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Review: Clockwork – Glimmer

Now bear with me on this…I’m going on a ramble but there is a good point to it if we can see it through… At school I studied English literature and through this I gained a respect, hell, even a love of the classics. There’s just something about a technical and beautifully flowing prose perfectly defining and describing a scene, a relationship and a story that I find mind-blowing. I also am a massive fan of horror, I love the suspense, the thrill, the twisted darkness of the creators mind and the shadowy images it conjures. I was always a fan of Jane Austen and had read Pride and Prejudice several times but when some fucking genius put zombies in it as well I was in pure heaven! That is exactly how I feel about Glimmer…I have known and loved it in its instrumental brilliance for a couple of years now, I have played many of its tunes on the PMM radio show and this full and complete release with the dizzying array of vocal styles interwoven is blowing my mind afresh.
I don’t know the history of the band so I’m going to make it up, lol, I’m sure they will forgive me. Four incredibly talented musicians were thrown together by their obsession of progressive technical metal and with blood sweat and tears pulled together five incredibly technical and mesmerising instrumental pieces together to form what was known as the Glimmer Demo. They scrimped and saved to enter a recording studio proper where unbeknown to them a young up and coming vocalist was doing some work experience in his spare time. He didn’t approach the band at first but went home every evening having made notes on their songs and working on his own lyrics and melodies to fit what he felt the theme of each tune could be. Clockwork finished and released the Demo EP and gained many a fan on Bandcamp whilst the vocalist continued his writings unknown. Clockwork began gigging their new material and it was at one gig that the guest singer of one of the later bands on the show approached them backstage and laid out his ideas for vocals to line their tunes…and lo, history was made.
If you have heard the original EP then you will know how good the music is, Clockwork are indeed made up of some incredibly technical musicians, there are no particular songs to point this out from. Indeed because this was originally written as instrumental then each and every passage of each and every song has been poured over and provides a perfect soundscape full of moments where each individual instrument play separate yet intertwining melodies and others where they combing to a crushing rhythmic sledge hammer of sound. When combined with the every changing vocal delivery which perfectly blends with the feel of each segment.
The original tunes have been chopped and re-arranged to become songs in their own right, Shaping Infinity kicks off the EP with the same familiar guitar intro but with heavier electronics filling out the sound before Alex’s growl brings the song in fully. The song then spends its five minutes length consistently sweeping through the heavy to the ambient whilst still managing to fit in a very memorable and sing-along chorus part and some great beat-downs. This is a great opener which sets the tone for the rest of the songs to come. A Sense of Reality builds upon the first with a slow burning opening riff before the dual heavy/clean vocals lead to a haunting and memorable main melodic section. There are some beautifully haunting sections of music in this tune which linger with tension and threat before the next barrage of chords come in, there’s also some great guest vocal work towards its end.
The Eternal is the shortest song on the EP with some intense heavy and fast playoffs between the band whilst the vocals swap between a low guttural old-skool Opeth delivery to an early-Slipknot barked style before opening into a beautiful melodic mid section whilst the end channels a Sikth styled sound before close. A Path Beyond opens with a great hammer-on pull-off bass section before dropping into an impressive rhythmic section which sets a pattern for the remainder of the song whist the ever changing melodies develop the song itself. Soul Storm is the closing track and starts softly before launching into a frantic drive of riffs and melodic sections shifting between a full barrage of sound and open moments of pending threat…this is possibly my favourite track.
In summary Clockwork are my Pride and Prejudice, the added vocals are my zombie horror…alone they are great, together they elevate each to brilliance. If I had one criticism it would be that sometimes there is too much going on, I guess this is to be expected when something is written as complete without an element and that part is added later, although for some listeners this just gives them more to revisit and discover on each listen. I can’t wait to see this performed live and to hear the next instalment in Clockworks journey and am even more excited after their latest single ‘Solace’ has given some hint as to where it may lead.

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