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Clepsydra - More Grains Of Sand CD (album) cover





3.66 | 114 ratings

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5 stars Clepsydra labors in virtual obscurity in the Italian Alps of Switzerland. They have recorded four brilliant albums which are, in chronological order Hologram (1991), More Grains of Sand (1994), Fear (1997) and Alone (2001).

Clepsydra's music falls in the neo progressive rock vein along with bands like Genesis, Marillion, King Crimson, Iluvatar, Mostly Autumn, Pendragon and many, many other great timeless artists. The songs are sung in English and their singer, Alu Maggini has a wonderful, relatively high pitched, emotive vox. What is it with Neo Prog Rock bands that they all have high pitched, comparable sounding vocalists? Anyway Clepsydra projects a similar sound to their English contemporaries and in my opinion they out English the English bands.

Clepsydra is

Alu Maggini - vocals Marco Cerulli - guitars Philip Hubert - keyboards Pietro Duca - drums Nicola De-Vita - bass guitar


"Moonshine On Heights" This brilliant medium slow number begins with a mild ethereal feel like twinkling stars which continues intermittently throughout this seven minute gem featuring strong guitars and keyboards. The last two minutes the pace picks up slightly for an impressive finish.There are also some sound samples in this song as well.

"Throw away your glasses, need to see your eyes" Don't tell 'no time', don't tell me 'no lies' I know you did talk before, about friendship and past,It's not your place!

"Birthday Party" is another seven minute jewel, starting slowly with a piano, it is joined by the whole band for another medium slow variable paced song with more guitar work than previously.

"There are few people at Jane's birthday party The atmosphere is strained lost and odd Wine beer and many sweets are on the table but Jane doesn't care, she just doesn't a damn"

"Hold Me Tight" is a short very pleasant ballad with strong emotive vocals and understated instrumentals.

"Come closer, hold me tight, as strong as you can And join me in this infinity that parts us And bring a dim light in this darkness In this sad sea of emptiness"

"Fly Man" is a medium paced number and has a large accessible rock sound. This song could fit right in a top forty radio program - If they ever heard of Clepsydra

"Hey you, are you still here? I do not hear you anymore Tell me what you think about me" You know everybody's talking bad Thought I'd do my very best to try to please them all

"The River In Your Eyes" Nice slow acoustical vocal start slowly building up and then evolving to an exceptional mid tempo song. At 8:45, it is the longest and maybe the best song on the album, though it's hard to pick a best.

"The river in your eyes Screams a thousand words About glory and pride But now with a knife in your hand"

"The Last Grain" a very nice instrumental with a generous portion of electric guitar throughout.


One of the things I really like about Neo Progressive Rock is that, even in this era, they have not forgotten the power or an organ or a piano or now days a synthesizer. It is a powerful musical weapon and Clepsydra keyboardist Philip Hubert seems to be aware of that. Hubert is a master at emphasizing great keyboard melodies that are a big part of Clepsydra's repertoire.

Another strength of Clepsydra, not that they have weaknesses, is their songwriting which is sublime. It really is amazing how pleasant Clepsydra is to listen to. They are a basic five man band but their sound is mighty and each band member is a master musician. As Neo Progressive Rock goes they are at the pinnacle for clever catchy songs just full of hooks and great lyrics.

I'm so impressed by Clepsydra that I went ahead and ordered two more of their albums, believing they would be a great as More Grains of Sand. A band this great doesn't all of a sudden get bad!

semismart | 5/5 |


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