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Telergy: The Exodus

Better known for his dalliances with Pop music, multi-instrumentalist Robert McClung has turned his attention to Symphonic/Progressive Metal through his Telergy project to retell the story of Moses and how he led his people to safety out of the clutches of the Egyptian Pharaoh. It is a story that most, if not all of us will be at least partly familiar with and while it is the job (to some extent) of any concept album to attempt to have a clear enough narrative to keep the listener informed as to the story line, it is unfortunate that McClung has chosen to include some of the clunkiest, cringe worthy dialogue that I've ever heard to link his instrumental scenes.

The Exodus begins in an attic where a young boy discovers his Grandmother's old record player and once he asks her exactly what it is, she plays him a crackly old record of "Go Down Moses", which leads into the first song proper, before the boy begins to ask about what the story behind the song on the record is. It is a drawn out beginning (almost two minutes go by before a song proper begins), but the conversations between the boy and his Grandmother continue (unfortunately) to punctuate the songs, with lines like "So about that time Moses went up the mountain to speak to God. He was up there a good long time and while he was gone all the people got up to mischief, ya see, they had made this Golden Calf - all shiny and stuff - and they got to dancing all round it" being completely unbelievable, causing the album to lose any momentum it had built up to slip away as you cower away from the wince inducing exchanges. What really makes this aspect of the album hard to bare is that the music itself is of an extremely high standard, completely convincing and stunningly well executed. Add to that, the use of sound effects to illustrate whippings, plagues and God himself reading out the Ten Commandments, and the need for the simply awful dialogue is completely negated. In truth even some of the sound effects are a little blatant and overused as well, but had the dialogue not been included, that side of things would possibly feel less obvious.

The music itself is, considering the less than "adult" feel of some aspects of this release, surprisingly searing and caustic, with blistering riffs, howling guitar solos and thunderous drumming making for truly convincing Symphonic Power Metal mix with Progressive overtones. There's also no doubt that McClung is a talented arranger of songs, with all manner of instruments and "sounds" flitting in to and out of songs, without losing the impact of the guitars, or the beauty of the more atmospheric passages, of which there are many.

With the over rider ambition of this album being to tell the story of Moses and his people, the lack of inclusion of lyrics, or vocals is a little surprising, but in truth McClung is adept at managing to make the music do the talking, with the mood changes and different approaches taken offering up an extremely narrative style and the album doesn't lack for not having singers included in the line up. This in itself makes the less palatable aspects of The Exodus all the more frustrating, as had it not had the terrible Grandmother-Grandson interaction, this really would be a rather impressive, if still slightly flawed album that I could see myself listening to quite a regular basis. As it is however, this is just too tough a journey to want to take more than once in a very long while.

Track Listing
1. Into The Past
2. Enslavement
3. Pleading
4. Plagues
5. Escape
6. Pharaoh's Revenge
7. Wandering
8. Is There Anybody Out There
9. The Golden Calf
10. Commandments
11. Canaan
12. Avadim Hayinu

Added: March 31st 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Telergy Music
Hits: 2542
Language: english

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Telergy: The Exodus
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-03-30 20:33:20
My Score:

After the cool nostalgic listen to the phonograph, this masterpiece launches with power drums, electric lead guitar, violin and some masterful keyboard playing. That violin on "Into the Past" brings back memories of Kansas "Leftoverture" at times, which is a very good thing. This is a very good album full of some wonderful grandmother's stories, wisdom and sound effects that make it sound like more of a movie soundtrack.

The pipe organ work on "Enslavement" will remind you of some of the keyboard parts of Dream Theater's "Awake". "Pleading" is full of wonderful violin. "Escape", the over 15 minute epic opus is by far the best track on the album and more than worth the price of admission. The track is full of excellent keys, bass, electric guitar and more excellent violin than anyone has a right to enjoy. You can almost visualize the exodus from Egypt with the added sound effects. They add flute, bells and didgeridoo to ice the cake. Simply amazing.

The cover of Roger Water's "Is There Anybody Out There?", from "The Wall" is another fantastic highlight. The improvisations used add to the famous piece.

"Canaan", clocking in just past twelve and a half minutes is another wonderful epic, full of cello, symphony level violin, excellent drums, electric guitars and various chorded instruments.

The album closes well with a soft acoustic closer that just works perfectly.

I'm adding Telergy to my "Watch List". People get this album if you like epic progressive music with a "tale for the ages" story behind it!

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