Clepsydra - Alone

Year of Release: 2001
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:36:00

Perhaps one of the strongest characteristics of what has become commonly known as neo-prog is the fact that its sharp songwriting skills and melodic catchiness allow for incredible emotional impact. Concept albums and their potential in such areas are no strangers to musicians who choose to explore the musical confines of this subgenre either, so that bands have been able to create efforts of undeniable quality and timelessness across the years. Marillion, of course, comes to mind immediately with Misplaced Childhood, and that album is as good a reference point as any for Clepsydra's latest, Alone.

Featuring a sound that is highly reminiscent of the most progressive moments of the aforementioned album toying around with the unlikely but obvious radio readiness of Rush's Moving Pictures, Clepsydra has created an album of surprising uniformity and epic outreach that concentrates on a single formula and keeps using and abusing it for the entire length of the record. Marco Cerulli's guitar almost features the tone of a young Steven Rothery at times, and Philip Hubert's keyboards resemble a cross between Mark Kelly and Geddy Lee, so that the listener is brought into familiar territory at the very beginning and without further ado. Not only that, however, but the treaded path remains for an entire hour, so that one is bound to know exactly what's coming next after a couple of minutes pass by.

And that is exactly the peril that has transformed into the downfall of this record, as the rich and melancholically enticing beauty of Clepsydra's approach soon becomes old news and what initially is the perfect vessel for Aluisio Maggini's heartfelt vocals turns into a predictable collection of rhythms and melodies that, although quite nice, is also quite uneventful. After the three-track "Tuesday Night" is over, the album is pretty much done for, as the number of pleasant surprises coming after that are limited to certain moments on "Travel of Dream" and "Alone" that could hardly suffice to compensate for the lack of variety found everywhere else.

In all honesty, Clepsydra is a considerably developed unit with a beautiful sound and some uniquely deep musical moments in which the listener is shaken by the sheer emotional characterization that this Swiss quintet brings to life. It is thus that those who do not mind lack of variety, and are interested in what this band has to offer, will probably be interested in acquiring Alone. The rest of us will just have to pass. After all, sometimes there's really no point in feeling as if though one is listening to the same song over and over again.

Similar Artists: early Marillion, Rush, Ricocher

Tuesday Night - Track 1 (2:22) - Track 2 (5:34) - Track 3 (5:19) / Travel Of Dream - Track 1 (2:42) - Track 2 (6:25) - Track 3 (1:46) / The Return (7:10) / The Father (7:31) / Alone - Track 1 (0:41) - Track 2 (5:19) / The Nest (6:58) / God Or Beggar (5:45) / End Of Tuesday (5:03)

Aluisio Maggini - vocals
Marco Cerulli - guitars
Philip Hubert - keyboards
Nicola de Vita - bass
Pietro Duca ? drums

Hologram (1991)
UGUM Part II* (1993)
More Grains Of Sand (1994)
Molecule* (1995)
Fears (1997)
Sysyphus Vol. 2* (1998)
Alone (2001)
3654 Days (2014)

* compilations

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CH

Added: May 18th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 877
Language: english


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