From out of the Great White North of Canada comes this great new band who have recorded this platter of aggressive, symphonic progressive rock. Upon first listen it impossible not to notice the obvious influence of Yes throughout these eleven tracks, as lead singer Jocelyn Beaulieu sounds remarkably like Jon Anderson. His voice is just one of the similarities, as on many tracks the band goes for a keyboard heavy arsenal rippling with majestic beauty much like on the Yes classic Going For the One.
One of the major characteristics however that does separate Hamadryad from being a Yes clone is the occasional prog-metal guitar style of Denis Jalbert. On songs like “Amora Demonis”, “The Second Round” and especially “Nameless” the guitarists exhibits a heavy, almost shred guitar style, which adds a different element to the otherwise keyboard heavy, more melodic parts of the other band members. That is not to say that there are not some melodic, clean electric and acoustic parts on the album. On the contrary, “Nameless” and “The Second Coming” contain many references to Steve Howe, and the songs themselves are lovely, pastoral Yes influenced songs that could have been leftovers from a long lost album of theirs. The final four part song, “Watercourse Hymn” is a real work of art, and makes me wish that Yes could still write something as beautiful.