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HAMADRYAD

Eclectic Prog • Canada


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Hamadryad biography
Founded in Montreal, Québec in 1995

HAMADRYAD has released what may be the best prog album of 2001 for their debut. The diversity of music on this CD is tremendous: vintage instruments with a crunchy sound and very intricate music with influences from many different styles. This is a great album, and I recommend it highly. Fans of modern prog should enjoy this one.

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The Black HoleThe Black Hole
CD Baby 2017
$12.38
$16.55 (used)
Intrusion by Hamadryad (2010-03-01)Intrusion by Hamadryad (2010-03-01)
Unicorn Digital Inc.
$74.80
Conservation of Mass by HAMADRYAD (2000-08-02)Conservation of Mass by HAMADRYAD (2000-08-02)
Unicorn Digital Inc.
$19.75
IntrusionIntrusion
CD Baby 2016
$9.99
$39.21 (used)
Live in France 2006Live in France 2006
Single
Unicorn DIgital Inc. 2007
$10.85
$0.95 (used)
Safe in ConformitySafe in Conformity
unicorn digital inc. 2005
$23.39
$25.45 (used)
Conservation of MassConservation of Mass
CD Baby 2016
$9.99
$3.38 (used)
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HAMADRYAD discography


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

3.83 | 86 ratings
Conservation Of Mass
2001
3.42 | 57 ratings
Safe In Conformity
2005
3.05 | 39 ratings
Intrusion
2010
3.96 | 33 ratings
The Black Hole
2017

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

3.29 | 17 ratings
Live In France 2006
2007

HAMADRYAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HAMADRYAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HAMADRYAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Pray to My God
2011

HAMADRYAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Black Hole by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.96 | 33 ratings

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The Black Hole
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A collection of songs that span quite a range of prog styles, using sounds and techniques from symphonic, metal, death metal growls, to vintage Genesis, Peter Gabriel, and Rush, this album comes as a late surprise as it was only released on December 17 of 2017. Welcome to the club!

1. "Peaceful Exit" (8:04) the opening section is a bit grating though it follows a kind of RUSH-like pattern, but the second (and third) instrumental section is great--with cool keys, bass, and electric guitar solo. (8.5/10)

2. "So - By Your Side" (10:32) opens as a poppy early-STEELY DAN-like tune (clavinet and rhythmic structure) before progging things up a bit. The organ in the second minute helps. As do the great drumming and lead guitar work. The singer has quite a similar voice to that of STRAWBS' founder Dave Cousins. Great slowed down final section. (8.5/10)

3. "Fall'n Fly" (8:43) opens with a heaviness that feels and sounds great. Then enters Jean-Fraoncios Desilets' Dave Cousins/early Peter Gabriel-like voice. Nice. The song remains heavy and insistent through four minutes as drums, metal guitar chord play, and chunky, fast-moving bass propel us on. Synth and slide guitar flourishes sneak in before a cool "underwater bass" solo and lead guitar solo play off each other for a minute. At 5:15 things get really pretty with some slowed down great synth wash chords and emotional lead guitar flourishes. Wow! I like this! Part MOONGARDEN, part CAFEINE, part RIVERSIDE. At 7:05 the pace picks back up with a cool sequence of short, quick riffs that get prolonged over about 45 seconds before Arp synth solo takes the band back into the opening pace and styling. (9/10)

4. "Dark Souls" (6:01) opens with awesome acoustic guitar tracks strumming away. Multi-voiced vocal track joins in at 0:25. At 1:06 things blow up into full-on metal music. The added lead vocal which sounds just like Peter Gabriel from "Moribund the Burgermeister" from his 1977 debut solo album, gives it a very cool sound. The band is very tight, very well integrated, throughout this section. Awesome and unexpected shifts into acoustic and back into metal and symphonic sections through proceed over the next couple of minutes before leveling out with a high- energy final minute. The best song on the album. (9.5/10)

5. "Crash" (4:53) drums and chunky bass open this song before upper octave rhythm guitar quick strums join in. A Mick Jagger-like vocal enters for the first verse, but then goes into Gabriel-treated voice for the two successive chorus sections. After the second round of the two choruses at the three minute mark, the song goes more acoustic with choral voices singing in a kind of countrified Rolling Stones/Led Zeppelin way. Interesting. (8/10)

6. "The Worst Is Yet to Come" (5:43) opens with spacey electronic keyboard sounds with picked 12-string guitar before soft doubled-up Cousins/Gabriel/UNITOPIA voice enters in a ghost-like style. The entire song proceeds like a Trespass-era GENESIS song with the softer 12-string-led dynamics and Gabriel-style subdued vocals dominating though it is well supported with things like flute and chamber strings, chunky fretless bass and great melodies. A great song; my favorite on the album. (9.5/10)

7. "Amora Demonis 2017" (7:54) excellent organ-led symphonic prog with a great heavy bass and ominous vocal performance setting up some pretty great soli from the synths, Hammond, and electric guitar. The female(?)-led group chanting in the sixth minute give it an almost Zeuhl intensity! (If that's not a woman singing it is an amazingly gifted male!) It turns out that this is a reworking of a song the band had released 16 years before on their debut album. My third top three song for the album. Great job! (9/10)

Overall a very enjoyable, very creative, and very well produced album of eclectic sounds and styles performed at a very high level of musicianship and band coherence. My only hesitation to assigning a higher rating comes from the mysterious and nagging question of Which of these Hamadryad's is the real Hamadryad?

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of eclectic and diversified progressive rock music; definitely recommended to all prog lovers! Check this out!

 The Black Hole by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.96 | 33 ratings

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The Black Hole
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars HAMADRYAD, another band under observation since years, as I preferably liked their prolific live performances. The current studio album now tops it all. Quite an eclectic mix, where a heavy rocking behaviour is enriched due to trickiness and a lot of jazzy and spacey moments. So this partially sounds like, yes, inspired by Race Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers or maybe Spin Doctors, though simply not reduced to that. On the other hand, since going into So By Your Side there is also a slight Genesis flair to detect in between, which carries forward 'til the end. Jean-Francois Desilets' punchy and funky bass strikes above all when listening to this band coming from Montreal.

Wow, just take Dark Souls, so much energy pushed towards the prog community! And the following groover Crash turns out to be my album highlight. Ideally suited for your next party! 'Please awaken me ...' - The Worst Is Yet To Come offers beautiful acoustic guitars contributed by Denis Jalbert. The song appears in a more psychedelic and symphonic outfit overall, somewhat provoking as for the execution, because not in the least matching with the track title. Amora Demonis 2017 finally is a reworked version from their debut 16 years ago. Overall about 50 minutes of real challenge, recommended!

 The Black Hole by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.96 | 33 ratings

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The Black Hole
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team

4 stars Since the release of their first album, the band has lost his vocalist Jocelyn Beaulieu who has a special voice in the range of Jon Anderson of Yes. Since then the sound and the music of the band change for a more in your face kind of rock, heavier, less retro-prog and more modern. I was a bit disappointed with the next two releases, it felt to me that the band has lost his sense for good melodies. It's clear that the voice of Jean François Désilets doesn't have the same strenght of Jocelyn, but his bass sound is still great, very upfront in the mix. However the band has done some interesting work on the vocals with 3 members of the band in some places, especially in the strongest track of the album "So- By Your Side" and in the song "Crash". In the first song we are treated with some long guitar solos and that pedal note that the band has always used in the past. The music reach the Prog Metal genre and the instrumental parts is use in many sections showing the excellent musicianship of each player including some tasty keyboards lines from Sébastien Cloutier. "Fall' Fly" is a fine example of this with some Geddy Lee bass style and some serious heavy guitar parts. The band made a wise choice to close the album by including a new version of the song "Amora Demoris" from the first album. I think that this one is the best album since their debut because I feel that I could grasp on the melody like I did with the first one.
 Intrusion by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.05 | 39 ratings

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Intrusion
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Hamadryad whom their previous two albums "Conservation of Mass" and "Safe in Conformity" I have reviewed, is a progressive rock group from Montreal released "Intrusion" as their third studio album. The music of the band was originally quite complex combinening many elements of old school prog heads like Genesis and Yes with some falvour of Gentle Giant especially during their choirs. Their second album was much closer to Gabriel era of Genesis. Both were excellent albums as you might want to read the reviews in this site.

This Intrusion album blew me away with its opening track titled as Funk-A-Trunk (8:55) which has great composition overall, combining excellent tagline melody with great harmonies among all instruments used in this track, dynamic energy and great time signatures from start to end. There are many surprises from each of the segment presented. The vocal part is great, the keyboard solo is superb and making the music really an interesting prog music - remembering the glory days of prog. Hope all songs contained here are like this opening track

Unfortunately not all of the tracks like the opening one, as the second track Pray to My God (11:15) is very weak, composition-wise. I don't really believe how come Hamadryad creates this weak one even though they tried with good guitar fills - but it does not help elevate the musical quality. It continues weakening to the next one Lap of Love (6:34) as well as Sentenced (6:12). Another excellent track is Lost (5:11) especially with its excellent combination of vocal and keyboard work. Well ...it's too late for me to arrive to this track which is positioned at 8th track of the album. Hopefully all tracks similar in energy and composition like this one or opening track.

Even though this album has two key tracks but overall the composition is really weak and all songs sound like disjointed one to another - making it not enjoyable overall. The band must wake-up for the next one to create something as good as their previous first two albums. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Conservation Of Mass by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 86 ratings

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Conservation Of Mass
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars In the booklet the band basically beg the listener to play this at least a few times before coming to a judgement about it, and when placing it in the player for the first time I could see why. However, even when hearing it for the first time the sheer class and majesty shines through. This pure prog album will be loved by anyone into 'old school'. At times they sound a bit like Genesis, or Colosseum, or Greenslade, or Yes, or Gentle Giant, or like none of them at all. They go from one musical area to another with ease, at home with jazz or with hard rock.

The result is an album that all proggers will fine themselves drawn towards. In fact, the biggest problem with this album will be getting it heard by enough people. Unicorn in Canada has released it, but hopefully Cyclops or Musea will pick it up in Europe so that it can reach a wider audience. It is full of depth and passion and is the best prog album to come out of Canada by a new band that I have heard for a while.

Originally appeared in Feedback #62, May 01

 Conservation Of Mass by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 86 ratings

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Conservation Of Mass
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by MelloT

5 stars It's my favorite album of the Canadian band Hamadryad . I like Beaulieu's voice ( reminds me Jon Anderson) , all the songs are very solid, the musicians are excellent, We heard Hammond organ, lot of Mellotron ( love it ) and others synth. My favorite songs are by far Amora Demonis, Nameless and Watercourse Hymn. I really enjoy the 6 and 12 acoustic guitars works and the guitar solos of Denis and Jocelyn sounds very good. The very complex drumming of Yves and the big bass of Jean-Francois really shine here. With this album Hamadryad are one of the best Canadian prog band. For all Yes lovers!
 Safe In Conformity by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.42 | 57 ratings

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Safe In Conformity
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Second opus from this French Canadian band Their "Safe In Conformity" sounds less complex than their debut and the overall feeling leans more on the neo than on the eclectic side of prog. The first two songs are a clear confirmation of this perception.

It is of evidence that this "Safe In Conformity" doesn't hold the same intricate approach than their debut. The fact that their lead vocalist left the band was not helping a great deal. One could be annoyed with his Anderson like vocals but at least he was passionate, skilled and performing. Jean-François Désilets has a much less interesting voice and most of the songs here sounds pretty flat.

Only one guy left, but the sound of their music drastically changed (not for the best). Not only their musical style (from eclectic to neo), but vocals now seemed to sit more on the Gabriel side. I'm afraid that the music played is just the mark of one out of plenty (which was not the case with their good "Conservation Of Mass").

There are hardly any great song featured on this album: just a bunch of average neo-prog attempts. Deception is high even if "Sunburnt" sounds quite effective. What's left is unfortunately weak metal stuff which is quite uncomfortable to my ears.

The closing track " Omnipresent Umbra" is the best by far. Although vocals are quite weak, it offers substantial and excellent guitar break. The one and only great song form this album.

Two stars.

 Conservation Of Mass by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 86 ratings

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Conservation Of Mass
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This French Canadian band plays an intricate music with high pitched Anderson like vocals; and I can only say that for most of their debut, the mix is quite effective. The band was accordingly moved from neo to eclectic (at least for this album) which is better in line with the work one can discover with "Conservation Of Mass (retain?)".

This "Yes" inspired music is highlighted during "Amora Demonis": great bass lines, furious guitar and explosive drumming are such a fine combination! The first part of this album though features several short (to very tracks) which aren't quite necessary ("Eternal Loop" or "Carved In Rust")? One minute for both tracks combined! Is there a real need for this? I guess not.

Once tracks are longer, the music develops better and even if "The Second Round" clocks at less than five minutes, it offers some very good theme changes and complex drumming. Metal lines aren't alien to this song to be complete. Some sort of "Yes" with a metal angle: not bad at all I admit. Some polyphonic vocal passages are also reminding me of "Gentle Giant". I can understand though that some of you might get irritated by Jocelyn Beaulieu's voice. But I quite like it.

It takes some time for "?Action!" to enter into ?action. Quite frankly the hard rocking intro is nothing from the other world, but when the wonderful guitar solo enters the scene; it is quite a different story.

The longest song of this offering offers a more keyboards oriented track; vocals are quite melodic and very well performed. Be ready for another YesJourney my prog friends. I guess that by this time: either you love this album or hate it. Or maybe that like me, you just believe that it is a good album but find that it borrows too much to the gigantic "Yes". The closing "Watercourse Hymn" is no other.

A good debut album which features high technical skills and fine Anderson oriented vocals: three stars.

 Conservation Of Mass by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 86 ratings

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Conservation Of Mass
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I reviewed HAMADRYAD's second album "Safe In Conformity" about 3 years ago here and it came across as GENESIS inspired music right down to the vocals. So here I am now with their debut "Conservation Of Mass" which has a different singer. His voice is high pitched and Jon Anderson does come to mind alot when listening to this record. I would say this fellow is more dynamic and theatrical though. In fact this album does impress a lot more than the followup as it has more of an Eclectic vibe while the next one is more Neo-Prog inspired.

"Eternal Loop" opens with the sound of someone running then these spacey sounds take over. "Amora Demonis" contrasts well the heavier instrumental sections with the lighter vocal led passages. Guitar, organ and drums bring it home. "Carved In Rust" is a very short GENTLE GIANT-like vocal arrangement. "Still They Laugh" sounds really good. Nice bass too.Vocals a minute in. A calm with mellotron a minute later. "The Second Round" builds with guitar and organ standing out. Vocals a minute in. Some excellent guitar before 2 1/2 minutes followed by organ.

"Still They Laugh Pt.2" is again a treat for the ears like the first part. Some atmosphere too. "Shades Of Blue" is fairly dark and heavy but that changes when the vocals come in unfortunately. It turns melancholic later. "...Action ! " opens with heavy drums and bass. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes ruin the mood temporarily as they come and go. It turns somewhat dreamy after 3 minutes with tasteful guitar before kicking back in.The tempo continues to change. Killer tune ! "Nameless" is uptempo with a nice heavy sound. Vocals 2 minutes in. A calm with organ after 5 1/2 minutes, mellotron and reserved vocals join in.The guitar solos beautifully after 9 minutes to the end. "The Second Coming" is upbeat with vocals. It's okay. "Watercourse Hymn" is laid back with vocals coming in after a minute. It settles even more before 4 1/2 minutes then picks back up. Synths dominate before 8 minutes then the vocals return.

This is an impressive debut on many levels. A solid 4 stars.

 Conservation Of Mass by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 86 ratings

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Conservation Of Mass
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As mentioned already by quite a few reviewers, this is a stunning debut from Hamadryad. Influences range from Gentle Giant, Genesis, Yes as well as jazz/fusion. There are many 5 star tracks. One being _...Action!_ which a wordless vocal that is not unlike Rik Emmett(of Triumph) meets Jon Anderson, which then quickly welcomes you into the madness of Action! The track then embarks on a psych/jazz fusion jam which is reminiscent of the outstanding parts on the very first NeBelNest CD(band out of France) or the tight interplay of fellow Quebecers POLLEN. Vintage keyboards throughout the entire album(yes...the mellotron!). The multi-part _Still They Laugh_ can stand tall with anything by Yes or Genesis. The first Hamadryad classic. Hamadryad's CONSERVATION OF MASS was my top album for 2001 and I still play it on my radio programme to this day. Recommended.
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