Hamadryad - Conservation Of Mass

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Unicorn Records
Catalog Number: UNCR-5002
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:00:00

The chaotic sounds of the instrumental opener "Eternal Loop" don?t let you look into the band?s cards, as it does in no way represent Hamadryad?s music. Seconds into "Amora Demonis," though, all is revealed, as hard edged guitars mingle with theatrical vocals and very interesting rhythmic exploits. With two guitarists in the line-up no doubt this calls for fantastic solos. Together with a range of great keyboards this sometimes results in a bombastic sound, as is proven during "Still They Laugh."

Based in Québec, Canada, Hamadryad kind of holds together influences from "older" US bands such as Kalaban and Quill, yet due to the use of various voices they result in a surprising rich multitude of styles. There?s a great coordination between the many voices and the multiple breaks during "The Second Round." The Mellotron is back in full swing during "They Still Laugh - Part 2," ending in a melting pot of sounds. Fretless bass plays many a solo backed by divine Mellotron in "Shades Of Blue." The greatest build-up is reserved for "Action" which sees both guitarists opposite of each other, backed by eerie, sacred vocals whilst they get the chance to shine in a bluesy way once the rhythm slows down. But then it?s all systems go with one of the guitars almost playing "Flight Of The Bumble Bee"!

The perfect mix between prog metal and fusion can be found in the intro to "Nameless,? but then the organ takes us on a journey through Yes-land letting the bombastic side of Hamadryad's music take the upper hand once again. "The Second Coming" is more pop oriented, yet with a little dash of Starcastle filtering through the acoustic nature of the song. Four different parts together form "Watercourse Hymn" the final epic on this album. Due to the inclusion of a fair amount of acoustic guitar and the high pitched vocals, no need to say once again Yes springs to mind. The surprise comes when real cello is included, creating an unsuspected extra to the otherwise fabulous composition. The strange thing is that a Keith Emerson type synth solo suddenly enters this very Yes-like song, which slightly resembles the work of Druid as well. In the end we could easily say that "Watercourse Hymn" proves to be Hamadryad?s very own "Close To The Edge."

As a debut album Conservation Of Mass suddenly has to be reckoned with as a major find, but also deserves our sincere congratulations, as undoubtedly numerous sleepless nights have gone into the preparation and recording of this little beauty. Everyone who is in the slightest bit interested in vintage Yes should order his/her copy today, but beware as the first pressing of 1000 copies is already sold out!

Eternal Loop (0:49) / Amora Demonis (6:58) / Carved In Rust (0:23) / Still They Laugh (2:22) / The Second Round (4:31) / Still They Laugh Pt. 2 (2:25) / Shades Of Blue (5:26) / Action! (9:39) / Nameless (10:24) / The Second Coming (4:23) / Watercourse Hymn (10:10)

Denis Jalbert - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Jocelyn Beaulieu - vocals, electric & classical guitars
Jean-François Désilets - bass, vocals, Taurus pedals
Francis Doucet - C3 Hammond, Mellotron, MiniMoog, Roland synthesizers Yves Jalbert - drums, percussion

Conservation Of Mass (2001)
Safe In Conformity (2005)
Live In France 2006 (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: July 26th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.hamadryadmusic.com
Hits: 1092
Language: english


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