stand and fight
This is my salvation
Blood for blood my love

With a fearless sound
“Your fists can’t hurt me now”
A fearless sound
She’ll wear her dark hair down

Blood for blood my love

Mik’s Best Albums of 2013, part 2


soilworkthelivinginfinitecoverlarge#10 Soilwork – The Living Infinite     Review

Soilwork is back, better and more inspired than ever before. With their speedy guitars, brutal drums and blasting choruses this double album is an uplifting and energizing and most of all a VERY FUN listening experience.  Listen here.

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a1111012061_10#9 Boysetsfire – While A Nation Sleeps…

Straightforward, heartfelt post-hardcore. The songs are very powerful, much thanks to the strong, captivating melodies and the vocalist with his charismatic attitude and emotional voice. Listening to this album gives me energy and strength and it’s perfect for a good, loud, headbanging sing-along. Listen here.

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karnivool-asymmetry#8 Karnivool – Asymmetry 

I know this is not the most accessible album. But once I took the time to understand it, it was very rewarding. I love the dark, murky atmosphere and the underlying, unsettling mood. The eeriness of the bass lines and the unconventional, complex drumming. I’m a big fan of their previous albums too, but this one gave me even more of a challenge and really hit the spot for me. Listen here.

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Benea-Reach-Possession#7 Benea Reach – Possession 

I loved their previous album and was very happy to find that ‘Possession’ is just as good and many times even better. The songs are unexpected and unique in their nature, the songwriting is creative and organic and the singer is definitely an important piece in this; he performs a wide range of styles with confidence and power. Listen here.

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a0934133983_10 #6 White Moth Black Butterfly – One Thousand Wings
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Yay, I get to include my favourite singer on another best of the year-list, third year in a row now! Even though it’s far from metal, this album is very special to me in many ways. It’s dark, personal, honest and incredibly beautiful and not only because of the outstanding vocals. The lyrics are thought-provoking and ‘Ties Of Grace’ might be the best song ever created.  Listen here.

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OceanPelCV#5 The Ocean – Pelagial             Review

This is not a band that has interested me much before. But the effort of a concept album with meaningful, philosophical lyrics where every song is named after the different layers of the ocean, the much more proggy sound made me want to check it out. The massive, constantly changing and flowing sound grew on me, slowly. Very slowly. Until the whole album finally ended up in my top 5 of the year. Listen here.

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a3585520410_10#4 Earthtone9 – IV 

There are many bands that were new to me this year on my list, Earthtone9 is one of them. It didn’t take long for me to start to love their progressive, almost sludgy feeling, the effortlessly executed melodic hooks and the huge attitude. They have an intelligent, bass-y sound and together with the confident, edgy singing they have given me many unforgettable tunes this year. Listen here.

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a0976646613_10#3 Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury              Review 

Thrilling. Challenging. Intense. And extremely rewarding. This is an album packed with depth, darkness and tortured pain executed in the most beautiful way. Primitive and intimate music with a forceful and disturbing atmosphere. ‘Teethed Glory and Injury’ is very addictive and has been my number one choice all year when it comes to really dark, heavy music. Listen here.

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tesseract-alteredstate#2 TesseracT – Altered State             Review

‘Altered State’ is my most played album this year and I love it to bits, both the instrumental version and the original one. This is TesseracT forging their own unique path; this is a confirmation of their remarkable talent when it comes to creating strong, layered musical structures combined with an intense, emotional atmosphere. These songs are magical. Listen here.

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a2186825124_10#1 Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End           Review

To place higher than TesseracT on my list, that’s quite the achievement! Caligula’s Horse managed to craft and put together a collection of songs that meets all my requirements for The Perfect Album. I have never heard songs that feel so honest and alive, amazing guitar solos with so much emotion and incredible vocals with equal amounts of mighty power and fragile beauty. I have never before owned an album that touched me so deeply. This was my big mindblowing surprise of the year. Listen here.

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Album Review: Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End


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Caligula’s Horse has crafted songs that are so alive and so powerful that I get tears in my eyes. Their music makes me do more than just listen, I’m feeling it, I’m living it.  

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Genre: Progressive rock/metal with a unique, modern and intelligent sound

Recommended for fans of: Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Dream Theater, TesseracT, concept albums, interesting music

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Song Of The Week: Caligula’s Horse – Dark Hair Down


If you have the slightest interest in progressive rock/metal, especially the kind with a good rhythm section and great guitar work, and some of your favourite bands happen to be named Opeth, Tool, Karnivool, Porcupine Tree  or Pain of Salvation, you need to check out the Australian band Caligula’s Horse. Don’t worry, they are not copying aforementioned bands, they do have a very nice style of their own and perfectly blends modern metal with a more classic proggy sound and outstanding vocals.

I first saw their name on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, as a recommendation by the band Ne Obliviscaris. Because they were mentioned by Ne Obliviscaris (another awesome band) and in the same sentence as “great gigs” and “Twelve Foot Ninja” (my latest musical addiction), I decided to investigate it further. After a couple of days and their new album ‘The Tide, The Thief and River’s End’ on repeat, I’m sold. Completely. In love. Head over heels…

Dark Hair Down‘ provides a taste of it, but the album has so much more than this to offer:

 

Full Album Stream: