Caligula's Horse is an Australian progressive metal band from Brisbane, Queensland. The band was formed by Sam Vallen and Jim Grey in early 2011. The current lineup consists of lead vocalist Jim Grey, lead guitarist Sam Vallen, guitarist Adrian Goleby, bassist and vocalist Dale Prinsse and drummer Josh Griffin. Caligula's Horse achieved their first chart success with their 2015 album release Bloom, with it reaching number 16 on the Australian Albums ARIA Chart and number 75 on the overall album chart. The album also reached number 73 on the Australian iTunes chart on 21 October 2015.
Singer Jim Grey at Euroblast Festival 2018
|Also known as||C-Horse|
|Origin||Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
|Genres||Progressive metal, progressive rock|
|Years active||2011 – present|
|Labels||Welkin, Inside Out Music|
|Associated acts||Arcane, Opus of a Machine, Quandary, Irukandji, Echotide, Leadlight Rose, Lagerstein|
Their first album Moments from Ephemeral City (2011) and follow up EP Colossus (2011) were released independently before signing with Welkin Records and releasing their second album The Tide, the Thief & River's End (2013). The band then signed with Inside Out Music for the release of their 2015 album Bloom.
Formation and Moments from Ephemeral City / Colossus (2011)Edit
In early 2011 Caligula's Horse was formed by Sam Vallen and Jim Grey. The band is named after the prized possession, Incitatus, of Roman Emperor Caligula by Grey, who is studying ancient history and classical languages at university. Initially Caligula's Horse consisted of only Grey on vocals and Vallen playing multiple instruments. Their debut album Moments from Ephemeral City was independently released on 2 April 2011. Vallen is credited with the songwriting, guitars, production, audio engineering, mixing and mastering. The band initially could not decide whether to continue or not, but after the online response for their album they decided they should expand their lineup for live shows. The lineup expanded to include Zac Greensill, Geoff Irish and Dave Couper. To showcase their new lineup a two-track EP Colossus was released in September 2011.
The Tide, the Thief & River's End (2013)Edit
In mid 2012 the band entered the studio to commence their follow up LP. Their album The Tide, the Thief & River's End was released 13 October 2013 through Welkin Records. This was a concept album with each track listed in a chronological order to tell a story that refers to the uprising of rebels, called "The Tide", within the city of "River's End", and a journey of oppressed people finding a safe haven that has unfortunate similarities between the old and new city. "The Thief" is the only character who remains in the story from start to finish.
The band undertook an intense touring schedule within Australia after the release of the album, and became known for their energetic live show and stage presence. The band was part of Progfest Sydney 2013 and Progfest Melbourne 2014. They toured with bands Opeth, Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Protest the Hero, The Ocean, Firewind, Twelve Foot Ninja, and Ne Obliviscaris.
After their second album they gained the interest of the recording label, InsideOut Music, and signed on to release their third album through them. Prior to the release of the album the band toured around Australia with TesseracT and played a mix of crowd favourites and unreleased songs off Bloom. Bloom was released 16 October 2015 and in its debut week on the ARIA charts it reached number 16 on the Australian band's chart and 75 on the overall chart. It peaked at 73 on the iTunes Australian charts in its first week. The album cover was designed by Chris Stevenson-Mangos who was given the aim of creating "something colourful and vibrant, somewhat circular in design (no hard edges) but perhaps suggesting stained-glass, and showing lots of nature imagery".
An official music video was released for "Firelight" off the Bloom album.
Sam Vallen and Zac Greensill were nominated on Total Guitar reader's poll for the best prog rock guitarist of 2015.
On 30 May 2016, it was announced that Geoff Irish had left the band.
On 10 August 2016, Josh Griffin was announced as Irish's replacement.
On 28 January 2017, rhythm guitarist Zac Greensill announced his departure to focus on his side project, Opus of a Machine. He was replaced by Adrian Goleby, who had played bass in Arcane, Jim Grey's first band.
In Contact (2017)Edit
On 4 August 2017, the song Will's Song (Let the Colours Run) was released along with its music video on the 23 August, as a tease to their new album.
On 15 September 2017, the band published In Contact, the first featuring Adrian Goleby and Josh Griffin, respectively their new guitarist and drummer, and the last to feature bassist Dave Couper, who quit the band the next year. In Contact received a highly positive acclaim, particularly in the progressive rock/metal community.
On 10 December 2018, Dave Couper announced his departure from the band, mainly for health and financial reasons, as well as other musical aspirations. On 5 March 2019, Dale Prinsse was announced as the new bassist.
In September 2019, the band played their first four concerts in the Americas.
Musical style and influencesEdit
- Jim Grey – lead vocals (2011–present)
- Sam Vallen – lead guitar (2011–present)
- Adrian Goleby – guitar (2017–present)
- Josh Griffin – drums (2016–present)
- Dale Prinsse - bass, vocals (2019–present)
- Dave Couper – bass, vocals (2011–2018)
- Geoff Irish – drums (2011–2016)
- Zac Greensill – guitar, vocals (2011–2017)
- Moments from Ephemeral City (2011)
- The Tide, the Thief & River's End (2013)
- Bloom (2015)
- In Contact (2017) No. 50 AUS
- Colossus (2011)
- "The Band". Caligula's Horse (Official Site). Retrieved 2 December 2015.
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- Lords of Metal ezine, retrieved 5 March 2019
- " Caligula’s Horse : introduce new drummer with 'Rust' play-through video ", retrieved 5 March 2019
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- "Caligula's Horse Premiere New Song, "Marigold" - Hard Rock & Heavy Metal News | Music Videos |Golden Gods Awards | revolvermag.com". www.revolvermag.com. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Astley-Brown 2017-10-05T09:48:58.277ZGuitars, Michael. "10 questions for Caligula's Horse guitarist Sam Vallen". MusicRadar. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
- "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.