Sam Vallen is the lead guitarist and musical director of Australian progressive metal band Caligula’s Horse, as well as a producer, songwriter, and music educator. He holds a doctorate in music from the Queensland Conservatorium.
With Caligula’s Horse, Vallen has released five critically-acclaimed records, the latter three through German progressive record label Inside Out Music (Sony). Caligula's Horse has toured the world both as a headline act and alongside the likes of Mastodon, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Tesseract, and many others. In 2020, Caligula’s Horse released their fifth record, 'Rise Radiant' to worldwide critical acclaim. 'Rise Radiant' is an album about overcoming, facing up to one's challenges, and the indomitable character of the human spirit. It is Caligula's Horse at their most creative, energetic, vibrant, and concise.
Vallen currently lectures in audio production and music theory, as well as training the next generation of guitarists at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. He has performed guitar clinics throughout Australia and has privately taught for over a decade. As a producer, mix engineer, arranger, and songwriter, Vallen has worked with established and up-and-coming artists in diverse musical styles, from progressive metal to pop, channeling an extensive musical vocabulary to these artists’ sonic and creative desires.
In 2020 Vallen completed a PhD in music at the Queensland Conservatorium exploring the history of progressive rock and its position as a progressive musical style. He has published in several academic journals and presented conference papers both in Australia and abroad.
In 2022, Vallen released ‘Flicker’, his first solo offering after almost a decade at the Caligula’s Horse helm. ‘Flicker’ merges adventurous and dynamic progressive rock songwriting with soaring guitar work and an intricate and colourful arrangement. It embodies the depth of Vallen’s skillset as a world-class guitarist, songwriter and producer.