Caligula’s Horse – Charcoal Grace

Caligula's Horse - Charcoal Grace



4.1/5 Pros

  • Deep and complex rock / hard rock
  • Good listen

Almost four years after their last album, the Australian band Caligula’s Horse is back. On 26th January 2024, they share their new studio recording with their fans. Here is my review of Charcoal Grace.


Caligula’s Horse – About The Artists

Caligula’s Horse have been founded in Brisbane in 2011. The progressive metal band has been founded by lead singer Jim Grey and lead guitarist Sam Vallen, who are also still active since then. The current additional band members are Dale Prinsse (bass, since 2019) and Josh Giffin, who is drumming for the band since 2016. From the very beginning, the band has been very active on stage as well as in the studio. Thus, there have been five studio albums and one EP between the very first days of the and 2020. At that point, they released their last album so far, Rise Radiant. It was a Top 25 release in Australia, but also in Switzerland On top of that Rise Radiant made it into the Top 50 of the German album charts.


Caligula’s Horse – Charcoal Grace – Track by Track

The nine songs album lasts 62 minutes.

1. The World Breathes With Me

If nine songs lead to a total album playtime of 62 minutes, there must be some epic listens around. Indeed, the opener The World Breathes With Me just hits the ten minutes mark. The song takes time to develop a nice plot. The first 80 seconds, for example, do not even make you think you might be in a rock song. This turns the opener into a very special song, which more and more develops virtuous qualities on both, the instrumental and the vocal side.

2. Golem

After this experience, the second track Charcoal Grace almost feels like short mainstream size sound. Indeed, the song reaches the main theme more quickly, but still has a lot of a theatric and dramatic qualities.

3. I Prey

A good fight and battle does indeed take some time. Thus, it is not too surprising that the Australians need almost eight minutes to tell their story behind Prey. Again, that time is nicely invested into an extensive instrumental intro. The first vocal parts are just very gently sung words. However, especially the second part of the second is a very hymnic metal song. Just when I feel that the song has a bit of monotony, Caligula’s Horse adds some new ideas. Thus, I am really happy with that track.

4. II A World Without

The fourth song almost lasts another seven minutes. A World Without feels rather kitschy in the context of the whole album. This is not necessarily a bad thing. However, the track does not really work as the typical power ballad every rock and metal album does seem to need.

5. III Vigil

Despite all the long songs of the album, not all tracks of Charcoal Grace are epic ones. This one, Virgil, rather feels like an indie-folk rock song and thus creates a very different atmosphere. Furthermore, it is just a 3:30 minute “shorty”.

6. IV Give Me Hell

The sound of Give Me Hell is in line with the song title. The song is significantly darker than most of the listens before. Overall, there is plently of room for the instruments to showcase their sound and the necessary skills of the band members.

7. Sails

I would not necessarily call it a ballad, but Sails is at least the slow and melancholic song of Charcoal Grace. Thereby, the song has a lot of rather quiet and melodic elements. Towards the end of the seventh track, the guitars are allowed to howl a bit louder, stating that this is a rock album.

8. The Stormchaser

The six minute The Stormchaser stays on a rather quiet level as well. To me, the song does not impress as much as other listens of the album.

9. Mute

The chucker-out Mute takes quite some time to farewell the listeners of the album (or the people enjoying the story on stage?). Quiet moments, rock parts, sudden breaks – the final track of this compilation closes off the album in style. By the way, did I saw that this song is taking 12 minutes away from your real life time. It is a good investment.


Caligula’s Horse – Charcoal Grace – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify


Caligula’s Horse – Charcoal Grace – My View

The Australians did an awesome jon. I really love the way they arrange their songs and try to play with different sounds and characteristics. Sometimes, Caligula’s Horse sounds very metal-alike, sometimes the rockers became gentle and rather feel like a folk music band. Thumbs up!

Favorite Song: Sails


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