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
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more