(All Album Reviews by progladyte)
Clepsydra is amongst a growing number of bands that have tried to break through the barrier that surrounds the progressive rock genre as being without purpose, practicality and profitability. I must take my hat off to bands of this ilk and this neck of the woods as they inevitably have a mild language barrier to overcome inasmuch that pronunciations from those whose native tongue is not English often come under fire for “getting it wrong”. Unless and until English is adopted and taught as a universal language amongst the modern world in conjunction with each country's native language, it may indeed involve the passing of another generation before we will lose these minor idiosyncrasies with regard to how we accept another's pronunciation. If you are able to accept these accents that are evident on this album, you should be able to enjoy this album for what it is.
Clepsydra are able to draw on influences from both sides of the musical fence and have a strong and visible preference for highly melodic songs played with much finesse, diversity and purpose. They have adopted many essential features from the school of traditional symphonic progressive music and melded these with the more up front sound evident on many of the Neo bands playing today. Although the usual lineup of guitars, keyboards, drums, bass and vocals is to be found throughout each song, I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to like their music. Their music is never too aggressive and flows cohesively from song to song without assaulting the senses.
Considering there are so many bands of a similar ability, it is certainly encouraging to discover another contender for the coveted crown of most likable band I have discovered during the last 5 years. The first four songs on their album contain more references to these former musical influences and it is only on the 5th track, “Fearless,” that the band kicks into top gear with a slightly harder edge. This is certainly not prog metal as in Dream Theatre, Rhapsody or Savatage but the intensity is still there to be appreciated, when applicable. As if to make a poignant juxtaposition, the following track, “Daisies in The Sunshine” is more along the lines of something that Leo Kottke might write in conjunction with some of new age's better proponents such as Bruce Becvar, Govi, or Chris Spheeris.
One of their best tracks for me is “The Cloister” as it features some brilliant vocals and ripping analogue synth work that does justice to the whole aim and intention of this release. In fact, the more I play this CD, the more I admire the vocals. There are nods towards Tony Banks as a reference and in some sections, Steve Hackett's style will surface. If I had to make a comparison, I guess I could include Dragonfly, Genesis, Marillion, Saga, IQ and others although these guys certainly stand on their own very capable feet.
Although there are better and more important albums to be heard, Fears is still as good as you should expect from a band who are willing to explore the realms of this wonderful genre of music that we all aspire to own. If you already possess the main output from these above-mentioned bands and wish to extend your CD library with some more well played music from a different part of the planet, you can do no wrong here.