Not Quite Metal?

More #hardrock That Doesn’t Suck: Caligula’s Horse


Caligula's Horse#hardrock that doesn’t suck can be tough to find, but it’s out there: for every Pop Evil that’s regurgitating riffs that weren’t even good the first time they were used 15 years ago, there are those less-than-brutal bands that get creative and truly push the envelope. Calling them “hard rock” might not be fair, ’cause when you think “hard rock” in 2015 you think dudes in guyliner with bandanas hanging out the back pocket of their distressed bootcut jeans, but it wouldn’t really be fair to call these bands metal either, ’cause they’re not. Circa Survive and Dredg are two examples of bands that have been doing it for a while, and late last year I stumbled upon Islander who do an alright job too. The Australians in Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus totally fall into this category as well, as do the currently on-hiatus American outfit Fair to Midland. There are probably other great bands out there in the same vein, but they don’t penetrate my metal bubble, especially in NYC, which lacks a rock radio station, the medium by which one would typically find out about this stuff.

So, check out Caligula’s Horse, also from Australia. They’re not stereotypical hard rock, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on a tour with 10 Years or Breaking Benjamin or someone like that. They’re also not metal. But they’re really good! And, not for nothing, we featured them in an Unsigned and Unholy column right here on MetalSucks in 2011. They’re something in between hard rock and metal that combines solid musicianship and emphasis on songwriting, and while they’d probably default into the hard rock category alongside so many butt rock acts, their music doesn’t feel dunderheaded in the slightest.

Here’s their new video for “A Gift to Afterthought.” New album The Tide, the Thief & River’s End is out now.

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