Review by Adam M on January 5, 2016.
The new Calligula’s Horse is yet another breath of fresh air for progressive music. Coming off the Arcane album, Bloom was a bit of a surprise for me because the band is headed by the same singer, Jim Grey.
The style is a little more alternative in nature, but still lends itself very well to that singer’s voice. The memorability of the tracks is not sacrificed for the style shift. In fact, this album is just as catchy as Arcane’s material. This leads to the songs being stuck in the listener’s head long after having listened to them. This band is able to convey a variety of musical ideas within each song. All of this is done with the overlong songs that were present on Known/Learned a couple of times.
The album is to the point enough with its precise and focused song-structures. However, there is a vast range of volumes present within these styles. The portions that are softer are often beautiful and offer a nice counterpoint to the heavier portions present. Overall, the dynamics that are present with this band keeps everything flowing at a nice pace and prevents the listener from ever becoming bored. Though there are many styles at play, there is also an alternative edge that makes the music more familiar and easy to consume. The overall effect is a pleasant and digestible type of music. Still, there are enough progressive maneuvers performed by the band to keep things interesting enough. The band goes through a number of twists and turns within each song.
The highlights of the album are plentiful, but one has to look no further than the beginning of the album. The tracks Marigold and Firelight get things off to a great start and the music never lets up from there. Fans of a variety of styles will find something to like here, but those struck by Arcane’s newest music are invited, in particular.
Rating: 9 out of 10