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Clepsydra - More Grains Of Sand CD (album) cover





3.66 | 113 ratings

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4 stars I have yet to hear Clepsydra's debut, "Hologram", working my way back in their discography as I am, but multiple listens to "More Grains of Sand" give me the idea that the first few songs are layovers from that album. This is because, in spite of a solid opening pair of songs, and another interesting tune "Eagles", the album really seems to kick into gear with track 5, "Hold me Tight", which it does right thru track 11, "The Prisoner's Victory". Regardless, it's enough for another highly rated work from this premier and criminally overlooked Swiss-Italian band.

It is the chorus of "Hold me Tight" which showcases Maggini's emotional magic. "No Place for Flowers" is a real grower, the first few minutes passing by unappreciated until a sparkling lead guitar solo bursts into focus, fading out only to explode one more time. It is very reminiscent of some of the work of Collage's Mirek Gil. Once this climax is fully appreciated, one returns to the earlier parts of the song to see how, indeed, it got from A to B. "The Outermost Bounds" is a short keyboard based ballad with another fine melody. The transition to the upbeat, almost poppy "Fly Man" is effective. This song reminds me of mid period Genesis in their more accessible moments. "The River in Your Eyes" starts off with just acoustic guitar played in the Hackett style but becomes an ambient rocker shifting from instrumental to vocal passages swiftly and deftly. It ends with yet another great lead guitar solo that segues into the graceful, slightly spacey instrumental "Grain Dance", also dominated by Lele Hofmann's guitar. Not to say that Philip Hubert's keyboards play a minor role - they are critical to the mood setting which is what Clepsydra is all about. The Prisoner's Victory" is another fine lengthy piece with a number of themes, and the album closes with two shorter tracks that are nowhere near as monumental.

It should be mentioned that if you can't handle accented vocals, and occasional words that are mispronounced, you might have some trouble with Maggini's voice, but otherwise I think there is much to like here for anyone who tends to the more melodic side, if not the extreme end, of the prog spectrum. It's not easy to find Clepsydra recordings anymore, and I would not tarry, for the hourglass has nearly emptied, and it may not be possible to turn it over again.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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