Il Tempio delle Clessidre is a new Italian band (on the Black Widow Records label) with that typical progressive rock sound from the seventies. In the year 2006 keyboardist and composer Elisa Montaldo met Stefano “Lupo” Galifi, the singer of Museo Rosenbach at the time of their masterpiece “Zarathustra” and decided to start a project together. This project is Il Tempio delle Clessidre, a name inspired by a part of the suite “Zarathustra”. The band has performed the whole “Zarathustra” suite two times in concert. After several changes in the line-up the final formation has the following members; Stefano “Lupo” Galifi on vocals, Elisa Montaldo on keyboards, Giulio Canepa on guitar, Fabio Gremo on bass and Paolo Tixi on drums. The band makes typical Italian prog which is refined and emotional. Large use of vintage sounds like Mellotron, Hammond organ and even a church organ for some Gothic atmospheres. The band has influences from Italian Progressive bands (Le Orme, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Balletto di Bronzo, Museo Rosenbach) and British bands like Genesis and King Crimson.
Stefano “Lupo” Galifi - Vocals; Elisa Montaldo - Pianoforte, Tastiere, Organo, Concertina, Voce, Rumori; Fabio Gremo - Basso; Giulio Canepa - Chitarre; Paolo Tixi - Batteria
Guests: Max Manfredi - voce; Antonio Fantinuoti - violoncello
The tracklist of this wonderful album is as follows; “Verso l’alba”, “Insolita parte di me”, “Boccadasse”, “Le due metà di una notte”, “La stanza nascosta”, “Danza esoterica di Datura”, “Faldistorum”, “L’attesa”, “Il centro sottile” and the bonus track “Antidoto mentale”.
The first track “Verso l’alba” of the album opens with a doom organ sound ala Van Der Graaf Generator that later is combined with guitar and Mellotron strings. This short instrumental track is a nice opener and as reviewer the band has immediately my attention ... this could be a fine album full of Italian prog from the seventies! “Insolita parte di me”, is a piece with a lot of rhythm changes, jazzy guitars, Hammond organ and melodic vocal parts that are sung with a lot of passion. In those vocal parts you can find wonderful melodies. In the instrumental parts you find delicious synth solo's and jazzy guitar and piano parts. The next song “Boccadasse” has a great diversity. Up-tempo instrumental parts are followed by melodic vocal parts with beautiful melodies. The end of the song is also great, delicate and jazzy guitars are combined with beautiful keyboard strings. “Le due metà di una notte” has a slow opening with great vocal lines and romantic piano parts. The second part is more up-tempo and keyboard orientated. Elisa Montaldo is showing her fine keyboard skills on this album ... for me a revelation ... I’m impressed. Through the cooperation of Antonio Fantinuoti who plays the cello “La stanza nascosta” has a lot of classical influences. A beautiful and delicate song. The intro of the instrumental “Danza esoterica di Datura” has a mysterious atmosphere. After an up-tempo part there is a wonderful part with great Mellotron strings and romantic piano. The piece develops into a great prog song with some great keyboard melodies that are combined with complex rhythms, great drum work and fairy-tale like accents. This great song is followed by “Faldistorum” that is full of rhythm, guitar parts and wonderful parts with full keyboard strings. The story-line of this song is spoken by guest Max Manfredi. In the end you can hear the first Church organ parts. I remember a YouTube video of this performance by Elisa Montaldo that you can find on the net. However I think she had some problems (in the end the organ sounds as if it is out of tune) the church organ fits very well in this musical setting. “L’attesa” is a short up-tempo song with a jazzy bass, Hammond organ, Mellotron strings, romantic piano and that wonderful voice of Stefano “Lupo” Galifi. Then it is time for the long track “Il centro sottile” for me the highlight of this album. Romantic/Classical piano parts, beautiful vocal lines, melodic guitar work and as always supported by tasteful keyboards. You can find the most beautiful melodies on this great and diverse track. There is so much emotion and passion in the music and the vocal parts ... this music can only be made by Italian musicians. The album closes with the bonus track “Antidoto mentale” with a leading role for singer Stefano “Lupo” Galifi.
Il Tempio delle Clessidre has made an impressive debut album full of romantic Italian progressive rock. The album is a little gem for the lovers of keyboard orientated prog. The music is drenched with tasteful keyboard work by Elisa Montaldo. And in the person of Stefano “Lupo” Galifi the band has a great singer. The band catches the spirit of the seventies by using a lot of vintage sounds. Il Tempio delle Clessidre has made one of the best debut albums I have ever heard. A must for the lovers of Italian progressive rock.