CALIGULA’S HORSE / DYSSIDIA – Live – Adelaide/Australia Nov15

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CALIGULA’S HORSE / DYSSIDIA – Live – Adelaide/Australia

 

CALIGULA’S HORSE / DYSSIDIA – Live – Adelaide/Australia

It’s been a big prog week with Karnivool and Voyager supporting the Deftones two days ago and now we have Caligula’s Horse and Dyssidia on the same bill. Not only that, but it was a full house there to see two of Australia’s best proggers who have helped put ‘cool’ back into a genre that seems to be on the rise. However, I’ve been saying that since the 80s.

Caligula’s Horse are a juggernaut who have the setlist replete with songs from the Bloom album from 2015. This was one of the best albums of that year and one that saw the band tour nationally and internationally to great acclaim. They make it look effortless but the emotion and energy that they put into each and every song puts you through the wringer. Every state of mind, every emotion and every frailty is exposed through these tracks that sound as fresh as the day they were recorded. It’s perhaps six months since we last saw them but even in that short period they have come back and just powered through a set that had the crowd buzzing. Three things stand out from the setlist. The first is the best song of the night which was Rust which was quite a delicate little thing on the album but live it is a seething monster. Angry and powerful. The second thing was the announcement of the band working on a new album followed by the performance of a new track called Graves. Although you can see the band still working through what this will become the track itself is immense in its construct and performance. It’s a true prog concept track and that, for me, is a welcome return to the genre. Last, but certainly no means least, Jim Grey performed a spoken word piece that took everyone by surprise. It should have come as no surprise that someone who is so lyrically powerful can say the words with backing, so the band left the stage for a quick beer and he ‘performed’. Great to see and makes a progger, who can remember the Recital of the Script, very happy because this genre is about the rollercoaster ride and the challenge that the music puts your way. Top performance from one of the best bands in Australia today. The Caligula’s Horse setlist was:-

  1. A Gift to Afterthought

  2. Dark Hair Down

  3. The City Has No Empathy

  4. Bloom

  5. Marigold

  6. Graves

  7. Vanishing Rites

  8. Turntail

  9. Rust

Encore:

  1. Water’s Edge

This was probably the fifth, maybe the sixth time that I had seen Dyssidia in a year. After about the third time I thought that they had run out of ideas. When I saw them support Plini a few weeks ago it was starting to change. There was the new keyboard player, the announcement of the new EP and talk of a video to support it. More importantly than that they spread their wings, supported a number of larger acts and travelled interstate with Caligula’s Horse and Chaos Divine. Tonight they were a completely rejuvenated band, on their game, tight and the firing up the crowd. What has turned the band around, well I’m not entirely sure, but the new EP sounds superb and this band deserves to get noticed and get the opportunity to be heard beyond Australia. Check them out, Dyssidia are well worth a listen and I’ll be at the next gig with Katatonia.

A quick mention of the other two other bands on the bill tonight. The first is Canephora and it was a new band for me. While they were doing their thing I checked out their web page and I see the phrases ‘experimental’ and ‘prog’. Although they looked mildly terrified, it was a strong set and I’m urging them to give the experimental side a real crack. You can find Canephora’s EP by following this link. Give it a go!

The other band of the night was I, Icarus who had come to the set to lay down some metalcore madness. It was only their second gig and kudos for them for getting out and getting amongst it.

Review – Craig Grant

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