The Days the Clocks Stopped

Label: Layered Reality Productions
Three similar bands: Ayreon/Enchant/Spock’s Beard

Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Crashscape
02. Clockstop – Insight X
03. Code of Conduct
04. Clockstop – Insight 2
05. Sleepless Angels
06. The Pulse
07. Clockstop – Insight 3
08. Death and her Brother Greg
09. No Can Do
10. Clockstop – Insight 4
11. Epilogue – A String of Repeats
12. All We Could Do (CD only Bonustrack)

Tom de Wit - Lead Vocals, Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Synths, Orchestrations
Rich Gray - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Fabio Alessandrini - Drums
Remco Woutersen - Cello solo parts

First Draft (2004)
Up Close And Personal (2006)
The Haunts (2008)
Scrapbook (2011)
First Re-Draft (2012)
Music To Stand Around And Feel Awkward to (2014)
Aphrodisia (EP 2016)
The Antithetic Affiliation (2017)
First Re-Draft (2019)

#4 - Marco Sfogli
#5 - Daniel Magdič
#6 - Koen Romeijn
#8 - Chris Zoupa
#9 - Andi Kravljaca
#9 - Matthew op 't Einde
#9 - Luca Di Genarro
#10 - Norbert Veenbrink
#11 - Lennert Kemper
Laura ten Hoedt, Cailyn Erlandsson, Nicole de Ruiter, Iris van ‘t Veer, Rikke Linssen, Stan Eimers, Ron Brouwer, Rich Hinks. Abraham Sarache

All music & lyrics written by: Tom de Wit
Produced & mixed by: Tom de Wit @ The Imagineering Suite
Co-produced & Mastered by: Rich Gray @ Gray Matter Audio

Released 2021-01-15
Reviewed 2021-01-05

layered reality

läs på svenska

Tom de Wit is the man behind the TDW moniker, and this time he comes up with a biographical album called The Days the Clocks Stopped. It could be an album about Tom’s journey into a black hole, but as we don’t have technology for that it is more likely that it is about something else. It is a self-biographical story about a near-death experience that he had in his life, about the changes it brought and such things. The physical boxset also comes with a documentary film about this, as I didn’t get that I can only write about the music, but the story should lend itself to interesting music if done by a creative soul and that is something that seems to be true about this guy.

The music is of the progressive variety and this time it is not regressive, only that is a step forward. The music spans over a wide variety but can be described as storytelling of a style that springs from the progressive school of Dream Theater and bands similar to them. But the music travels through many musical paths with some symphonic elements, compelling atmospheres, and strong emotions. It is a long album that plays for around eighty minutes and that could be a little bit much, but the album is varied and dynamic that will keep you interesting through the entire playing time. Add to that the fact that it is an album that feels fresh and that brings up some surprises, something that is always positive.

It is an excellent album that draws me into it, and I enjoy the storytelling, albeit it builds my own stories rather than the story that is described in the press material. It is the emotional resonance that is so appealing about the album, the depth and the dram, the only very slight negative I can think of is that the album requires quite a bit of time to play through. But to find something really negative you need a skilled crime scene investigator with lots of patience and cool technology, I don’t have that so I can’t see anything negative about this album. I am not so sure that the CSI would find anything to fault the greatness of TDW with his or her gadgets, it is difficult not to be seduced and drawn to the great progressive music that this album has to offer.

The Days the Clocks Stopped makes an impression, it is memorable and noticeable. It is also novel and fresh. An exciting album, and if last year’s ratings is an indication this album will be given on the top list when 2021 is to be summarised. It is that good. Though, I have been handing out high ratings in droves so far this year so it might be different, or perhaps the first albums reviewed this year might indicate that 2021 will be a good year – let’s hope for that. This album does its part and maybe it is good enough to make the clocks stop, but even if it doesn’t make the clocks stop it will make you stop and take notice. It would be wise for you to check this one out.