Welcome to Day 25 of my ‘Album Of The Year 2015’ Top 30 countdown.
No long intro today, just a thanks for sticking with me through this mammoth undertaking and for any new readers, a reminder to check out my picks from 30 down to 7 via the links at the bottom of this post.
And with that, I give you my next choice…
it might seem like a strange approach but I’m going to begin my overview of my sixth favourite album of 2015 with a minor gripe; I wish it was longer! ‘Bloom’ is comprised of eight tracks with a running time of around 45 minutes. For a progressive record, this seems just a little on the short side. Some might argue that it makes a refreshing change not to have to put aside a whole afternoon to listen to a prog record but to begin with, I felt just a little disappointed. Even now, I still wish it was a little longer.
Rather than view this as a negative though, I instead choose to look upon this gripe as a positive; if the music wasn’t so damn superb, the length of the album wouldn’t even be a consideration. As it is, so mesmerised am I by the compositions, that I just want them to go on for as long as humanly possible. Additionally, the relatively short running time just encourages more frequent repeat listens, something I can attest to wholeheartedly.
My full in-depth review of ‘Bloom’ can be read here, should you be interested. However, to quote a small passage from it: ‘‘Bloom’ opens with the title track where sounds of an acoustic guitar and nothing else seep into the senses for a few seconds before Jim Grey joins in with his beautiful voice. The melody is simple and effective and the whole thing sounds crystal clear and very rich and vibrant. On the very first listen, I looked across at my other half and, with headphones on, I mouthed ‘oh, this is good’, grinning broadly as I did so. A lovely emotive lead guitar joins the party before the track explodes at the half-way mark. Pummelled by something initially approaching a wall of sound, the melodic intent takes over and in a flash this three-minute opener concludes.’
What follows within the subsequent seven tracks is equally as impressive and fully engaging. A more detailed breakdown of each track can be read within my aforementioned album review so I won’t bore you with something quite so detailed here. Instead, what I want to focus on is the way in which ‘Bloom’ makes me feel when I listen to it.
Each composition packs a punch in terms of the sheer variety and the number of different musical ideas that are explored. This is properly progressive music but it is executed in a very sophisticated way so that the songs come across as just that: songs. Despite all the complexity and the intensity that Caligula’s Horse pack into this album, I come away from each spin with a different favourite track and cannot help but get fully immersed into the music. The combination of very clever and catchy melodies alongside an impressive lyrical depth and a perfect execution is a powerful combination that floors me every time. I genuinely get immersed into ‘Bloom’ every time I hear it and I find it impossible to just dip in and out. I have to listen to the entire record.
Furthermore, I find myself fully committing to the music. Whether it’s a chugging riff built around an intriguing time signature, a moment of quiet introspective contemplation, an emotional lead vocal line or any number of other things, ‘Bloom’ grabs me, beguiles me, challenges me and wraps me within a warm musical embrace from which it is hard to escape, not that I ever really want to if I’m honest.
To conclude, I return to my review: ‘How on Earth do I sum up an album that’s a good as ‘Bloom’ from Caligula’s Horse is? The answer is to not be fancy with the words and be honest. I absolutely adore this record and I consider ‘Bloom’ to be a modern progressive rock/metal behemoth that will leave a hugely positive impression on anyone who likes quality music that is as beautiful as it is subtle and ambitious.’
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 7
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 8
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 9
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 10
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 11
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 12
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 13
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 14
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 15
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 16
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 17
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 18
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 19
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 20
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 21
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 22
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 23
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 24
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 25
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 26
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 27
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 30
And from previous years: