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Clepsydra - Hologram CD (album) cover





3.44 | 92 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The debut of one of my favourite Neo-Prog bands!

This guys from the italian part of Switzerland managed to release four albums before their break in 2002, after having recorded the beautiful and heart-touching "Alone". "Hologram" was their first album, and it has their most classic line-up, with the wonderful Lele Hoffman on guitars, being his contribution essential in the first two albums of the band.

The Clepsydra style is not really surprising... It's just Neo-Prog, int he sytle of the first Marillion albums, Pendragon's "The Jewel", or the albums that IQ released int he mid 80's. But they have some elements that make their music special... The first one is a tremendous love for the guitar solos, wich are maybe the most typical element of the band. Lele Hoffman was able to build really beautiful melodies with his guitars, although the sound if it is oddly distorted. He did it even better in "More Grains of Sand", but a big part of the interest of the songs in "Hologram" is to hear the Lele's guitar solos.

Maybe the other most distinctive element of the band, ist he Aluisio Maggini's voice, wich has a very strong italian accent... This can be a bit annoying to some people, but I think it makes the band's sound more personal. For me this band would not be the same without this passionate man singing the lyrics in english just like Roberto Benigni in the Oscar ceremony!

The rest of the band is also excellent, showing their skills thanks to a surprisingly good production for being the debut of a litlle and unknown prog band... Like I said, "Hologram" is pure 80's Neo-Prog, maybe a bit more dramatic and more sober than the usual albums of this style, but without real surprises. It's also far from the diversity and complexity of "Alone" or "Fears", being this the bigger fault of the album... It's a big repetitive in my opinion. It's not boring at all, but sometimes I miss more variety between the tracks. With honorable exceptions like the beautiful ballad For Her Eyes, the acoustic Poem for a Rainy Day, and SandFlow, a track wich remembers me a lot to Vangelis.

Best tracks: New Day Part 1 (a trademark's Clepsydra track, with the typical Lele's guitar solo...), Fading Cloud of Time (a rockier track, in the sytle of the great Fly Man of "More Grains of Sand"...), Fore Her Eyes (I really LOVE this beautiful song... Despite the silly lyrics, is one of the most beautiful Clepsydra's songs. Another marvellous Lele Hoffman work) and Hologram (the longer and proggier song of the album)

Conclusion: a very good debut album of one of the most special Neo-Prog band that have ever existed... It has not so many good songs like the following and similar "More Grains of Sand", and it's also far form the complexity and diversity of "Alone" and the equally excellent "Fears", but it really deserves a good listening, specially if you are into 80's Neo- Prog, style of wich "Hologram" is a very trustworthy exponent.

My rating: ***

The Crow | 3/5 |


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