The Swiss neo-progressive band Clepsydra has been compared to such artists as Step Ahead and Deyss during their career. Combining aggressive symphonic passages with quieter keyboard sections, Clepsydra has never been noted for their originality, but has developed over the years to sound quite close to neo-prog legends Marillion. Clepsydra has their origins in the all-instrumental band Delta Prophecy, formed in 1989 by Philip Hubert (keyboards), Lele Hofmann (guitar), Andy Thommen (bass), and Pietro Duca (drums). After searching for a lead singer, the group added Aluisio Maggini on vocals in January 1990 and renamed themselves Clepsydra.
Before ever playing live as a band, Clepsydra released their first album, Hologram (1991). Split between instrumental pieces and songs with vocals, the album was standard neo-progressive fare. In December of that year, the group performed their first concert. In December 1993 the band released the CD single, "Fly Man," followed in 1994 by their second album, More Grains of Sand. A concept album about love, More Grains of Sand marked a turn towards slightly more complex material. Fears (1997) showed the band continuing to expand their music and becoming tighter as a group.