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CLOCKWORK

Progressive Metal • United States


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Clockwork biography
Five-piece set from Philadelphia who play a combination of symphonic prog and complex technical metal - for references, think a mixture of YES and DREAM THEATER. Their material features lush keyboards that provide the backdrop for dual lead guitars, layered vocals and a tight rhythm section. The musicianship is excellent and the vocals somewhat high pitched, but not shrill. Unfortunately, they disbanded after the release of their only album in 1999.

"Surface Tension" is a mixed bag of goodies. The heavy guitars and the complex structures make for some interesting musical moments. The way these guys can transcend styles and manage to balance an even dose of symphonic rock with ethnic fusion and metal throughout is admirable. However, they have packed so many influences into each piece that the whole thing sounds rather disjointed; consequently, the listener finds it hard to get into the music or to focus on any one style. This being said, CLOCKWORK are very talented musicians whose album provides some highly luxurious moments and beautiful melodic passages. Certainly not to be overlooked.

Should appeal to fans of DREAM THEATER and SHADOW GALLERY.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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B.O.A.T.S.B.O.A.T.S.
Life & Death 2013
Audio CD$12.57
$16.22 (used)
Every Voice CountsEvery Voice Counts
PrecisionChaos Records 2010
Audio CD$13.90
$5.17 (used)
Surface TensionSurface Tension
Sensory Records 1999
Audio CD$8.99
$0.01 (used)
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CLOCKWORK shows & tickets


  • Holy Ship! on 3 Jan 2015

CLOCKWORK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CLOCKWORK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 19 ratings
Surface Tension
1999

CLOCKWORK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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CLOCKWORK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Surface Tension by CLOCKWORK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.91 | 19 ratings

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Surface Tension
Clockwork Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. CLOCKWORK were a Prog-Metal band from the USA who released only one album back in 1999 before breaking up. Two lead guitarists and a great singer make this album a pleasing listen. They thank Sean Malone, Michael Romeo and SYMPHONY X, SHADOW GALLERY, Daniel Gildenlow and PAIN OF SALVATION among others. I was reminded of ENCHANT and FATES WARNING the most while listening to this recording.

"Secrets Of Centuries" opens with piano, flute and some strings. It kicks in before a minute. What an amazing sound ! It settles again. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. The guitar just soars before 6 minutes and I like the synths that follow. "One Wing" might be my favourite. A nice heavy rhythm as these passionate vocals come in. Great riffs follow. Love the vocal melodies too. Some incredible guitar before 5 minutes. "East Of Knowing" has this Spanish flavour throughout. I like the drums and percussion after a minute. "If These Walls Could Talk" is back to the heaviness. Vocals a minute in. Lots of excellent guitar too. We get a pastoral break of flute and acoustic guitar before it kicks back in.

"The Guardian Of Eden" is a little too eratic for my tastes, it's all over the place. It's impressive though.The guitar is fantstic 5 1/2 minutes in. "The Convolution Box" has this nice heavy soundscape. I like the guitar after 2 1/2 minutes. It settles with a Spanish flavour before 4 minutes before kicking back in. Nice bass 5 minutes in.The drumming really shines on this instrumental. A top three track. "Smile Under Sad Eyes" is a mid paced tune that's all about the lyrics. Some flute in this one and tasteful guitar after 3 minutes. "Design Of Enlightenment" is the almost 13 minute closer. Orchestral sounds before it kicks in heavily with synths. Vocals follow. Spoken female words 2 minutes in. The guitar is grinding away with vocals which is very FATES-like. Some intricate guitar work before 6 minutes. Heaviness comes back before 7 1/2 minutes. Great vocals follow.

I really wish they had been a little more one dimensional and kept it heavier, but it's still a good record despite the lighter tracks.

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 Surface Tension by CLOCKWORK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.91 | 19 ratings

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Surface Tension
Clockwork Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another case of a lost treasure in prog metal

Surface tension is the single album of american band Clockwork released in 1999, and what an album, simply amazing how such unknown musicians could creat such a strong and tight album. Prog metal of the highest calibre featuring some very strong and inventive keys and guitar parts. Clockwork is a forgotten band in my opinion, delivering some of the best prog metal available at the end of the '90's not only in America, but aswell in Europe. What can you expect from this album?? - a lot is a the response - lush keys, great chops on guitar, inventive drum playing and above all a real voice, not a screamer like many prog metal bands has. The album has two instrumental pieces among the rest with the voice, and are a real pleasure to listen, complex prog just for every prog metal fan, with great time changes and tight musichinship. The tracks with voice are also great, the voice of Douglas Joseph Matthew Gillin is something between Mike Patton (Faith no More) in places and sometimes he remind me of the guy from Zen (italian prog metal band), anyway good voice who fits very well in this kind of music. So the best pieces to me are:One Wing, If These Walls Could Talk and the instrumental oneThe Convolution Box, the rest are ok. A great and very underrated band and album in my opinion, who desearve a better view, great album with a lot to offer, 4 stars easely, excellent addition to any collection, really a superb and unnoticed album.

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 Surface Tension by CLOCKWORK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.91 | 19 ratings

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Surface Tension
Clockwork Progressive Metal

Review by AtLossForWords
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Progressive Metal is a genre where there is so much excellent music left undiscovered. Often times, this somewhat undiscovered music maybe be from a band that sadly disbanded after one or two albums.

Such is the case of Clockwork. Clockwork, released one album titled Surface Tension. There is so much to enjoy on this album, and as treated as Progressive Metal fans are with this album, they are deprived that this is the only work of the talented and creative band.

What can a listener expect from this release? Lush keyboards, cretive vocal melodies and rythmns, and soaring guitar melodies.

Chris Pignatelli demonstrates the lush keyboards right off the bat with the introduction to the openting track, "Secrets of Centuries".

All throughout the albums you can expect great guitar melodies from M. Thomas Gammarino, who's work is highly influenced by that of Steve Howe and John Petrucci. The production is a little brittle regarding that of his guitar, but this is easily overcome by the lushness of all the other instruments including very diverse basses of both the fretted and frettless variety.

The vocals are one of the main selling points of this album. "If These Walls Could Talk" is a short track which showcases just how creative this band get can with Douglas Joseph Matthew Gillin's vocal arrangements in just a short song.

"Design of Enlightment" is the condensed twelve minute epic of this album, and showcases the band at their very best and most creative. Clockwork is a very expressive band that manages to combine the best elements of Progressive Metal and Symphonic Progressive Rock. The production of the album may be a little brittle, but it's very difficult for something like that to effect how much a listener can enjoy an album.

This is a four star album, it's kind of like a diamond in the rough. It's hard to believe how good it is without listening to it extensively.

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 Surface Tension by CLOCKWORK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.91 | 19 ratings

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Surface Tension
Clockwork Progressive Metal

Review by W.Chuck

5 stars The debut album of a regrettably to unknown prog-metal band from the United States. SURFACE TENSION is a quite complex cd and extremly varied. Their overall style is prog- metal, no doubt, but they put in so many different types of music like Jazz, Blues etc. The album starts with "Secrets Of Centuries". First an orchestral passagebut then a quite surprising fast guitar joins. This passage is already quite complex but when the 1 verse begins that all floats away and you hear a slow and melodic rhythm section. In the chorus the guitar comes in again and it's starts to get more heavy and more complex but not too exaggerated. Every track is outstanding, "East Of Knowing" with this nice african melody, "The Guardin' Of Eden" with the nice bass work and its jazz parts, "The Convolution Box", an incredible instrumental piece featuring lots of different themes which all fit together perfectly and including wonderful soft melodies and complexity and "Design Of Enlightenment", a perfect longtrack and consistent with this great album. All the musicians are great: There are nice riffs and soli by the guitar, amazing bass lines, a perfect keyboard work, stunning drums with lots of breaks and time changes and the gorgeous vocals which are perfectly going with the music. I hope their next release (if there is one, considering they haven't had that much success) is on the same level and maybe even better! Great CD by an amazing band!

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 Surface Tension by CLOCKWORK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.91 | 19 ratings

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Surface Tension
Clockwork Progressive Metal

Review by davefowler

5 stars The musical talent in this now defunct band from greater Philly was beyond belief. Listen to this album. If this album came out when the genre was large these guys would have been world renowned.

Every singer these guys ever had was average but the lead and drums are so good it hurts. The computer technology for production has made it easier to get better output for less money now, but given the budget these guys had for this album you have to think that this is one of those times when you realize why parents don't want their kids to be too into music because if guys this INSANELY talented just barely got noticed then it is just dumb luck that anybody ever gets noticed.

This whole genre bores me anymore, but these guys can you get excited about artsy music now matter how jaded you think you are.

Energy and talent on so many different levels and some serious risk taking in the writing and performance..... DAAMMMMMNNNNN these guys are good.

They mix so many different influences together while still remaining true to this genre that seemed done when Billy Beer was on the shelves and give it a life that if by some chance somebody listens this to a thousand years from now they will realize that at least four guys somewhere really cared to make a wildly diverse prog album at the very end of a wild century.

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