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Telergy: Hypatia

Earth's history has been fraught with rebellion and murder and such is the case with Hypatia of Alexandria, the daughter of Theon. Hypatia became a great teacher and scholar of philosophy and science and will be forever linked to the Library of Alexandria, a place of tremendous learning and the forging of ideas. The library was destroyed in 391 AD and Hypatia was eventually murdered by a group of fanatical Christian Monks who were linked with Cyril, the Catholic Bishop of Alexandria.

Hypatia is the new CD from Telergy, a project formed by multi-instrumentalist Robert McClung. On the CD he truly shows his talent playing guitar, bass, violin, mandolin, piano, organ, keyboards, flute, balalaika, ukulele, sitar, lap steel, bodhran, percussion and vocals. I became aware of Telergy with their last album The Legend Of Goody Cole which I really enjoyed. And like that album he has sought the help from an amazing list of musicians that reads like a who's who of prog. Chris Caffery (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Oliver Wakeman (Yes), David Ragsdale (Kansas), Oliver Palotai (Kamelot) and Blake Carpenter (The Minstrel's Ghost, Corvus Stone) are just a few of the names involved.

The album is instrumental (except for background and choir vocals) and interspersed among the songs are spoken word narratives that propel the story along, ensuring the listener's understanding of the concept. It is a smart move making sure the story never gets lost among the music and it is clear a tremendous amount of work went into this project.

After a short spoken word intro introducing two of the main characters, Hypatia and Theon, the album gets underway with "Astronomer", a truly epic tune. Moody keys and orchestrations slowly build into thick rhythms and huge drum beats mixing heavy and symphonic progressive rock in a delightful manner. The dramatics have an Ayreonesque vibe until Ragsdale enters with his riveting work on the violin followed by McClung's flute, recalling shades of Jethro Tull. At just over seven minutes not one second is wasted. Just as good is "Philosopher" where themes of heavy and light, often with a darker more somber tone take the music into staccato riffage , chugging riffs, lovely violin sections and moving piano parts. Near song's end the heaviness is enforced, verging into progressive metal with searing guitar and furious drum action. Lovely strings and keys highlight the deliciously orchestral and classically influenced "Mathematician" whereas "Teacher" carries an exotic Eastern theme, especially the sitar intro which is very cool. Love the synth solo as well.

Very well put together and thought out, Hypatia is an excellent progressive rock album from a criminally underrated musician. I urge all fans of progressive music to check it out. Oh yeah, if you like Ayreon this is a no brainer.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing:
1. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 1
2. Astronomer
3. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 2
4. Philosopher
5. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 3
6. Mathematician
7. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 4
8. Teacher
9. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 5
10. The Burning Of The Library Of Alexandria
11. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 6
12. Scapegoat
13. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 7
14. Murder
15. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 8
16. Martyr
17. Spoken Word Narrative, Scene 9

Added: December 13th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 3284
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Telergy: Hypatia
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-12-12 18:27:34
My Score:

With background detailed by my colleagues above on both the concept of the third album from Robert McClung, under the name Telergy and also the impressive cast list assembled to create his vision, I'll head straight into the music and sounds delivered on Hypatia.

Anyone who has followed the evolution of Telergy through The Exodus and The Legend Of Goody Cole will already know that this project provides sumptuous, involved instrumental progressive works. And that they always appear, augmented by spoken word sections and intricate stories which arrive through short individual tracks. Hypatia is no different, a short spoken intro setting the scene before an extremely theatrical keyboard/pipes swirl of atmospherics begins the album for real. With a cast list running into the forties, it's impossible to know who's playing what and where, so let's just focus on McClung himself and mention that this multi-talented composer also handles guitar, bass, violin, viola, mandolin, piano, organ, keyboards, flute, ukelele, sitar, lap steel, bodhran and percussion at one stage or another, as well as all manner of vocals for the areas where banks of voices (rather than 'singing') surge into the music. Add in that everything from harp to viola, cello to clarinet and tuba to oud make an appearance along the way and you'll begin to get a grasp of the vast, grandiose themes Telergy emit.

However, building atmosphere and setting scene as these ideals do, thankfully McClung also knows how to lay down some thoroughly anthemic, hard hitting prog metal and it's here where Hypatia makes its strongest impact. "Astronomer" darts from flute led beauty to crunching riffs, while "Mathematician" proves more cinematic in scope. However when a galloping, mid-paced riff kicks in amidst choral voices, then suddenly Telergy give Therion a bombastic run for their money. "Teacher" goes for a similar approach, yet this time it's guitar and keyboards rather than voices which set the scene for what may well be this album's best and most bristling moment. Not that the controlled, symphonic metal romp of "Scapegoat" or explosive grind of "Murder", where voices scream and shout during the music, don't also leave a lasting mark.

The spoken scenes, which are well handled by Durga McBroom, Bryan Hicks, Corey Glover, Blake Carpenter, Peter Kelley and Almus Kenter, take up all the odd numbered tracks and the music the even. However, I'd have preferred the narration to be more intrinsically linked to the music itself, appearing during the tracks, rather than as interludes. Although in truth, that's nit picking.

Telergy, and Robert McClung, have fast been gathering a respected name in the theatrical progressive metal scene. Hypatia is set to confirm them as one of the genre leaders.

Telergy: Hypatia
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-10-08 09:23:19
My Score:

Multi-instrumentalist Robert McClung has put together another fine all-star progressive metal affair here on Telergy's third release Hypatia. Featuring guest appearances from Oliver Wakeman, Chris Caffery, David Ragsdale, Mike LePond, Oliver Holzworth, and many others, this mostly instrumental concept album sweeps the listener off their feet with moments of lush, pastoral progressive rock, symphonic, classical tinged bombast, and crushing progressive metal. At times it's quite beautiful, as on "Mathematician", but in other spots furious guitar riffs and daring violin & keyboard explosions are present, such as heard on the wild "Philosopher". McClung handles the bulk of the instrumentation and arrangements, and it's really uncanny just how much he is able to tackle on his own, and then when you throw in all the notable guest soloists it really makes for an eye opening experience.

All proceeds from the sale of the album are going to benefit Cross Roads House Homeless Shelter in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, so not only are your dollars getting you a fine prog album, but they are also going to a great cause.

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