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Clepsydra - Alone CD (album) cover

ALONE

Clepsydra

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 120 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I looked it up! A clepsydra was an ancient timepiece, like an hourglass but with water instead of sand. The band, on the other hand, is anything but archaic- I would put this right up there with the best of modern prog. Heavy guitars, good textural synth use, and a tight and talented rhythm section. Everyone seems to have a good sense of restraint when appropriate- this is a band who can make a simple passage work, where many bands would needlessly complicate things. There are some powerful crescendos (in "The Return", for instance) as well as some delicate quiet moments, showing the band's adept use of dynamics. The vocals are impassioned, with a good range of expression, along the lines of Geddy Lee at his best. At worst, Aluisio Maggini's phrasing can suggest Klaus Meine, but he manages to overcome that admirably. The lyrics are solid, not particularly insprired but never a detriment either. The transitions are smooth and natural, which is a big plus since they are exploring so much territory. The interplay between guitar and synth is much more natural than many bands (the end of "The Father" features a particularly lush duet). The musical highlight for me is during the guitar solos in "Alone pt.2", where every instrument adds something impressive to the mix without trying too hard to grab your attention. The end of the song features some tasty lead guitar work, one of the brief times Marco Cerulli allows himself to really shred (another is in the solo on "God or Beggar"). The quieter (is that acoustic or processed electric?) guitar is less impressive in tone but serves its purpose, especially in "God or Beggar" and "The Nest", one of the spots where the bass player can really be heard to shine as well. My favorite song closes the album; "End of Tuesday" is a great track with a little YES influence, mainly in the soaring vocals on the chorus. Overall, the production (especially the guitar tones and effects) seems a bit dated- this album wouldn't have sounded out of place ten or fifteen years ago, but they get plenty of quality mileage out of the sound. My three-star rating takes into account that the modern, heavy prog sound isn't usually my cup of tea, but I've rarely heard it done with more class than CLEPSYDRA. Fans of RUSH's 80s albums should feel at home here, but anyone with a taste for expressive, metal-flavored prog will find this a worthy experience.
James Lee | 3/5 |

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