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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Reviews: Caligula's Horse, Fozzy, Evil Invaders, 10Rogue

Caligula's Horse: In Contact (InsideOut)

Australian progressive band Caligula's Horse are named after Incitatus the equine companion of the Roman Emperor Gaius (nicknamed Caligula which means Little Soldiers Boot fact fans) who he made promised to make consul (basically an MP) but made a Priest instead. Now any band who use this as their name are never really going to play it safe and would play a more highbrow style of music than many of the typical Aussie bands. In Contact is full of complex and intricate progressive music that has jazzy, off time rhythms, scintillating melodic guitar/keyboard lines and passionate vocals. The Hands Are The Hardest is the best way to show their more listener friendly nature with it's colossal chorus, it leads beautifully into the gorgeous Love Conquers All. Songs For No One stands out for me as one of the best tracks on the record it's all elements of their music in one song and it's a perfect piece of modern progressive music that doesn't last longer than it needs too, with a simply astounding guitar solo from Sam Vallen.

On the other hand the gigantic Graves is a prog fan's wet dream, at over 14 minutes long it's got more twists and turns than Le Mans, even having a sax solo in the middle of it. With all the lighter sounds they don't sacrifice their natural heaviness as Will's Song (Let The Colours Run) is full of great chugging but their sound is so layered and immersive that you can't help but think the heaviness is just a little one sided in comparison to what else they do. Vocally Jim Grey gives another incredible performance his honeyed tones are measured and delivered perfectly. Caligula's Horse have constructed a fantastic concept record for their fourth album and it backs up the hype around this band, they yet to put a foot wrong and it doesn't look like they will, it's more than the promise of bread and circuses this delivers and is one the progressive records of the year. 10/10

Fozzy: Judas (Century Media)

I've mentioned before how influential WWE/F was on my early music tastes, many of the bands have stuck with me and led me to go on and listen to other acts broadening my musical taste. Professional wrestling has moved into the the music world as well, I won't bore you with what they are but most have been vastly unsuccessful. The exception to the rule had been Fozzy, fronted by Chris Jericho, the band has always been a separate entity away from his wrestling career, yes they've contributed a few songs to PPVs but for the most part Fozzy is successful in spite of Jericho's other job not because of it. So successful in fact that soon they will be running their own cruise that features numerous bands playing with them on the high seas.

So with all this I suppose they need a new album and happily they have obliged with their fifth record (of original material), Judas is another strong showing from the band full of American Radio metal with Rich Ward churning out riff after riff as Jericho belts out the darker toned lyrics with his unique vocals. The title track opens the record and it's probably the strongest song on the record and a definitive single. As things progress there's the normal mix of hard rock, nu-metal riffs and 21st Century hard rock on Weight Of My World, some industrial parts to Wordsworth Way, a bounce on Elevator and they even add some rap and death vocals to Three Days In Jail. There's an eclectic mix but it rarely strays away from the tried and tested Fozzy formula that means that will be with us for years to come. 7/10

Evil Invaders: Feed Me Violence (Napalm Records)

Evil Invaders motto for life must be thrash until death and then thrash a bit more. The Belgian band's second full length is packed with buzzsaw riffs and shrieked vocals from the off, it's the very early thrash sounds here, Overkill, Kreator and Exodus are the influences as the drums blast away and the riffs come thick and fast.There are a few slow Slayer-like grooves here but they are used sparingly to give you a rest from the whirlwind guitars of their speed metal fury. Evil Invaders have matured their sound since their debut, there they were young guns playing fast and loose, here their music has been tweaked a little as OblivionShades Of Solitude and Among The Depths have more melodic, deliberate cinematic touches that build and build into yet more rapid fire riffs. Feed Me Violence is a tornado of speed metal madness that stands up as one of the top pit inducing thrash albums this year, my advice, buy, play loud, bang head, done. 8/10

10Rogue: Serpentine (BUT! Records)

Well this is dreadful any song that has the lyric referring to a woman as "Everybody's wet dream" is not for me I'm afraid, to have this kind of sleazy sex rock track followed by a soppy ballad, then a big chunky SoiL style rocker it makes me believe that they haven't really got their sound nailed down. I'm not sure what 10Rogue want to be to be there's a overarching Motley Crue vibe (a band I've never liked) but with some grunge too. It means that for me after about 3 tracks it was time to turn off and listen to Caligula's Horse again. 2/10  

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