Clepsydra — More Grains of Sand
(SPV CCD 4109, 1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01Ever miss the sound of Marillion in their glory days? This Swiss five-piece regularly evokes the memory of Misplaced Childhood on this, their second album, and build upon that general sound using similarly-styled themes and near-identical instrumentation. And this is not some cheesy imitation — the musicianship here is superb, these guys blend all the dramatics, subtlety and expression perfectly, and their material evokes that same spirit... and despite the fact that the overall style is not that original, I don't hear any overtly stolen licks. The songs are connected together into lengthier suites which seem to have a logical flow to them. So that's the music. The vocals are another matter, though. Lead singer Aluisio Maggini makes a good case for why bands ought to stick to their native language — his voice is solid and typically appropriate for neo-prog, residing vaguely in that vast somewhere between Les Dougan and Bryan Ferry, yet the poor English pronunciation and misplaced lyrical emphasis bring it down a couple notches. Another complaint is that the album is way too long; clocking in at close to 65 minutes, it starts running out of steam around 45:00. Still, for those familiar with the band's first album Hologram, this one is a major step forward, and should appeal to fans of the neo-progressive sound as defined by mid-80s Marillion.
Related artist(s): Clepsydra
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more