Albums of the Year – #8

CALIGULA’S HORSE – IN CONTACT

Remember back in 2015, when it seemed like you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting an amazing prog record? (Also, why are you swinging dead cats? What the fuck is wrong with you?) When I put together my Best of 2015, the top 3 spots were held down Caligulas Horseby Periphery, Between the Buried and Me & TesseractT, all of which put together absolute monster prog albums that year. Since then? It hasn’t been pretty. In 2016 I ranked my Top 25 favorite albums, and I wouldn’t consider a single one of the prog. 2017 hasn’t been much kinder to what was once my genre of preference. But here comes Caligula’s Horse, riding in on some other kind of horse to save the day and provide a mellow, spacey alternative to the heaviness of the year.

In Contact is an impressive record, first and foremost for being massively heavy despite the vocalist’s high-pitched falsetto (seriously, I half-expected to find out that he was actually the most metal 12-year old of all time). If you are looking for death growls and screaming, you aren’t going to find it here. But the instrumentation more than offsets his lighter vocals, alternating between punishing heaviness and spacey atmosphere (think of a more mature Periphery).

In Contact stands alone as the one truly great prog record of the year, the ginger palate cleanser to a sushi roll of doom and death metal that have otherwise dominated the landscape this year.

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS

“Dream the Dead”, “Songs for No One”, “The Hands are the Hardest”

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