It’s often difficult to write a convincing introduction in a review, and I will use my chance to cheat and make a summary of my feelings towards Telergy right away: Telergy are definitely one of the most underrated projects in progressive metal today. It is a very bold statement, but I am sure that if everyone would give this project a chance most people would agree. You can notice that I emphasised the term “project” on two occasions already. It is because Telergy are not a band that perform live or feature actual band members, but it is an entity founded and managed by multi-instrumentalist and producer Robert McClung who usually gathers an extraordinary team of guest contributors and tells a certain story.
Considering that symphonic prog/power metal is a genre that’s been done-to-death quite a lot in the past, Robert McClung and people involved with this project have succeeded to accomplish what so many of their contemporaries have failed to do—making melody sound interesting in progressive metal. It happens quite a lot that due to a band’s shredding abilities or over-pushed technical proficiency it is a melody that gets lost or discredited. Having been amazed by Telergy’s ability to invert this on past albums (2011’s The Exodus and 2013’s The Legend of Goody Cole), this year’s Hypatia has been among my most anticipated albums in 2015. By all means, the end product has not disappointed; dynamic musicianship, a well developed execution and an excellent unification of melody into a progressive metal chassis makes for one of the stand-out releases I’ve heard this year.
I won’t blab about the tremendous impact and perfect performance of the people who contributed to Hypatia (there are already tons of sites where you can check about it), because when you hear that names that worked with some of the greatest bands in the rock history take place on this record the quality is guaranteed. Robert McClung’s choice to tell a story of Hypatia, one of the most important women in the ancient world. If you are not familiar with the Telergy’s body of work, the albums don’t feature vocalists who sing, but instead there are spoken word parts which serve as commentaries and present the story to a listener.
From 17 tracks Hypatia is comprised of, nine are so called scenes that usually take between 30 seconds to 1 minute, and these are the mentioned spoken words (all odd numbers in the track list). The remaining numbers are musical compositions that in an instrumental way give the support to the concept. It could be easily said that spoken-word tracks actually add up to the music, which is exceptional. The longer songs, “Philosopher,” “The Burning of the Library of Alexandria,” and “Murder” are where the “group” feels most comfortable at, and their symphonic nature gives the needed depth and dramaticness.
Telergy are among the few who can make the end result spellbinding and challenging. Hypatia is no exception to the project’s proud history; Robert McClung has once again delivered an album that is creatively on par with some of the greatest records from the progressive rock’s and metal’s rich history. This album is enough to eliminate my suspicions of modern progressive metal trends. I really hope that this album will earn the project a broader fanbase and exposure it deserves.