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CLEPSYDRA

Neo-Prog • Switzerland


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Clepsydra picture
Clepsydra biography
Formed in Locarno, Switzerland in 1990 - Hiatus between 2002-2012

Excellent Neo Prog band from Switzerland. Many aspects feature in their beautiful music, mainly the outstanding voice of Aluisio Magini, which fits perfectly on top of a well structured instrumentation.

The style on "More Grains of Sand" is also very typical of the melodic rock produced by British bands since the '80s (ex: MARILLION, PENDRAGON, IQ). On their third album "Fears" CLEPSYDRA's main influence is still very much the Fish-era MARILLION. This is a fantastic and very powerful album with great vocals, a very tight sound with the bass and the dynamic drumming and some stunning guitar playing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

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CLEPSYDRA discography


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

3.45 | 97 ratings
Hologram
1991
3.69 | 124 ratings
More Grains Of Sand
1994
3.94 | 163 ratings
Fears
1997
4.03 | 164 ratings
Alone
2001
3.77 | 39 ratings
The Gap
2019

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

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

4.33 | 6 ratings
Live @ RoSfest 2014
2015

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

4.24 | 19 ratings
3654 Days
2014

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

2.41 | 9 ratings
Fly Man
1993

CLEPSYDRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hologram by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.45 | 97 ratings

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Hologram
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Hologram is the debut album from this terrific swiss neo prog band that I had hazard here on PA only after they had broken up for quite some time. But I fell for their sound from the get go and got all of their four CDs at once (along with several other groups I was discovering at the time, 2006/7). The bad thing about getting so many albums in one buying is that you tend to focus on the ones that are on the "blow you away" category, and tend to neglect those which do not, So for years I totally loved Fears and Alone, and, therefore, gave little attention to the "lesser ones", More Grains Of Sand and Hologram. Recently I decided to give another try with some CDs that I had not listen for a long time. And I found that those two early Clepsydra works were much better than I initially thought.

I knew that More Grains Of Sand would be great because of the high praising most Clepsydra fans give it, but there was not so much fanfare for their debut. And I understand why: compared to their latter work, Hologram is quite less original and appealing. However, this is far from being bad or even weak. In fact I was surprised to find all the elements of their sound already here, and the strong musicianship and performance of all involved. It is ok that their trademark sound was not quite developed and some of the songs are still "green". Still, the tracks are all at least good, with some very good ones becoming quite popular among fas. I must say that my opinion about this CD (and More Grains Of Sand) may be influenced by the remastered CDS released in 2014, which gave them a clearer and brighter sound that fits perfectly to their sound and kind of "fix" the not so good original production.

Now you can hear Gabriele Hoffman guitar solos with all their mighty power, Phillip Hubert subtle keyboards are more on the fore and Andy Thomen bass is also more audible. The only not so positive aspect of the new production is the drums, a little too compressed that make it sounds a little artificial, but nothing that spoils the overall greatness of their sound. The only reason I don┤t rate Hologram four stars is because the songwriting is not as spectacular as their latter output. It is good, as I mentioned before, but they would get much better from More Grains Of Sand onwards. So, 3,5 stars is a fair rating.

I was really happy to rediscover this CD, that is very pleasant, melodic and well made. Clepsydra┤s debut was very promising indeed and, thankfully, they ended up more than fulfilling that promise. And I am even happier that they came back recently with a powerful new album. I don┤t think I would recommend Hologram for a newbie, but if you already know their latter output, then listening to this one will give some good moments too. They started with the right foot.

 More Grains Of Sand by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.69 | 124 ratings

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More Grains Of Sand
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Swiss band Clepsydra is one of the great prog bands to emerge from the 1990┤s and More Grains of Sand Is their second album. It is also one of my favourites. Coming three years after their debut, Hologram (1991), MGoS find the band in a transitional mode stylistic speaking: still a bit derivative in parts but on the right direction. They would find their very own sound with their next release, Fears (1997). However, in terms of songwriting and playing quality, the album is simply superb: the songs are much more inspired, powerful and well structured and the production is better (although not ideal yet). I specially appreciated Lele Hoffman┤s guitars licks and solos, along with Philip Hubert┤s tasteful keyboards and the tight rhythm section of Andy Thommen (bass) and Pietro Duca (Drums). Aluisio Maggini┤s voice is always something different, to say the least, but you can┤t deny his charisma and power. It┤s a matter of taste, and I, after acquiring the taste, like it a lot.

Although the band had not totally shed their early Marillion influences yet, More Grains Of Sand shows their enormous talent and potential. Songs like The Prisioner┤s Victory and Moonshine On Heights are among their best and the album does not have a single weak track to mar its greatness. If you like the more melodic side of progressive music, where the great technique is used to enhance the songs and not just for pointless displays of virtuosity, then you should not miss this one.

Rating: four strong stars.

 The Gap by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.77 | 39 ratings

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The Gap
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What? Just two reviews up until now? Let┬┤s fix it. It seems incredible that it took whole 18 years for swiss neo proggers Clepsydra to release am album of new material. Ok, since I have known this band only after 2008, and had four excellent albums to discover, it seemed a little shorter period. Still, it was a long wait. But fortunately most of the band is back: only guitarist Luigi Biamino is a real new face here (bassist Nicola De Vita is not an original member, but played on their 2001 release Alone). So I was quite hopeful about what they had to offer after all this time. I also feared something completely different or uncharacteristically to their trademark sound. You know, with Clepsydra you either love them or hate them. Their style was very unique, specially Aluisio Maggini vocals. And I really love their previous CDs.

So what The Gap (insightful name, very fitting, by the way!) has to offer? Like the new Pendragon CD, the brilliant Love Over Fear, at first it seemed very different, with a few bars using heavy guitar licks. Did they fell prey of the siren call of the prog metal genre? Well, like Pendragon┬┤s newest CD, it only took a few seconds to discover that Clepsydra┬┤s new offering is very much their very own sound, spiced up with some novelties here and there, but nothing that deviates much from what we would expect from this great band. In fact, I was stunned that they sound so tight and inspired after such a long absence.

To me this album sounds like a long suite rather than a collection of songs, and this is a compliment. There are many mood and tempo swings, but mostly it is very fluid and of great quality. If you have listened to their earlier stuff and liked them chances are you┬┤ll probably take some time to adjust to The Gap, as I did. The new tunes are not as accessible as material from Fears or, more to the point, More Grains Of Sand (1994). However, if you persist, you┬┤ll be rewarded with a very fine record that is constantly being played at home and in my car (this CD is absolutely great to hear while you┬┤re driving). Fine, I┬┤ll concede that this is not really their best (Alone carries this honour), and a few brief moments are not as sharp as the rest, but those moments are few and far between and they never spoil the best qualities of the songs they┬┤re on. So we have am excellent album that I always listen from beginning to end without skipping a single track (or any part of the long suite, as I like to think of them). With an excellent production and impeccable performances, we can only forgive the band for the long waiting: it was worth it. We just hope it won┬┤t be that long for a follow up!

Conclusion: a very fine album, with just what I wanted from them: great melodies, emotional guitar solos and vocals, fine songwriting. Definitely, The Gap is on my top five list of the year. Welcome back, guys!

 The Gap by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.77 | 39 ratings

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The Gap
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars 18 ... yes 18 years we expect the new album CLEPSYDRA, well here it is "The Gap". There was a silence of 14 years from the last album in 2001 "Alone" and their performance at Rosfest in 2014 and out of the box "3654 Days" which included the first 4 albums remastered with bonus Galileo Records in 2014. Even if there was talk of a new album at that time ... it will wait another 4 years before you see it happen! I am the group since "More Grains Of Sand" by 94 and it fell in the same year of the beginning of the program profile. So just imagine ... for me it was a heart stroke and the opening track of the album 'The First Grain' was the theme of our program for a year and during their visit to Quebec in 1997 to Progest bar D'Auteuil. I had the pleasure of receiving CERULLI Marco & Andy THOMMEN to my record shop 'ProgFusion "for an interview that aired on the show Profile (Crossing Jordan photo). Great memories, then you will understand the interest I have for this group and the release of the new album "The Gap"!

In 2014, during their visit to RosFest CERULLI Marco (Guitar) & Andy THOMMEN (Bass) was present. Marco left and replaced by Luigi Biamino & Andy left for other projects and replaced (or return) by Nicola De Vita who was there for the album "Alone" in 2001. Since the beginning Clepsydra changed 3 times with guitarists from the excellent Lele HOFMANN (Shakary) who played on the first two albums (91 & 94), Marco CERULLI the following 2 (97 & 2001). And now Luigi Biamino and as we know the importance of the guitar in the band's music, we ask all the time when there are changes ... how it will sound! Be reassure that Luigi did a masterful job with a slightly different sound, rhythm a little heavier with tasty guitar solo time. You're going to realize from the first song 'When The Bells Ringing Started' when the guitar embarks on a heavier sound, we are surprised and excited at the same time! One of the most beautiful compositions that Clepsydra has written to date, and that says it all because they have a lot! The other important point in the music of the band is singing well and do not fear because ailliez Aluisio MAGGINI has not lost its charm ... his voice is still beautiful, powerful and melodic. We must listen to 'You' between another to realize that he has not lost his voice and tell yourself that this is how the whole disc. Keyboards plies are both at their volatile or planing and rhythmic accompanied it all very nicely. Another piece to note is 'Millenium'. Magnificent ! One of the most beautiful compositions that Clepsydra has written to date, and that says it all because they have a lot! The other important point in the music of the band is singing well and do not fear because ailliez Aluisio MAGGINI has not lost its charm ... his voice is still beautiful, powerful and melodic. We must listen to 'You' between another to realize that he has not lost his voice and tell yourself that this is how the whole disc. Keyboards plies are both at their volatile or planing and rhythmic accompanied it all very nicely. Another piece to note is 'Millenium'. Magnificent ! One of the most beautiful compositions that Clepsydra has written to date, and that says it all because they have a lot! The other important point in the music of the band is singing well and do not fear because ailliez Aluisio MAGGINI has not lost its charm ... his voice is still beautiful, powerful and melodic. We must listen to 'You' between another to realize that he has not lost his voice and tell yourself that this is how the whole disc. Keyboards plies are both at their volatile or planing and rhythmic accompanied it all very nicely. Another piece to note is 'Millenium'. Magnificent ! powerful and melodic. We must listen to 'You' between another to realize that he has not lost his voice and tell yourself that this is how the whole disc. Keyboards plies are both at their volatile or planing and rhythmic accompanied it all very nicely. Another piece to note is 'Millenium'. Magnificent ! powerful and melodic. We must listen to 'You' between another to realize that he has not lost his voice and tell yourself that this is how the whole disc. Keyboards plies are both at their volatile or planing and rhythmic accompanied it all very nicely. Another piece to note is 'Millenium'. Magnificent !

Without a detailed each title to, after 4 consecutive plays, I must admit that no parts are disappointed me, because after 18 years of waiting, it often sets the bar high as auditor and sometimes we is disappointed. And this is not the case here. It runs alone and 62 min. that takes the album goes to a torrid pace. Plus, excellent production! The wait has not been luck, it's hard-CLEPSYDRA, quality Neo-Prog, always with a style of their own. Yes I admit, I was sold in advance, and my expectations were high. The new album "The Gap" handily pass and will be considered in my end of year tops! Fans of CLEPYDRA ... immerse eyes closed!

 Hologram by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.45 | 97 ratings

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Hologram
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Prog from Switzerland! Who knew!? The miraculous thing about this album, these musicians, is that they purposely chose progressive rock! In 1991!

1. "Sunrise" (1:20) the opening of a bookend pair with the finale, "Sunset," church bells chime as bass, distant drums, single plucked guitar chord and keys rise and kick into full gear before searing electric guitar ends the song. (4.25/5)

2. "New Day (Part 1)" (5:11) piano opens before Aluisio joins in singing in a relaxed, as if tired, voice. The second verse is joined by synth strings as Aluisio perks up, switching up an octave, singing with much more force and clarity. Drums and bass join in for the "time pass me by" chorus before launching into the guitar-led instrumental section. Keys do a very reserved solo as drums play beneath until sax-like guitar returns at the 3:00 mark to signal time to slow down again for Aluisio to sing, starting low and tired before quickly jumping into his more urgent pleading voice. Another melodic guitar solo finishes it off. Nice song. (8.75/10)

3. "4107" (5:12) typing on an old manual typewriter as typist recites that which he is typing. Low bass note, glockenspiel synth arpeggio and drums form spacious support to Aluisio's plaintive vocal. Electric guitar takes the lead at the end of the second minute and into the third before slowing to play arpeggiated chords. Then the music shifts for keyboard play before Gabriele takes the lead again at 3:00. Nice horn-like METHENY-ish guitar tone (in the upper registers). (8.5/10)

4. "Fleeting Moments" (3:13) opens softly, sounding like Steve Hogarth on Marillion's Marbles. Aluisio's sensitive voice in the second minute is so heart-breakingly fragile and vulnerable! What a vocalist! (9/10)

5. "Fading Clouds of Time" (3:50) opens with slow emotional electric guitar lead over synth strings until 0:54 when piano, bass and drums kick into gear. Vocals join in with a STARSHIP, JOURNEY or even BON JOVI type of sound. Song alternates soft spacious sections with full, uptempo, power chord sections while ending with a slower section for an electric guitar solo. (7.75/10)

6. "Poem For a Rainy Day" (2:11) stairway footsteps and child's voice preempt this electrified acoustic guitar lullaby. Some synth support and the addition of a classical guitar in the second minute. Nice. (There are no words to this "poem.") (4.5/5)

7. "New Day (part 2)" (6:13) up and down, as the previous version, from soft and spacious to loud and bombastic. Still, Aluisio's voice can almost win me over no matter what else is going on around or beneath him--and this is one of his finest performances on the album. Also one of the best chord progressions and electric guitar solos. (9.25/10)

8. "Sandfow" (3:17) general train station restaurant conversation, dishes noises, and PA announcements lead into a cymbal and synth supported electric guitar solo. The chorus-delayed sound of the guitar is cool. At 1:35 drums kick in and band amps up to announce their presence for a few seconds before backing down to leave a really cool, almost eerie spacious soundscape. Electric guitar eventually steps into the void with a melodic bluesy solo to the end. (5/5)

9. "For Her Eyes" (4:41) CURE-like electric guitar and electric piano open this one until Aluisio enters around the half- minute mark. The song becomes standard rock ballad support, still sounding like THE CURE though also WHITESNAKE and other 1980s hairbands. (8.5/10)

10. "Steve and Jane" (5:19) synth wash, electric piano and Aluisio open this one. Despite indications that it's going to get loud and heavy, the boys show restraint and stay quiet for the first 90 seconds. Then there is shift as a fast- picked guitar arpeggio chord sequence triggers some latent power from the keys (orchestra hits). When Aluisio returns, the music beneath is still defining itself. The keys definitely get much more prominence on this one that the rest of the album. (8.5/10)

11. "New Day (Part 3)" (2:01) opens sounding like airport/spaceport music before electric piano enters. At 1:00 synth strings form support for electric guitar to solo over. Nice brief emotional melodic solo. (4.75/5)

12. "Hologram" (7:40) Aluisio singing over amplified classical guitar turns proggy after the first minute with the arrival of drums, bass and keys. What a voice. He makes it sound so effortless! A shift at 2:45 leads to more theatric storytelling approach from Aluisio before the band kicks in and jumps forward. What sounded like they were going full SCORPIONS turns instead to something more spacious like COLLAGE. The instrumental jam we thought was coming several times before starts, in part, at 5:45 as Gabriele solos over the churchy organ and gated drums--into a long, slow fade out. (13/15)

13. Sunset (1:21) reprise of the opening song with full band engaged from opening and electric guitar doing an aggressive rock solo from the start, then ending with church bells. (4.25/5)

Total Time: 51:29

B/four stars; a nice addition to any prog lover's music collection and recommended for anyone interested in hearing a truly gifted male vocalist.

I have to report that I do prefer the original sound over the "remaster." I've never been a fan of gated or compressed drums--one of the biggest mistakes Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins ever made. It's also too bad that the 1990s had to deal with such poor, cheap sounding keyboard sounds from the plethora of everybody-can-afford cheap keyboards coming out at the time. We're still paying for it to this day with some bands that refuse to let go of those cheap old things. Overall, there is just a lot of music here that sounds as much "Prog-Wannabe" or "Near Prog" as Neo Prog.

 The Gap by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.77 | 39 ratings

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The Gap
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Swiss-Italian neo prog collective CLEPSYDRA boasted a formidable run of 4 acclaimed albums between 1991 and 2001, albums that together constituted an intensive course in how to do neo prog the "right way". With emotive and skilled vocals, keening guitar leads, atmospheric keyboards and a flair for composition and arrangement, they left their sweet scent on the scene and then...nothing. The last 5 years have seen a flurry of updates and, finally, with a lineup 80% identical to that of their last and best studio recording "Alone" some 18 years ago, they have emerged anew with "The Gap".

Well, it's like no time has passed at all; all the pieces are in place and functioning in synch. Aluisio Maggini's voice is as distinct as ever, and continues to be an anchor of the group's integrity. New guitarist Luigi Biamino caught the baton passed by his predecessors, with expressive languid leads. Keyboardist Philip Hubert continues to aerate the arrangements and might be slightly more prominent than in prior releases, while the rhythm section is capable as ever, muscular when called upon.

While CLEPSYDRA generally espouses a temperate style with a preponderance of dreamy passages over raucous interludes, they earned my ardent attention in the first 30 seconds of "When the Bells Started Ringing". A plodding, metallic riff, perhaps the most assertive in their history, kicks off a dynamite 11 minutes, which are punctuated by more typical melodic passages, solos, and even ambient interludes. Unfortunately, their attempts at other epics meet with more mixed success as they did on the weakest of the earlier releases, "Fears". The strategy of blending moderate length tracks into a continuous epic reached peak fruition on "Alone" and the excellent "More Grains of Sand" mined a similar vein. The band's strong suit is in the low to moderate complexity numbers, but they appear to be conflicted by the belief that, among prog fans, more is more. I have seen this in the more recent releases by other groups that are more or less of this ilk. I do hasten to add that every track here has much to redeem it, with the best of the rest being "The Spell" and "Millenium", even if the latter could have been pruned by 1/3 to its benefit.

While CLEPSYDRA tends to be judged as an "imitator" rather than innovator in neo prog circles, it remains that they are one of the more recognizable bands in this sub genre, due mostly but not only to Aluisio Maggini's voice. Therefore a new CLEPSYDRA album is well worth celebrating, especially after a gap of almost 2 decades. 3.5 stars.

 Fears by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.94 | 163 ratings

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Fears
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Bad album cover but yummers inside!

Yes, behind a bland art cover hides some of the best Neo you could get. Well produced, well executed and well sung this piece of prog pie is a delight IF you're in the right mood. Lush keys, soaring Gilmour solos and energetic drums are topping a beautiful but emotional voice. Maggini's voice is strongly resembling Benoit David's way of singing (even sharing the same accent!) and feels refreshing in a sea of wannabes trying to emulate their hero.

Does Neo Prog has to be sad to be part of the movement? That's why I said this record's great if you're in the right mood; I know they're not singing about sunshine and lollipops just by listening. It could enhance a sentiment of loneliness if played a day you're not a your top, not a serotonin booster to say the least.

For those who like Mystery (Quebec's best kept secret), Pendragon and Saga, you've found one of best thing Switzerland can offer..apart for chocolate of course.

 3654 Days by CLEPSYDRA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
4.24 | 19 ratings

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3654 Days
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swiss band CLEPSYDRA (not to be confused with the British or the Italian band of the same name, both of which appeared in 2000s) was formed in 1989, and with the release of their debut album "Hologram" they quickly rose to prominence in the early '90s becoming quite the popular feature in the European prog scene, often described as the Swiss version of Marillion. The band folded in 2003, but following a decade long hiatus they returned in 2013. One year later they marked their return as an active band by releasing the limited run box set "3654 Days", featuring remastered versions of all their four studio albums from their initial phase of activity, with bonus tracks, and a booklet, chronicling the history of the band. The set was released through the Swiss label Galileo Records. From what I understand, the CDs in this box set have also been made available as individual releases. For the record, I will have to add that I had a minor role in the production of that box set, and while my role as a reviewer is to be as unbiased as possible, a personal involvement in such a production merits mentioning, due to the possibility of bias.

Clepsydra's first phase of existence has been covered in full with the release of the box set "3654 Days". Just about all known history of the band has been collected in a booklet, and all four studio albums are a part of the package, remastered, and with bonus tracks, filling up just about what remains of free space on these CDs. The box set as such comes across as a product made for fans of the band, old and new alike, a product that gives them everything they want to know and hear about the band's first period of existence, presented in a stylish, well made package. With some splendid artwork as a part of what you pay extra for, if you go for the box set rather than the individual albums. For those not familiar with this band, I'd recommend fans of bands like Marillion and Pendragon to try out Clepsydra for size, and then to start with the albums "Fears" and "Alone".

 Fears by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.94 | 163 ratings

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Fears
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Clepsydra even made it to the Swiss television at the time of the release of ''More grains of sand'', which was something pretty unusual for a Prog band.In 1996 the classic line-up, which released two incredible albums, will be getting some lifting, after Gabriele "Lele" Hofmann announced his departure.The remaining members would soon replace him with Marco Cerulli, a talented musician, who could also play the sax.The new formation recorded a third album for SPV, ''Fears'', released in 1997.

Cerulli had to adapt his personal style to the music of Clepsydra and while the songwriting remained at high levels, the new guitarist had certainly a most melodic touch than Hofmann, similar to Gary Chandler of JADIS and Steve Rothery of MARILLION, so these incredible guitar ups and downs with the heavy riffing followed by monumental, sharp soloing are to be sorely missed in this release.Of course Clepsydra's sound was always a mix of sentimental and bombastic passages and this hasn't changed a bit in ''Fears'', still Cerulli appears to be more comfortable during the more laid-back or melodic moments of the album.Regarding the compositions these are once more pretty great with emphasis on vocals, dreamy keyboards and shifting guitar moves, occasionally containing bits of Symphonic Rock with all these stretched, atmospheric keyboard themes, but the general mood follows the guidelines of MARILLION, PENDRAGON, IQ and the likes.Production and mix of the album are at the highest level and the song structures are classic examples of energetic Neo Prog, filled with romantic moments, lyrical intensity, keyboard flashing and upbeat, rockin' exhibitions.Trully enjoyable tracks, but I still think a couple of killer pieces are missing from this work.

Clepsydra's overhaul led to a less dark, more joyful effort along the lines of the previous albums.While not as good as its precursors, ''Fears'' would propably make proud every other lesser known band in the world, that would have produced it.Not your starting point in Clepsydra's discography, nonetheless an efficient Neo Prog effort.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 More Grains Of Sand by CLEPSYDRA album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.69 | 124 ratings

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More Grains Of Sand
Clepsydra Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Better follow-up from debut album ...

As I put it at the review of first album:

Since the emerging symphonic prog movement or I called it as a second generation of prog where at that time the classic prog like King Crimson, Yes, Genesis and the like was in a decline in terms of public taste and then came into the scene new born bands carring the prog flag with simpler music through names like Marillion, IQ, Pallas, Pendragon, I found the musical characteristics can be categorized into two types:

First, those who take the new generation music called as neo-prog with the sort of dragging keyboard sounds and Floydian guitar solo or I can call them as the "Chelsea Monday"-like kind of music. Chlesea Monday is one song from Marillion's debut album "Script" where the music is quite mellow with Floydian guitar solo. There are many bands that follow this kind of music style, including Clepsydra.

Second, those who really try to emulate the kind of music that Script from Marillion has penned in its entirety including the Chelsea Monday like or the He Knows You Know like or in fact Forgotten Sons like music. It's quite difficult actually to do this second category as only Marillion, IQ and Pallas that can do good job on this. As you know they are all pioneers of neo prog and of course they can do it really well. Look at how Marillion's first four albums can produce this second category music really well, and also IQ still can do it through its latest album "The Road of Bones" where the opening track "From The Outside In" is truly a good representation of He Knows You Know like.

At this second album the band tried to move from the first category to the second one with much more energy and dynamics injected into the the music. The result is an interesting album mbetter than the first offering where the dragging keyboard work were dominating the scene. In fact right from the opening track The First Grain (Setting The Hour Glass) (0:45) that connect to the second one Moonshine On Heights (7:13) the music demontrates energy and dynamic as He Knows You Know from Marillion even though at not the same energy. But at least the music is now more interesting and challenging to me personally. Even though Birthday Party (7:17) is mellow and like the first category but it has great nuances and makes me interested to enjoy further.

No Place For Flowers (8:04) as well as Fly Man (4:10) demonstrate the dynamics of the music and I enjoy the energy the band sparks through the excellent compositions of these two songs. The msuic is not as quality as Forgotten Sons but they are both very enjoyable.

Overall, the album is much better than the debut even though there are still elements that need further improvement, There are great keyboard sols as well as guitar solo throughout the songs provided by this album. Recommended for those who like neo prog and it's worth having it in your collection. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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