Released: 2011, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
This 5-piece ´avant-gard´ish thrash metal´ act from Belgium, Caligula, are lotsa fun to listen to actually. The band´s debut album – kind of funnily even titled NOT TOO SHORT TO BE GREAT, including 8 cuts all in all, made me restless and eventually made me bite and peel the skin off from my finger tips when I had spun the album a couple of times. I had the assumption that these Belgian metal troops were mostly about pure thrash metal music-wise – basing my (wrong) assumption on one review about the very album in question that I remember reading from one publication a good while back. It´s therefore somewhat fair to say that even the word avant-garde gets a new meaning in Caligula´s treatment.
This 30-minute opus is a quite rollercoaster ride full of sheer musical madness or simply ingeniousness. Musically this is definitely not so much about thrash metal in the true sense of the word; I would rather call everything on this opus just craziness or plain insanity – created by some insane and restless souls collectively together.
The band members haven´t stuck to the most commonly known sound spheres on this recording, but have instead widened their musical spectrum by taking out such strange sounds from the keyboards that deceptively fool people to think they have also used such instruments as trombone, tuba, piano, etc., in the whole arsenal for adding more depth and dimension into their songs.
And that´s what they have indeed done – and partly successfully and partly not so successfully, I dare to say. Whenever they find this more avant-garde gear from their own metal machine, it results in a song like “Bitte Gedulden Sie Sich Einen Augenblick!” that reminds of some polka-folk song a lá Finntroll (have a listen to the band´s instrumental album, VISOR OM SLUTET, to get the connection) – or whenever they really want to confuse people, they don´t hesitate to make a totally mixed and wacko mish-mash of different influences, which seems to drive you first nervous and then insane due to its multi-dimensional content in it. “Rackham the Red” is such a song, having bits of thrash, bits of death, bits of folk – bits of everything in it really. Also “Rock Hard and Roll” is one crazy fucker, having sort of a ska music (!) verse in it. Are they totally fuckin´ crazy nuts? I bet they are, but in a good and entertaining way I must add.
So, one surely needs to be a bit open-minded person in order to enjoy Caligula´s debut record. If you don´t consider yourself one, then just don´t bother.