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Il Tempio Delle Clessidre - Il Tempio delle Clessidre CD (album) cover


Il Tempio Delle Clessidre

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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5 stars Well......... I am suppose to write something, but I have now started this review five times and used the erase button every single time. This is my sixth time and although this may not be an review Ernest Hemingway would have written, I will crack on.

The reason is not technical malfunctions with ProgArchives. The reasons for my start and erase attempts is this album itself. Let me explain.........

Il Tempo Delle Clessidre has very probably taken the bandname from a Museo Rosenbach title. In any case, the vocalist on this album is Stefano "Lupo" Galifi, the vocalist in the above mentioned classic RPI band. You know by then that you are in for something really special, vocal wise. And you are right. The vocals are absolute mind-blowing brilliant. Explanation needed....... Stefano sings in a lyrical, very melodic way with a very distinct delivery of the Italian words. He can be harsh, he can be tender. His vocals is in short the sound of the RPI scene, anno 1975.

But his vocals does not matter much if the music is not at the same high standards as his.

O holy mackerel..........

O holy mackerel..........

O holy mackerel..........

To my eternal delight and jaw dropping surprise, the music is at the same high standard as Stefano's vocals. This album is by no means a famous vocalist & a band. This album is the creation of Il Tempo Delle Clessidre. There is no weakness to detect at all.

Where do I start ? Well, with the instrumentation and sound for example. You get the beloved sound you would get from bands like Museo Rosenbach, Osanna, PFM and Biglietto. That means vintage keyboards, haunting electric guitars, good acoustic guitars, thundering bass and drums. Everything delivered with the highest quality possible by some very experienced and skilled musicians. In short, the sound is a solid RPI smorgasboard which will send any RPI fans into fits of pure joy.

The music is a healthy mix of lyrical ballads and some majestic, heavy songs. There is even a bonus track here which is attached to the final song here with a one minute long break. A great song btw so don't turn of the music rack before you have heard this song. In short; the songs are very typical RPI songs.

The quality......... well you may have noticed that I regard this as a masterpiece. Not only that; this album goes into my top ten list of the best ever RPI albums from year 1900 to this day.

The opening two minutes of this album really sets the tone with Verso l'Alba. By then, your ears would had been on full alert when listening to this majestic song. It is pure brilliance from start to the end. I can run through the songs one by one. But that is not my style. I would rather mention the highlights. A song like the majestic and eerie Danza Esoterica di Datura. Or the best song on this album; Il Centro Sottile.

This album is also backed up with a brilliant booklet. Just to repeat myself; this album goes into my list of the best ever RPI albums. It is therefore a masterpiece in my view and a worthy five stars album.

5 stars

Report this review (#307706)
Posted Sunday, October 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Great vintage keywords work, and done by a woman(Elisa Montaldo)!!! Great vocals-Stefano "Lupo" Galifi ! Well, what can I say that hasn't been said yet? I have to agree with most of the reviewers. But as "pornography is a matter of geography" music is a matter of tastes. I was bothered to find in some reviews "vintage" or "70's" sound as a blame, but in "Il Tiempio..." reviews it turns into an asset. I like RPI, I like this album too, I like the vintage keyboards sound , sometimes listening to the vocals I think Stefano Galifi would have made a good impression at the San Remo festival. In my view a good album, especially recommended for fans of RPI and Italian pop in general.
Report this review (#325356)
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Though not the world debut of the talents of keyboard wizard Elisa Montaldo, this is the first project in which Elisa is one of the band's leaders and principle songwriters. Taking their title from a song title from the "classic" 1970s album, Zarathstra by ITALIAN rockers MUSEO ROSENBACH, and then cue in the vocals of Stefano "Lupo" Galifi from that same legendary band (MUSEO ROSENBACH) and you get some idea of the musical inspiration and course planned out for their collaboration.

1. "Verso l'Alba" (2:52) opens with some very familiar sounds from 1970s RPI music: deep organ arpeggi, synth, guitar tone and drumming style all seem to be intentionally replicating the past. (4.5/5)

2. "Insolita Parte Di Me" (7:21) layers of amazing keyboards replete with many melodic themes and motifs and some great singing. (14/15)

3. "Boccadasse" (5:21) complex heavy rock like URIAH HEEP mixed with LYNYRD SKYNYRD. with a strong vocal performance over it. (8.5/10)

4. "Le Due Metŕ Della Notte" (5:19) (8.75/10)

5. "La Stanza Nascosta" (5:10) piano and Lupo's solo voce until cello joins in for the second verse. What a pianist! At 3:30 arpeggiating electrified acoustic guitar joins in and then dramatic entry of spacey Mellotron chords. Wow! (9.25/10)

6. "Danza Esoterica Di Datura" (6:13) wind and footsteps in bubbling stream precede the breakout of a heavy RPI theme which then disappears as Mellotron-rich textures fill behind demonic heavily-edited voices. This is then replaced by soloing piano in the third minute, which then ends at 3:16 with the brief return of the heavy 1970s RPI theme, but then continues until 4:20 when the heavy full-band ensemble take off in a wonderful weave for the rest of the song. Wonderful song with a nightmarish, Tchaikovsky feel to it. (9.5/10)

7. "Faldistorium" (6:02) bass, cymbals, and wavering synth notes open this one before 0:45 when full band presents a jazzy weave for the first motif. When the guitarist starts to solo at the end of the second minute, it sounds so 70s RPI! Mellotrons drench the soundscape over the next minute of bridges before Lupo begins whispering conspiratorially over the Hammond- and church-organ-based heavy rock foundation. Very, very cool song! (10/10)

8. "L'Attesa" (4:36) very heavy organ- and riffing electric guitar open this one before backing off into a softer concertina-based section to pave the way for Lupo's impassioned vocal. (8.5/10)

9. "Il Centro Sottile" (10:40) filled with (I think) intentional discordancies, the drums, bass, and Mellotrons bely simplicity and calm while the chords used and instruments out front display uncertainty and insecurity. Stunningly brilliance piano play in the fifth and sixth minutes before a wonderful instrumental part sets up the next vocal section. The piano and guitar chords and full bank of female background vocals give it such a classic feel. Then, all of a sudden, at the seven-minute mark we seem to switch gears and directions into a softer, more cohesive section, but the vocal and music eventually, subtly, turn back to the 8:23 an angular theme like the one used off-and-on in "Danza esoterica di datura" enters and morphs into an eerie carnival atmosphere for what appears to be the end (an extended blank section closes the song for the final minute.) Not sure of the significance of this last emptiness, but the song as a whole still packs quite a punch. Amazing! (19.5/20)

10. "Antidoto Mentale" (3:49) very melodic full-band foundation for Lupo to sing a pop power ballad-like vocal. There are even full bank of female background singers in the chorus parts! Powerful. (9/10)

Total Time: 57:23

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of retro RPI and one of the most amazing expositions of prog keyboard mastery you're likely to hear.

Report this review (#326301)
Posted Friday, November 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Seeds blown from Museo Rosenbach's flower bring one of 2010s best

Il Tempio delle Clessidre have been around for a few years but in the fall of 2010 they released this self-titled debut on Black Widow Records. The band was formed in 2006 by keyboardist Elisa Montaldo and Gabriele Guidi Colombi, the latter of whom left the band before the album's release. The current line-up of the band retains Elisa, and adds Stefano "Lupo" Galifi (vocals), Fabio Gremo (bass), Giulio Canepa (guitars) and Paolo Tixi (drums). Italian prog fans will note that Galifi was the lead vocalist of the legendary Museo Rosenbach, one of the most beloved classic-era RPI bands. The new album not only bears some resemblance to "Zarathustra," I think it may well join Il Bacio della Medusa's second album as one of the most beloved RPI titles of this period.

This debut should break through the RPI fan community into the wider prog-rock community, because it is a title that will hold appeal for any fan of classic progressive rock. The majority of the music is quite beautiful and I would say holds most appeal for those who love refined and melodic progressive rock, as opposed to the wild and crazy, abrasive stuff. This title has everything in one package: Sweeping, majestic compositions filled with passages of great beauty and dramatic overtones; a vintage sound approach but with great audio quality; highly proficient and energetic performances on bass, guitar, and drums; extended instrumental passages which allow the guitar and rhythm section to work up some gorgeous themes. But I have to talk most about the keyboards and vocals here.

First, the vocals. Often times proggers who don't speak Italian complain that the "operatic/overbearing" Italian vocal style (which they see as negative, but I personally love) will wreck their enjoyment of an album, and I can vouch that this one will not do that. Stefano Galifi's vocals are warm and inviting, passionate and yet not overbearing, soothing rather than grating in any way. His voice has held up amazingly well, he sounds just as good as he did four decades ago, in fact he may be a better vocalist now. He certainly sounds more controlled and seasoned. Further, this is not an album where the vocals are constantly in your face. There are plenty of spaces where the vocals fall away for the various instrumentalists to shine.

Second, I have to speak about the keyboards of Elisa Montaldo. Oh my God this album is going to send the keyboard fanatics into bliss overload. Lots of organ and even some Church organ, mellotron (or synth 'tron effect, not sure), and most importantly, tons of traditional piano. Being my favorite keyboard, the generous passages of piano make the album irresistible. Elisa has very keen melodic instincts as well, finding lines of notes that are all about emotion rather than prog showiness. The compositions were written by Montaldo and bassist Fabio Gremo. They bring the songs to the others were they are fleshed out through improvisation and the further exchange of ideas. It sounds like there is plenty of team work in crafting arrangements that are exciting and pleasing for the listener. The keyboards create swelling, grand backgrounds throughout, but the lead keyboard runs are consciously arranged and written to work in unison with the guitar parts for a wonderfully effective sound.

"I can tell that "Il Tempio delle Clessidre" is not only an album for me, it's a whole world, a piece of life that took shape in the course of the years. The music we propose is new and fresh even if we know that it's not so innovative, but this is a choice: one of our aims is to recreate the sounds and atmospheres of '70's progressive rock" -Elisa

" of the most important aspects in this band is the wide difference in the musical taste of each of us. This helped creating songs with a great variety of elements and nuances. Every musician adds a character, an ingredient to the recipe, thus creating something peculiar." -Fabio

"When I get inspiration I immediately go to my piano and play: improvisation is the most important thing for me, I compose music directly from my emotions, dreams and ideas and try to translate those ones into music....I often overlap different sounds from my keyboards to create the right tone colour, and try to emulate the classical progressive sounds that I love (Mellotron, Chamberlin, Hammond organ). The guitars are strictly connected with the keyboards in our music, they are very refined and versatile, Giulio is a really good guitarist and he has a great musical sensibility that makes the arrangements original, well balanced and in harmony with the real sense of the compositions." -Elisa (quotations from ProgArchives interview with the band, October 2010)

The tracks boast a nice mix of heavier rock, romantic Italian flavored prog, and moods both melancholic and joyful. It occasionally can sound like Zarathustra, but Zarathustra to my ears gets a bit more aggressive and occasionally raw. Here the sound is more layered, melodic, and more richly dressed. The highlights of the album for this listener are many, but I would point most enthusiastically to the middle section where three songs, "La Stanza Nascosta," "Danza Esoterica di Datura," and "Faldistorium" just knock my socks off. Here they will add to their base band sound by introducing elements such as cello (beautifully handled!), recitation, and church organ to the already solid material, making the experience even better. I would love to see them use more strings, choirs, and church organ in the future. The 10-minute "Il Centro Sottile" is also a real beauty with a spirit of sentimentality and adventure, almost like a mini film soundtrack, ebbing and flowing but ultimately soaring.

I can only imagine how incredible it must be for the younger members of this band to be working with Galifi, and vice versa. They have been able to put one of progressive rocks great vocalists over their debut compositions, and Galifi has found musicians as capable and creative (if not more so) than the Museo Rosenbach band of yesteryear. The combination of their youth, energy, and great compositions merged with his voice and great emotional instincts have without question created one of RPI's most exciting current bands. These two formidable personnel strengths are not insignificant; having both youthful passion and a veteran's wisdom in one tent can only mean the opportunity for great song creation. This is a project that simply must give us more, it would be a tragedy if this album were not followed up in the future.

Not only is this album one of progressive rock's finest of 2010, but it's one of the 2000s finest RPI titles. The cover art is not fully appreciated until you are able to fold it over and view the back panel with the front. Only then can you see how cool it is, a fantasy land that this music inhabits and sounds a true part of. Wonderful stuff. 9/10

(This album will likely be battling "Rabbit" for my top album of the year vote)

Report this review (#332903)
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Il Tempio Delle Clessidre is a name I imagine not too many prog fans are familiar with yet. Hopefully that will soon change as this, their eponymous debut album is one of the most important and best prog albums of 2010. The band formed in 2006 and Italian prog fans, if they don't already know, will be excited to hear that the album features vocalist Stefano "Lupo" Galifi of Museo Rosenbach fame, a band who are legendary amongst the RPI loving community.

The band have come up with a stunning piece of work. Symphonic prog steeped in the classic seventies RPI tradition. Not only and not surprisingly can we hear elements of Museo Rosenbach but the band are clearly familiar with and no doubt influenced by the likes of Banco and they capture the power and melancholic feel of Biglietto Per L'Inferno to name just a couple of examples. Powerful bombast and beautifully subtle restrained moments come together to form a dynamic album of extremely well composed and inventive pieces brilliantly executed by the talented musicians involved. Keyboard lovers will be in heaven due to the vintage sound. Elisa Montaldo's brilliant playing is a key feature of the album and takes centre stage though he leaves enough space for Guilio Canepa to provide some powerful guitar work. The rhythm section of bassist Fabio Gremo and drummer Paolo Tixi are no slouches either forming a solid and intricate when required foundation for their bandmates to build on.

Fans of Galifi from his Museo Rosenbach days will no doubt be wondering if he can still cut it. I'm pleased to report that his emotive voice is still in fine form. He may generally have a lower register than before but the quality is still clearly evident.

Il Tempio Delle Clessidre have clearly come up with an album that will have fans of RPI in raptures. Despite being in the seventies tradition a modern production brings it right up to date and such is the excellence of the compositions, given the right exposure could easily transcend boundaries and reach and be enjoyed by prog fans who don't normally venture into the RPI genre. Nothing less than 5 stars will do for this masterpiece of progressive rock.

Report this review (#341543)
Posted Friday, December 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I'm sure I wasn't the only one scrambling to find out where I could purchase this album after Torodd's review.The attraction of course is that the former vocalist for MUSEO ROSENBACH is part of this new band from Genova, Italy. By the way he is outstanding but what impressed me the most with this album was the keyboard work from Elisa who plays as good as she looks. She is lights out. I was reading her bio and she lists a lot of Prog bands as influences including many RPI bands along with ANGLAGARD, BLACK SABBATH, OPETH etc. The ANGLAGARD mention was no surprise as I thought of them several times with her fantastic playing.

"Verso L'alba" is a fairly heavy instrumental that opens with the organ upfront and in your face.Then the synths take over for the organ in this amazing opener. "Insolita Parte Di Me" has a good uptempo intro that reminds me of ANGLAGARD then it settles in before 1 1/2 minutes and vocals come in for the first time. Gulp. Nice bass then what sounds like mellotron 3 1/2 minutes in then it kicks back in with synths, drums and bass outfront.Then it lightens some as the guitar and piano lead. "Boccadasse" is another solid and powerful start. It settles some then reserved vocals join in. It turns powerful again. I like the instrumentals section before 4 minutes then the vocals return. "Le Due Meta Delle Notte" opens with piano and a beat as reserved vocals join in. Both the sound and vocals become more passionate. It kicks in hard instrumentally before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. Nice.

"La Stanza Nascota" opens with laid back piano and vocals. Some violin on this track too. Check out the powerful atmosphere that floods in before 4 1/2 minutes. Spoken words follow. "Danza Esoterica Di Datura" opens with lots of atmosphere then the sounds of someone walking in water ? The music kicks in with power before settling again as these contrasts continue. "Faldistorium" builds and it sounds like mellotron 2 minutes in. So good. Vocals come in after 3 minutes and they are spoken. Some nice bass before 4 1/2 minutes as well. "L'attesa" has a powerful intro then vocals arrive around a minute. It turns instrumental only with synths then piano. Vocals after 3 1/2 minutes return to end it. "Il Centro Sottile" is a piano led tune with vocals. It's okay but for the longest track it's a bit of a disappointment.

A solid 4 stars. While this album does reach some highs that makes me think 5 stars, there are some songs that are far from from that same elevation.

Report this review (#341661)
Posted Friday, December 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars First, the short review:

Oh, my god!

Now, a little longer: When reading that the fantastic singer Stefano Galifi from Museo rosenbach was going to appear on an album with a new italian progressive rock band I was happy and a bit thrilled. I had no idea it was going to be this good. This is like the album that Museo rosenbach never made, it's like those guys went to the 90's and jammed with Änglagĺrd. The music has that dark atmosphere like Museo rosenbach with lots of twists and turns in the typical italian style. Although the album is filled with complex progressive rock there is lots of room for more beautiful parts with a lot of emotion.

Stefano is a great singer and he really shines on this album, but this is a solid group effort where all the instruments come forward.

Dark, complex, beautiful, great musicianship, heavy and kick-ass. Progressive rock like it should be. The album of 2010 no doubt.

Five stars since i know this will spin in my cd-player ten years from now. Essential!

Report this review (#344539)
Posted Monday, December 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I found out about this one through ProgBrazil site. It is no secret that the italian prog groups were always very much appreciated in Brazil since the early 70´s. So I was naturally curious by the prasing I saw at the site´s forum. And even more so when I read some of the PA reviews. I can assure you all, they are right. Ok, it was not as accessible as much of the RPI stuff I´ve seen lately. The music is quite complex and it took me alittle time and quite a few spins to really get it.

First and foremost I was atracted to this CD when I heard that singer Stefano "Lupo" Galifi was on it. He was a member of the italian cult band Museo Rosenbach in the mid 70´s and I always thought he had such a fine voice and a very emotional delivering that made such an impression on me when I heard their Zarathustra album. I am really delighted to say that he is in great form after all these years. His vocals are one of the highlights of this CD: beautiful, emotional and precise as ever.

The instrumental parts are also great. It´s a good mix of the traditional and the modern. A lot of the keyboards have a vintage sound, and yet this is not a retro record, much on the contrary: You won´t see long displays of virtuosity or big solos. Elisa Montaldo, the mastermind behind it all, has a style of her own, with extensive of the piano as the main instrument. The guitar and bass parts in particular are quite different from what you might expet from a symphonic prog record, but are equally good. The tasteful arrangements, the tight perfomances and the jazz influences top it all making Il Tempio Delle Clessidre a quite unique album, even if many parts sound familiar and in league with the italian tradition of prog music.

The production is superb. Songs like La Stanza Nascosta, with its basicly piano and cello accompaniment, is a fine exemple of the powerful tunes included here, while Il Centro Sottile is a 10+ minute epic that shows all the excellency of the musicians involved. There are no fillers, all tracks are at least very good.

Rating: 4 strong stars. I´m looking forward to hear their next work. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#347083)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Modern Vintage RPI Sound!

It's a bit strange how I came in contact with this italian band.

Sometimes Facebook can be very useful! No more words about it...

First of all I agree with those who notice that Elisa's keyboards sound is a bit vintage.

Elisa has remenescences of Gianni Nocenzi way of playing piano and PFM and Banco's electronic keyboards sound.

But it's astonishing how you can feel her feminine contribution to this sound.

You can notice what I'm trying to explain in "Le due metŕ di una Notte" and in "Il Centro Sottile", but also in the rest of the songs of this beautiful album.

Moreover the whole work is pervaded by RPI '70 atmosphere, not only for the presence of the singer Stefano "Lupo" Galifi (once 'Museo Rosenbach' singer), but also for the armonic and melodic structure of the tracks.

The lyrics are intimist and "Lupo" (Wolf) sings with great feeling, avoiding being conventional.

It's difficult to say what are the best tracks of the album, because every time you come to listen the album another time, you can find something beautiful you had lost before, but "Danza Esoterica di Datora", with its great piano interlude (another time Banco echoing), and "Il Centro Sottile", the 10 minutes epic song, are my favourite ones.

The band is well balanced even if the sound is keyboard oriented, but also the other musicians have their space to express themselves, as you may notice in bass and guitar solos.

One more thing... I've seen them Live and it's great to see that they give a sort of theatrical and suggestive performance, with masks and sorcery simulation, with Elisa dressed as a witch (what a beautiful witch!) mixing petals and black powder! The greatness of "Lupo" is that in the musical parts he leaves the stage, to give forestage to the musicians.

Highly reccomended the album and the Live act. Don't miss if you can!

Report this review (#347187)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A vintage sound heavy on organs, snappy guitars and virtuoso piano leads the dance in the pleasing instrumental intro. Names like VDGG's Trisector, Anglagard and Wobbler come to mind. The first few minutes of Insolita Parte continue the instrumental setting and anticipation rises till we can finally enjoy the vocals of Stefano "Lupo" Galifi, the voice of Museo Rosenbach. What could possibly go wrong?

The man's voice has withstood the test of time quite well, but his ability to enlighten us with timeless melodies and sweeping passion has not remained intact. There are flashes of it but there's simply too much sentimental pop in the stew. On Insolita Parte the mainstream influences are still acceptable and it's one of the better pieces from the album, a nostalgia trip that works quite well.

The two following tracks however are an abomination. Boccadasse and Le Due Meta are permeated by horrid sugary Schlager pop melodies that you can hear on prime-time TV in any country. Julio Iglesias must be happy for his influence on prog. Someone should organize a Prog Idol 2010 with this sort of material. Il Tempio Delle Clessidre wouldn't win though. Moon Safari is far worse.

Luckily the band gets their act back together on La Stanza Nascosta, another pop ballad, but this time one with soul and beauty, the kind of ballads like only Prog could produce in the 70s. Well done.

An excellent instrumental follows with romantic piano and VDGG-light influences. In the second half it changes to a lighter part with wordless female vocals before it ends with the delightful 'musical box' theme. Also Faldistorum is largely instrumental, with the mellotron samples that bring Anglagard to mind.

L'Attesa is a nicely written short Prog track. The ideas are flowing freely and the song keeps surprising with each new bar of music. If parallels with Museo Rosenbach must be drawn then this track is a strong candidate. Also Il Centro Sottile must be Prog Walhalla for most fans of the more easy-going type of Prog but for me the vocal melodies get too mellow and emo. The modulation halfway in around the 5.45 mark and the return to the main theme 1 minute later is brilliant though. That's what we want to hear!

Antidoto Mentale is an unfortunate closer that reminds us how much the songwriting depends on Mediterranean pop. Julio Iglesias smiles once more.

Il Tempio Delle Clessidre have largely succeeded in teleporting the glorious RPI past to 2010. I'd say the band has the quality to produce a consistently excellent album but the old-school pop influences here make some of the material an indigestible listen.

Report this review (#348765)
Posted Friday, December 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Super vintage! Super vivid! Super value!

A very well done album that is. Like Wobbler for Symphonic Rock and Black Bonzo for Heavy Prog, they have managed to capture the 'theme' of the Rock Progressivo Italiano: lush keyboards, melodies to die for (guitar and piano) and emotional singing.

I think I know why I fell so easily for this record: it's the cousin of Quelle Vecchia Locanda and Museo Rosenbach. Which means there's not too much emotion in it, and it's good for your nerves in the end. RPI can withdraw people with it's desire to be so intense, but it's fairly upbeat this time!

Fans of Museo Rosenbach, Quella Vecchia Locanda and perhaps early Glass Hammer will totally melt for this catch.

A good introduction to this genre and a very solid nominee for best album of 2010.

Report this review (#350661)
Posted Sunday, December 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Now it's my turn. But what could I say more than other reviewers said?

Well, I'd start saying it's unusual for a new album to become a classic only after few weeks from its release. And that's what happened to Il Tempio delle Clessidre.

To be honest, at first I wasn't totally enthousiast. But after five-six times the album has grown on me like I couldn't even imagine... oooh, hearing Stefano "Lupo" Galifi's warm singing after almost 40 years from ZARATHUSTRA is priceless... especially considering he kept unaltered his voice.

I don't think there are many MUSEO ROSENBACH's references though... music is more modern sounding and less heavy, with unespected brief flashes of light as in Danza Esoterica di Datura (the ooh female choruses after the 4th mn). Dreamy and aching at times, as in La stanza Nascosta. Shady for the most part.

Sound is generally complex with many shifting moods, exciting ad strong (with excellent electric guitar as in Faldistorum, L'Attesa, Boccadasse, Insolita Parte di Me et cetera). Musicians are all very competent. Keyboards are rich (piano, mellotron, synth and even chirch organ) but not played in virtuoso style.

To be mentioned: the band is headed by a she-keyboardist, Elisa Montaldo, who also wrote most part of the tracks. There aren't too many in prog history.

The best record of the year. Easily. 4.5 stars rounded up to five.

Report this review (#368251)
Posted Thursday, December 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another excellent first album (from a veritable crop of first albums released by the latest generation of prog bands in 2010). The standout musicians are the brilliant lead vocalist with a rich tone and full vocal range and the superb keyboard sound of Hammond-like organ. This album, despite its top production quality, could so easily have been recorded in the heyday of prog in the 70's as it sounds retro to the core. And, it is for this reason alone that it doesn't score 5-stars. It is, though, an excellent addition to anyone's prog collection. I'm not (yet) a major fan of Italian Progressive Rock (RPI) but this ticks the right boxes for me. Look forward to the next one.
Report this review (#368538)
Posted Friday, December 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Il Tempio delle Clessidre is both a new Italian band, and the name of their 2010 debut. While the music here is rooted in the style of classic Italian prog, the band's self titled release offers some of the most exciting music released this year, and is looking like a contender for album of the year.

In a recent interview on this site, the band shared that the music style in their hearts the retro RPI sound, and they are not shy about letting that come through in their music. This is incredibly Italian sounding, and if it weren't for the high production values, you could believe this came right out of the 70s. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, because the band manages to find its own sound very quickly, and from the first lone organ notes, hooks you right in.

The music found here is mostly very dense and highly energetic. Many of the instrumental breaks are led by the organ and guitar playing off of each other in very entertaining ways. Along with the organ, the piano takes the helm as the most prominent keyboard instrument, and the other classic keyboard, the Mellotron, is in effect, with tasteful but effective string and choir sounds. In contrast to the usually busy sound, there are a lot of solo piano moments, that give the listener's ears a break, and also make them realize just how thick the music usually is. Fans of the one shot wonder, Museo Rosenbach, will recognize lead singer Stefano Galifi, though in the near 40 years that have passed, his voice has deepened and matured nicely. All but two of the songs have singing, but Galifi's voice is very well integrated as part of the music, and the other instruments don't mind playing complex harmonies under his verses and choruses.

There are two somewhat lengthy songs on the album, but the majority of the rest hover around the 5 minute mark. Even though this is short as far as songs in this genre are normally concerned, Il Tempio manage to squeeze in some really exciting and progressive moments between verses. All of the melodies found within these songs are all strong, and the band lets the listener get very familiar with them. They have just the right amount of repetition, and interesting variations. While the introduction and middle sections of songs are wonderful, none of the endings leave me satisfied, and really don't do their respective songs justice. In addition to this, though most of the music offers lots of surprises, there aren't a lot of good payoffs or buildups that affect me deeply. There's a lot of potential in this area though, and I would love to see more long compositions and more development of the band's ideas. Hopefully the second album, whenever it releases, will tighten up the closing moments of songs, because it's the only part of the arrangements here that need work.

While a weird or quick ending isn't enough to ruin the music that came before it, there are too many to stop this from reaching masterpiece status. That does not, however, stop this from being a great album, and Il Tempio delle Clessidre should be applauded for doing that on their first try. This is exciting, adventurous, and wonderfully progressive music. It doesn't break new ground in the genre, but that was never the aim. If you're into the RPI scene, or just a fan who doesn't mind a blast from the past, this album is definitely worth picking up.

Report this review (#374263)
Posted Thursday, January 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Mamma mia! First of all - I completely don't understand common shock over fact that keyboard great work is done by woman. I can agree that it is much easier to point a male mastermind of any prog project. It's a bit extraordinary to find a woman who builds massive, multi-layered music work. And - in fact - keyboard work in ITDL is really extraordinary! So - I am not surprised ;) So, as I started telling about organs, let me continue - pianos, organs and keyboards are definitely best element of this album. There are no shiny staggering solos, but background, chord progressions and delicate, mesmerizing solos - that's what makes this album complete, I love that! Riffs are also good, they sound italian and brings memories even of Jacula. Hovewer, riffs played on organs are kinda schematic and boring for me - especially these from first half of album. I'm not a fan of italian vocals, and sadly - I do not enjoy these on ITDC very much. Yes, they are emotional and they fit quite well, but "Il Centro Sottile" is the only track where vocal parts really made me amazed. Oh, and also spoken part of "Faldistorum". Guitar and rhythm section fits very well on whole album and rarely sound disintegrated. Drums are that what is worth mentioning some more - mr Paolo Tixi done what was needed, hovever album lacks of some really interesting and memorable drum moments. But it is still very good.

It is great to listen to that good album with keyboard as a leading instrument. I'm not a lover of RPI, but that's very interesting debut for me and I am waiting for more.

Highlight: Il Centro Sottile. Absolutely best song on ITDC, that is much higher than rest of album.

Report this review (#376235)
Posted Saturday, January 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very good work from this new band from Genova. Many say that Il Tempio delle Clessidre is the best Italian act of 2010 and maybe it's true. Surely they're the band that sounds more "orthodox". Really great musicianship, with special mention to the incredibly nice work by keyboardist Elisa Montaldo, who wrote or co-wrote all the tracks; there's great technique all over, but there's "heart" too. I'm not too in "Lupo" Galifi (the former vocalist of Museo Rosenbach) vocals: his bluesy voice doesn't fit perfectly in Montaldo's compositions (the same problem I found in Museo Rosenbach's album Zarathustra).

Anyway this is a great album. One highlight? Le due metŕ di una notte with a wonderful fuga in the end?

Report this review (#382440)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Il Tempio Delle Clessidre' - Il Tempio Delle Clessidre (9/10)

What a pleasure. Still fairly inexperienced to the Italian progressive rock scene at the time of first listening to this album, I'm already beginning to see why it has such a worldwide following. A new project from the ashes of Museo Rosenbach comes Il Tempio Delle Clessidre ('The Temple Of The Hourglass'), and this self-titled album, which I went into listening with few expectations. Although the album's sound was very familiar from the beginning onwards, several listens in began to really separate this from the less powerful prog rock out there. What I'm trying to say is, if you are looking for an album that makes modern symphonic prog rock seem relevant, you need not look any further than 'Il Tempio Delle Clessidre'.

Certainly one of the best prog albums of 2010, 'Il Tempio' is easily identifiable with the Italian progressive scene; vintage keyboards, intricate guitars and jazz-tinged drumming, all mixed under the incredibly rich voice of Stefano Galifi. Good musicianship would be nothing without strong compositions of course, and 'Il Tempio' supplies this as well; the songwriting here is dynamic, cleverly arranged and manages to fix grand melodies and complex instrumentation both under the umbrella of virtually any given track. As I have said however, the album did take a few listens to digest the wealth of ideas here. The first song to open me up to the music here however- my own rosetta stone, so to speak- to the album was the melancholic slower ballad 'La Stanza Noscasta', which makes a surprising, but perfect use of bowed instruments to back up the piano and melodic vocal elements. Soon after, I would find even greater appreciation for the more involved tracks.

The real highlight here isn't necessarily any song in particular, but the presence of the keyboards. Elisa Montaldo has received alot of admiration and respect for her perfromance on thse album already, and for no small reason; the eclectic keyboard sounds here are fantastic, and add a great deal to the songs. Here, a listener will find typical prog staples like mellotron and rock organ, but also some beautiful piano work that could have easily found its way into a piece of classical music, or a film score.

There's no denying; the album is one of the best progressive rock albums to have come out of Italy since the '70s. One minor gripe I might have with the album is that it is stylistically very similar to much other symphonic progressive rock, but its strength lies simply in how much it is able to do with the sound, on an emotional level.

Report this review (#401609)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Lately there were not a lot of things to be proud for being Italian, but this album makes me the proudest Italian of the Italian prog listners. No doubt about it, this is a MASTERPIECE and can be considered without hesitation the best Progressive album of the year so far (of course). It recalls some of the best Italian Prog. bands out there as Banco and PFM and at the same time supplies the Prog world with new sounds. After every listen you can't really wait to listen to it again, simply perfect. Get it you won't be disappointed. 5 stars
Report this review (#412348)
Posted Monday, March 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One thing I was always taken by with the so-called "symphonic progressive rock" is the grander-than-life sound, the explosive and bombastic tunes, the richness of sound, the epic nature of the music. This is also the case with symphonic prog from Italy with past masters such as Le Orme, Alphataurus, Museo Rosenbach, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, PFM, Alusa Fallax, Metamorfosi, Quella Vecchia Locanda and many others. Since those "golden years" we've had newer acts follow in the footsteps: Nuova Era, Il Bacio Della Medusa, Il Castello Di Atlante, Consorzio Acqua Potabile, Cooperativa Del Latte, Nodo Gordiano, Pandora, I Pennelli di Vermeer, Il Ruscello, Ubi Maior and others. We've also seen the return of older acts like Delirium, Metamorfosi, Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno, PFM, Il Rovescio Della Medaglia, Paolo Siani (Nuova Idea).

Il Tempio delle Clessidre is a mix of a new act and return of an older act. They were formed by two young musicians in 2006, Elisa Montaldo and Gabriele Guidi Colombi (the lineup has changed somewhat since). They teamed up with veteran vocalist, Stefano "Lupo" Galifi, who sang on Zarathustra by Museo Rosenbach. Moreover, the band is named after a track from that album.

Il Tempio delle Clessidre follows in the footsteps of giants with their music. Indeed, this album is filled with the goodness of a bigger-than-life sound, a jovial spirit, lush and rich sounding music and gorgeous melodies. I have to confess though, that it did take me about 5-6 close listens of the album to fully absorb everything that was on it and then additional listens to just enjoy it after that. Once this album sat well in my mind, every listen became a blissful and invigorating sonic experience. This is not an album to put in the background. This is a piece you need to, gasp, sit down and listen to it attentively, follow all its turns and curves, digest all its appetizers, entrees and deserts, consume all the goodies it has to offer; and it has a lot to offer. Whether it is a simple and calm tune that Stefano sings to, or a complex instrumental piece that not only is impressively written, but also wonderfully executed and served. The album feels like an uninterrupted multi-section piece and flows by smoothly (some songs are individual songs, while others are interconnected; yet even with the individual songs, there is a feel of a thread that connects them to the rest ? hear for instance L'Attesa and Il Centro Sottile).

A particular favourite cycle of tracks here starts from a peaceful and soothing song with Stefano beautiful voice (La Stanza Nascosta) to a roller-coaster ride of high-paced progressive rock extravaganza (Danza Esoterica di Datura) followed by a majestic and dazzling melody (Faldistorium). The album isn't devoid of punch and does boasts an aggressive and heavier side, as can be attested on L'Attesa for instance. Elisa keyboards are subtle but powerful and complement wonderfully Stefano voice, the two of them backed by a crunchy sounding guitar and an efficient rhythm section. There is also good balance of song vs. instrumental. Stefano's singing, while prominent, isn't overbearing the whole album and the band gets to aptly show their musicianship skills as well as their compositional skills and how they wonderfully create a multi-layered tune. This album was a slow grower for me, but once it ripened out in my mind, its musical fruits were delicious and they just keep coming with every listen. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#434437)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars It sure took me some time to put my thoughts into writing when it came to the band-titled album by Il Tempio Delle Clessidre. I first heard this release in January, a time where I was trying to uncover some of last years hidden prog gems that I might have missed out on. Some of my findings like One-Armed Bandit by Jaga Jazzist and Excavations Of The Mind by Sky Architect turned out to be very nice and refreshing surprises that I honestly was not expecting from a 40+ year old progressive music scene. Unfortunately, the scene is still very much into the music of the past and sometimes I even get the feeling that some artists and especially their fans try to cover their pop music with sparkling prog references just to get some street credibility.

- Dude, this music sounds just like that pop stuff that my mother listens to!

- No, man. This is Progressive Rock music!

- Oh...well in that case it must be alright for us to listen to it. Rock on!

Let's be honest about this, the Rock Progressivo Italiano sub-genre has always been a bit more sweet and melodic than the rest due to the idea that South European countries tend to favor the melodic approach to music. That being said, it doesn't automatically mean that Scandinavians, like yours truly, all sit alone in our rooms grinding those lo-fi sounding guitars while writing our Black Metal music. We did have ABBA you know! I'm basically speaking broadly here and within those very general terms Il Tempio Delle Clessidre is actually more like a pop band playing prog music than the other way around.

This is a very enjoyable album if you favor a soft and gentle approach to prog music. There are many nice melodies and the instrumental approach is generally very sweet. It's obvious that the majority of this world's population enjoy it since this is the type of music that you'll be hearing in the mainstream media but on sites like Prog Archives you'll probably be placed in the Crossover category, that is unless you just so happen to be an Italian act.

I'm just not feeling this album and it usually just swishes past unnoticed, leaving me in basically the same frame of mind as almost an hour prior to that. I blame it on the lack of anything challenging with this music. Yes, it's pleasant and features a few instrumental passages that will make the fans point out it's progressive rock affiliation but what's the point? We all know that it's just an excuse for us all to pretend that this is anything but pop music with a few eclectic elements embedded into it.

**** star songs: Verso l'Alba (2:52) Insolita Parte Di Me (7:21) Boccadasse (5:21) Le Due Metŕ Della Notte (5:19) Danza Esoterica Di Datura (6:13) Il Centro Sottile (10:40) Antidoto Mentale (3:49)

*** star songs: La Stanza Nascosta (5:10) Faldistorium (6:02) L'Attesa (4:36)

Report this review (#468315)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

It's always nice when a band shows up and renews the strengths of a genre long forgotten.

Yes, the glory days of Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) fell behind in the 70s, but here comes Il Tiempio Delle Clessidre with their debut self-titled and changes everything! This is certainly one of the strongest releases of 2010 and although not my personal favorite of the year (that title belongs to We're Here Because We're Here) is good enough to be among the top of the best.

This is a band that combines the "old" - Stefano "Lupo" Galifar, who was lead singer of Museo Rosenbach - with the "new" - the other members, among whom there is a woman, and she is the keyboardist! (view sexist? perhaps, but the truth is that it debunks many keyboardists men!) with passionate musicality and strong, they have already secured their place in the pantheon of artists from RPI!

Stefano is an exceptional singer. While I'm no fan of the style "operatic" terribly annoying that affects many of the vocalists of the genre I really feel comfortable with all the beauty and power of this man's voice - especially considering that he is a old man of 60 years -somethings! The other members are not left behind, even with the keyboard being the main instrument here (and how it is used properly!) Guitar, bass and drums - there is also a cello being used in one of the songs here - give us great moments and contribute to the exceptional musicality.

The songs are all of high standard. I really love them all - except for Danza di Esoterica Datura, Faldistorium (songs that are a bit without unity and cohesion) and Antidote Mentale (an inappropriate end). But nothing, repeat nothing, can overcome the epic Il Centro Sottile. I go further and say that this is not just one of the best songs of the year as the entire history of the RPI!

4 stars for this great and nice work!

Report this review (#573442)
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars IL TEMPIO DELLE CLESSIDRE "Same" from 2010 is a compulsory albun for Italian Progressive Rock fans, mainly that figures on "nostalgic category". This affirmation can be confirmed as soon as the disc start to play, in fact already in the first track "Verso l'Alba" and in the track 2 "Insolita Parte Di Me" the musical atmosphere development send the listener, back in the 70's. and not only to the Italian progressive scenery but in the whole prog mainstream from these years. In the same track 2 (around 0.37 seconds of music) a keyboard "bridge" claims the name of the british prog-folk band JETHRO TULL, in reference to "Thick as a Brick", showing which the band besides the natural influences from giants of RPI like BANCO, MUSEO... are also strongly influenced by the Brittish progressive rock. Besides this considerations, the disk don't show any "weak" moment and the audience is easy. My rate is 4 stars !!!
Report this review (#776972)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
2 stars Downfall of modern RPI

I should love this - I really should. I've been returning to this album more than a dozen times now to see if I had gotten it wrong, heard it whilst drunk or sleepwalking, but alas there is just something about this release that completely fails to engage me.

Mind you, these are some highly skilled musicians whether you choose to lend an ear to the Banco inspired classical fountains of piano - or you lean towards the heavy notes of guitar and pumping drums. All of these people are up there with the best of them, and furthermore, like many reviewers here also have mentioned, the masculine and quite endemic vocals of the now legendary Stefano "Lupo" Galifi roam throughout the playing time of the album. He still sounds as powerful and insisting as ever, and you wouldn't know that he by now is in his 60s.

There are a fair few fingerprints of the original RPI wave, and I hear traces of the aforementioned Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Quella Vecchia Locanda and of course Museo Rosenbach - Lupo's original band. Then you get some modern touches akin to Anglagĺrd and the reformed Van der Graff Generator - all mixed together with what genuinely sounds like a bit of Dream Theater. I maybe loosing it a bit, but that's what I hear.

One of my biggest gripes with this release, is the total lack of dynamics in the production. I constantly feel like I'm listening to the second cousin of Vapor Trails. One big pounding wall of sound, that keeps things loud and distinguishable - crystal clear and audible - everything in its right place.... Now would that be such a bad thing then? Well sometimes it isn't, but on here it makes me loose focus and interest, when all musical excursions seem to be at the same level, resulting in a flat expression - levelling all valleys and peaks to one great big pan cake. It kills me, because I can hear the brilliant songwriting and the chops of these guys, but I just can't help it. Feels like it was recorded in a lab - seems oddly sterile and cold - even if the music bears strong resemblance to the warmer and more romantic side of the Italian scene. Personally I just loose track somewhere in the album and then forget to listen. The times I've heard this all the way through felt like a chore, and that is no way to feel about music... This is actually a big problem for me with most of the modern RPI releases, and this is essentially what sets them aside from the acts of the good old days. It's why I don't get the Fabio Zuffanti projects as well as most of the other new kids on the block. They sound bland to me - without the warmth and soul power of the original wave that with poor means and a small cupboard to record in, managed to create something audacious and vibrant. Something with life and dynamics, which sadly are the two ingredients I lack in this outing.

I realise that I am just about the only descending voice here, but then again, if you feel enamoured by the current recording productions a la Dream Theater, IQ, Yes, Haken and Rush, then by all means climb on board this ride - you're most likely going to love it!

Report this review (#781385)
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Il Tempio delle Clessidre is an Italian prog band from Genova that began life in 2006 on the initiative of Elisa Montaldo and Gabriele Guidi Colombi (two musicians who previously had been both members of a band called Hidebehind) who met with veteran Stefano "Lupo" Galifi, vocalist on famous Museo Rosenbach's album "Zarathustra" and later rock-blues singer in local cover bands. The first line up was completed by Massimiliano Costacurta and Corrado Bronzato. The name of the band means "the temple of the hourglasses" and was inspired by the title of a part of Museo Rosenbach's suite "Zarathustra". The initial idea of the band was to play on stage the whole album "Zarathustra" with the original singer using vintage sounds and new arrangements, then turn to the composition of original pieces in the same vein. After some line up changes, in September 2010 the band released an eponymous debut album on the independent label Black Widow Records containing only original pieces. The present line up features Elisa Montaldo (keyboards), Stefano "Lupo" Galifi (vocals), Fabio Gremo (bass), Giulio Canepa (guitars) and Paolo Tixi (drums). The main sources of inspirations of the band are the prog masters of Rock Progressivo Italiano, not only Museo Rosenbach but Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Locanda delle Fate and Il Balletto di Bronzo as well (just to name a few!), but the album is very rich in ideas and in my opinion sounds fresh an convincing. The art cover by Maurilio Tavormina in some way describes the content of the music and lyrics drawing a surreal panorama where time and space are blended with dreams and hopes.

The short, sumptuous instrumental opener "Verso l'alba" (Towards the sunrise) sets the atmosphere describing in music a restless night and leads to "Insolita parte di me" (Unusual part of me), a piece about the risks of an escape from reality. The warm, heartfelt voice of Lupo Galifi draws a dreamy landscape under a crescent moon, a dark road that drives a struggling soul right down into reality. But reality can be unpleasant and you are tempted to go back into the world of dreams thanks to absinthe or other substances, crossing the doors of perception... "As if my mind was running at light-speed / I go over the present and I enter the unknown...". Soon you realize that all you can feel is filtered by deception and by the ambiguity of your brain, then the rhythm rises while slapping keyboard waves suggest anxiety and confusion. "I'm overwhelmed by incomprehension / Everything vanishes into the nothingness of empty glances...". You can't escape from reality and all your efforts are vain. Who can't live can't be happy and if you keep on trying to overcome reality you risk to loose yourself.

Next comes "Boccadasse", an amazing track inspired by a beautiful place. In fact, Boccadasse is the name of a picturesque old mariners' neighbourhood in Genoa... "Suddenly the sunrise lights up / The fresh breeze is lightened by the pale sun...". At dawn the panorama is magnificent and your eyes are caressed by the colours of the tiny houses and of the narrow alleys. A sail on the sea becomes a metaphor of your feelings, then comes the rain and you can listen to its sound and to the cries of the seagulls. Time passes by and you can't move until dusk when the small beach shelters the people who look for an inspiring place to let their thoughts run free... "The sail flows / It ploughs the sea coming up to you / Its wake paints your soul and runs after your memories...".

"Le due metŕ di una notte" (The two halves of a night) begins softly. The atmosphere is dreamy and calm. The night is falling down while the last rays of sun shine like slivers of opal in the dark. Reality slowly fades out while sweet dreams start dancing around you... "Now magic keeps the spell of every moment written into the eyes / My heart is shivering inside me...". The sun rises, it slowly creeps in... "Come on, run fast, follow me / Don't be scared, trust me / We shine like stars in the sky / While we are waiting for the sun, my life...". Then the rhythm rises and the music brings in a positive energy painting the colours of the day.

"La stanza nascosta" (The hidden room) is an introspective track where memories slowly flow covering time and space. Under an imaginary curtain you try hard to find out what your mind can't discover. Your eyes shine like fire into the mirror while you observe the leftover of your mediocrity fading away. You try to pursue your spiritual experience and your mind takes off running after dark planets of crazy ideas. You can find what you have always been looking for in a hidden room that lies just one step beyond reality... "There are different dimensions / Their doors are invisible / A few people know / Many people dream suffocating in worn-out pages...".

"Danza esoterica di Datura" (Esoteric dance of Datura) and "Faldistorum" form a Gothic suite that tries to evoke a Sabbath with witches singing and dancing in the night. The first part is instrumental but in the booklet you'll find some verses taken from William Shakespeare's Macbeth that help to explain what the music is about... "Double, double toil and trouble / Fire burn and cauldron bubble / Cool it with a baboon's blood / Then the charm is firm and good...". The second part features a narrative part provided by the special guest Max Manfredi, a well known singer songwriter from Genoa... "In the end the sky lights up / The dance transform the souls into light... This is the night / This is Samhain!". An impressive church organ solo concludes the suite.

"L'attesa" (The waiting) is tense and dark. It's about the need to wait for something better. "Lost in time / I live every moment looking for order, lucidity / I'm hanging on, I'm shaking in the void of this darkness without ideas...". Sometimes a bit of poetry or a dream of freedom that comes true can change your mood and you can see the light of a new day shining in the dark... "A raw torment burns in my heart / My desires feed it / But as if it was rising from the dust / A thought lights up in me from oblivion / It spreads out, it grows with me...".

The long, complex "Il centro sottile" (The thin centre) begins with a delicate piano pattern. The atmosphere is dark but full of nuances. Time passes by, day after day, night after night. Every time at night the darkness seems to erase the deceptions of reality but after the night there comes another day and nothing changes, there's no way out... "I'm losing my soul tonight...".

The last track, Antidoto mentale" (Mental antidote), is featured as a bonus track and you can find it on the vinyl version of the album. It's a short and joyful melodic track that concludes this excellent work with a gust of optimism... "I've understood that to run away I have to trust the wind, the music and my soul / Now it's time to live again everything I lost / And to smile at all the things that don't have any power against me any more...".

Report this review (#795006)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Female keyboard wizard Elisa Montaldo was the person that started the whole Il Tempio delle Clessidre project in Genoa back in 2006 next to former Museo Rosenbach singer Stefano "Lupo" Galifi.Named after the eponymous piece of the classic Museo Rosenbach opus ''Zarathustra'', the group soon became stable with Fabio Gremo on bass, Giulio Canepa on guitar and Paolo Tixi on drums.Abandoning the covers and working on original ideas, they were discovered by Black Widow Records and in 2010 they released their self-titled debut both on vinyl and CD formats.

With Il Tempio delle Clessidre and such a story behind the band's origins, a prog fan is sure what to expect.Vintage-styled Italian Symphonic Rock with long instrumental themes, virtuosic solos, complex breaks and haunting lyrical parts.A much wiser and mature Stefano Galifi now uses his voice with control with hardly any of the rougher singing from his years with MUSEO ROSENBACH.Musically the band sounds very close to Galifi's former band with also strong resemblances to LA MASHERA DI CERA, LA TORRE DELL'ALCHIMISTA and LA CONSIENZA DI CENO.Even veterans LE ORME spring to mind here and there.Ten balanced tracks of well-written Classic Italian Prog with a good balance between lyrics and music offer a nice listening experience.Most of them are centered around the work of Montaldo on keyboards and piano with cinematic Mellotrons, powerful organs but also mellow Classical interludes and atmospheric synthesizers.The harder and most bombastic tracks contain also complex guitar moves with the organs and Mellotron in evidence, alternating between grandiose instrumental interplays and heavy, pounding rhythmic parts.But Il Tempio delle Clessidre have also chosen to keep the decibel in balance as well, throwing in a few smoother and more song-based pieces with light piano, dreamy melodies and good performance by Galifi.The music is far from anything original, but the good execution and the diversity in moods are definitely rewarding.

Another tasty fruit on the modern Italian Prog tree.''Il Tempio delle Clessidre'' is by no means a shocking album, but it would be a crime to be left out by the collection of anyone respecting Italian Prog.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1025325)
Posted Thursday, August 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars When a good wine is really good, is nice to taste it with an old friend. But when the wine ages is even more pleasant to savor it in solitude nights, maybe with a guitar close to a warm fire in winter, when that good wine became a good old friend. Inevitably in this case a man, a thinker that don't dislike solitude, starts to fluctuate back in time, maybe digging into the human essence, the human condition. These themes are often source of inspiration (and I don't deny, even for my writings) for many 70s RPI bands and artist like BMS, PFM, Museo Rosenbach, Alusa Fallax, Il Paese Dei Balocchi, Lucio Battisti (with the writings of Mogol), which gave us pearl of rare beauty. So looking for something exiting, I came across in several bands from several names. Among the many I was attracted by one them with name "Il Tempio Delle Clessidre". After one year I opened my "not yet heard folder" and I start to listen them. I don't know nothing about their story, and I was immediately impressed by the voice. An old acquaintance? Absolutely yes. Stefano "Lupo" Galifi!

The band has its root in Genova, a city of great Prog Artists as New Trolls, Delirium, Latte E Miele, Finisterre, but also songwriters as De Andrè, Lauzi, the Great Nicolò Paganini violinist and compositor, ecc... Their name chain them with a blood bond to Museo Rosenbach. In fact the project born in 2006 by an idea of Elisa Montaldo (the real driving force of the band) with the "old wolf" (LUPO) Stefano Galifi, legendary voice of Museo Rosenbach. In the beginning the project was created to play live the entire Zarathustra Opera, but later the band with "Lupo" decided to work for an album. The real surprise of the band is Elisa Montaldo. Behind that sensual and obscure figure hides a great keyboardist, compositor and Prog Lover, intelligent and creative. The rest of the band comes up with Giulio Canepa on guitar, Fabio Gremo on bass guitar and Paolo Tixi on drums. A classic Prog formation dominated by keyboards. The band sound play as the "good old RPI" of the best tradition of 70s, such great band as Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Museo Rosenbach (especially for vocals style naturally), but also as King Crimson and sometimes as Van Der Graaf Generator.

The album opens with "Verso l'Alba", a very classic RPI intro good structured, which gives to the listener an idea of which "material" the work is made. The same power characterizes the intro of keyboard and guitar together in "Insolita Parte Di Me" (my favorite song that I sing very loud as an adolescent happy). After a short flight on this intro, remembering "Degli Uomini" by Museo, starts "Lupo" voice. A dip into the past!! So with splendid passages and solos of guitar and keyboard, the song ends the reflections typical of entire album.

Is possible to appreciate the skills of musicians in piece as "Bocadesse", with sophisticated Prog passages and sudden changes of time elaborated and precise. A good song finely crafted, perfectly with the unique vocals. The ambiguity of a thinking mind is well expressed in "Le Due MetĂ  Di Una Notte", deep and uncanny.

In this phase the album play calm and thoughtful, and as an intimate confession begins "La Stanza Nascosta" (The Hidden Room). Under the sound of a slow piano the poetry of the search of themselves, this song offers us moments of rare beauty. The musicality of this thoughts, between piano, violin and classic guitar accompanies the listener until the end of the song.

Someone walk in a little watercourse or something like that where there is water. Dark and gloomy atmospheres opens "Danza Esoterica Di Datora" sudden time changes and then female voices confused. Here is possible to appreciate Elisa Montaldo ability with piano and keyboards. A deep knowledge of RPI. After an intermezzo of piano that remember me ELP or BMS, starts with crackling guitars and then a fantastic female voice accompanies the "Danza" which appears really esoteric! This song continues with the next "Faldistorum", so these two songs are a little suite. It goes more or less as the progress of the previous musical theme, whit an organ that remember the organ in cathedrals. In fact the atmospheres here are characterized by a sort of orations, as if it was a sort of ritual.

"L'Attesa", another example of cohesion between the members of the band, precedes another little suite. So starts "Il Cento Sottile", personally the best Galifi's vocal performances in this album. It sounds perfectly in line with Zarathustra Opera, as if the song was its continuation or a missing track, but enriched with new elements. Maybe the Elisa's touch? Yes, it is so. Here might end the album, but they has add the beauty "Antidoto Mentale" (Mental Antidote), to taste for a little bit the band. The choise to add this track is similar to the last song in L'Estate di San Martino album, "Talsete di Marsantino (an acronym of the band).

Bass and drum did in an excellent way the "dirty work", scanning the time and giving the rhythms to the wonderful atmospheres created. I think this could be a surprise for every RPI lover. An original sound despite they are inevitably bond to Museo Rosenbach. Thanks to Elisa which has embarked on this adventure with an old sea "Lupo" giving to us a masterpiece and a new band to appreciate RPI.

5 Stars - Necessary

Report this review (#1110851)
Posted Thursday, January 9, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of my favourite Classic Italian Prog albums is Zarathustra from Museo Rosenbach, the final part of the epic titletrack delivers the most glorious and compelling Mellotron eruptions I have ever heard! The name of that part is Il Tempio Delle Clessidre, I got exited when I stumbled upon a new Italian band with the name Il Tempio Delle Clessidre and their eponymous debut CD. Well, no coincidence, the singer of Il Tempio Delle Clessidre is Stefano "Lupo" Galifi, once the singer of that legendary and highly acclaimed Museo Rosenbach.

We can enjoy outstanding, very passionate vocals, an awesome vintage keyboard sound, exciting guitarplay (loaded with propulsive riffs and fiery runs) and a fluent rhythm-section. The inventive compositions contain a huge variety and lots of dynamics, in the vein of the Classic Italian Prog bands.

The start in the first short and instrumental track Verso L'Alba is Vintage Keyboard Heaven: a heavy Hammond and powerful guitar, accompanied by Mellotron violins and a fat Minimoog solo, I love this compelling sumptuous prog! This turns out to be Il Tempio Delle Clessidre their trademark, only the song Boccadasse is a bit of a maverick: a polished sound, at some moments even a bit smooth but wonderful interplay between fiery guitar and sumptuous keyboards.

My highlights.

Insolita Parte Di Me : majestic Mellotron, sparkling piano, a flashy synthesizer solo and a wonderful final part with emotional vocals.

La Stanza Nascota : a classical atmosphere with acoustic guitar, violin, piano and tender vocals, wonderfully build up to a compelling final part with lush Mellotron choirs, goose bumps!

Danza Esoterica Di Narura: very alternating, from fiery electric guitar to swirling Grand piano, like Keith Emerson.

Faldistorium: bombastic Hammond, powerful guitar with intense Mellotron violins and finally a church organ sound.

In L'Attesa the band rocks, with strong electric guitar and bombastic keyboard outbursts (Hammond and Moog) in the vein of Seventies ELP, topped by passionate vocals, again an extra dimension!

Il Centro Sottile : strong vocals, sensitive electric guitar and another great vintage keyboard sound in the final part (Grand piano, Mellotron and Moog).

What an outstanding debut CD, another stunning Italian progrock highlight in the last two decades.

After this debut album the band released two other studio-albums (alieNatura in 2013 and Il-Lūdĕre in 2017) and a live DVD featuring a new version of the legendary epic Zarathustra by Museo Rosenbach.

Report this review (#1935610)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review Nş 531

Il Tempio Delle Clessidre is an Italian progressive rock band founded in Genoa in 2006. The band intends to express ideas and music with the typical sound of the 70's progressive rock music. Elisa Montaldo, keyboardist and composer passionate by the progressive rock and Stefano 'Lupo' Galifi, the vocalist of the album 'Zarathustra', the progressive masterpiece of the famous Italian band Museo Rosenbach met in Genoa in 2006 and gave life to the project, which takes the evocative name 'Il Tempio Delle Clessidre', the final piece of the suite 'Zarathustra', then revised in meaning and concept. The band performs the entire album 'Zarathustra' live, so that Galifi's voice can return to the audience with its original strength and its typical blues nuance. The band begins to work on new ideas for their own compositions. The study, improvisation and sound research are crucial elements for the birth of their eponymous debut work from 2010.

So, 'Il Tempio Delle Clessidre' is the debut studio album of Il Tempio Delle Clessidre that was released in 2010. The line up on 'Il Tempio Delle Clessidre' is Stefano 'Lupo' Galifi (lead vocals), Giulio Canepa (guitars), Elisa Montaldo (vocals, piano, organ, keyboards and concertina), Fabio Gremo (bass guitar) and Paolo Tixi (drums). The album had also the participation of Antonio Fantinuoli (cello) and Max Manfredi (narration).

On 'Il Tempio Celle Clessidre' the compositions are tightly organized and strike the right balance between the melody and the complexity, without a second wasted and with enough changes of pace to make the most demanding prog fan happy. Although the singing is strongly emphasized, there is also a lot of room for the instrumentalists to display their considerable chops. Indeed, the pristine sound quality allows each of the musicians' performances to shine, and captures every nuance of Galifi's seasoned vocal delivery, honed in years of fronting blues-rock bands, while the melodic bent tempers the intensity of the lyrics and the esoteric symbolism of the cover art and booklet of the album.

'Verso L'Alba' is an instrumental track, relatively short that immediately sets the high standard of the music. It sets the scene with the deep, Gothic sound of the organ. It immediately sounded to me as a fine Italian prog album of the 70's. 'Insolita Parte Di Me' is a piece with a lot of rhythm changes, alternating quieter passages with more dramatic ones, dominated keyboards. It's amazing how they manage to achieve the complexity of prog without sacrificing the melody. 'Boccadasse' is a more conventionally structured song with a great diversity. The instrumental parts are followed by the melodic vocal parts with beautiful melodies, catchy chorus and a beautiful melodic guitar solo. The end is great too. 'Le Due Met' Della Notte' is a splendid keyboard showcase that combines melody and intensity. It slowly builds featuring the piano, vocals and a rhythm section, to the full bombastic splendor of the best symphonic prog in its finale. 'La Stanza Nascosta' is a ballad largely acoustic in its nature. It's a very beautiful and delicate track with a lot of classical influences. The piano and the stunning vocals conjure a melancholic and meditative atmosphere. It's superb. 'Danza Esoterica Di Datura' features a varied array of sound images, abetted from a Shakespeare's extract of Macbeth recited by Elisa. It develops into a great prog track with great keyboard melodies combined with very complex rhythms. 'Faldistorium' is full of rhythm and wonderful parts full of keyboard strings. The story is spoken by guest Manfredi, reciting a short text in an emphatic, melodic yet slightly ominous, reinforced by the closing strains of a church organ. 'L'Attesa' is an up-tempo track, a rich and energetic keyboard fest. It's very much in the vein of classic Italian heavy prog acts of the 70's. It has jazzy bass, Hammond organ, Mellotron strings, romantic piano and the great voice of Galifi. 'Il Centro Sottile' is a solemnly melodic track where all the instruments strive to create a lush texture with romantic and classical piano parts, beautiful vocal lines, melodic guitar work always supported by tasteful keyboards. To complete, the fairground and firework sounds on the finale and can add emotionality to the listener. It's simply amazing. 'Antidoto Mentale' closes the album with the leading role for Galifi. This includes lots of vintage keyboards played pleasantly too.

Conclusion: Il Tempio Delle Clessidre deserves to be hailed by their debut. Blending the warmth and melodic flair of the Mediterranean musical tradition with the driving energy of rock and the artistic ambition of prog, the band released one of the best albums to have come out of Italy. While taking their cue from the prog music produced in the 70's the band manages to sound fresh and up-to-date, and not a mere exercise of nostalgia. Il Tempio Delle Clessidre delivered quite an achievement with an album that they can be very proud of. A flawlessly performed, lovingly presented effort, Il Tempio delle Clessidre will surely bring a lot of listening pleasure to the many fans of the Italian progressive rock style. It's highly recommended for people who enjoy the music of the 70's made by Genesis, Yes, Camel, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and Le Orme. You should definitely invest in this band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2742142)
Posted Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Review Permalink

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