Exposé Online banner

Glass Hammer — Journey of the Dunadan
(Arion 7690511111120, 1993, CD)

by Dan Casey, Published 1994-05-01

Journey of the Dunadan Cover art

This debut album from a Floridian duo of multi-instrumentalists leaves a host of unanswered questions. First, after the '90s have already proven to be a prolific breeding ground for new and original talent (e.g., Il Berlione, Änglagård, Deus Ex Machina, etc..), of what value is an entirely Tolkein-based fantasy/concept album? Glass Hammer offers us just that, complete with in-character voice-overs, narration and sound effects. At only 30 seconds in to the album, the memories of Spinal Tap's "Stonehenge" come racing back. Admittedly, it gets better than that (but not too much) with a few instrumental passages that sparkle with tasteful organ licks. The overall sound is made up of organ, synth, electronic drums, bass, and vocals (which are dull, lackluster, and over-used as a rule). Fans of modern Kansas might like the music here, and if you're familiar with the short-lived Cinema label from the late '80s, this has a lot in common with that sound as well. But because Journey... fails at such a fundamental level, it's difficult to swallow even the better moments, and its certainly not worth having to weed through the tired clichés to find them. History has shown that originality is key in propelling the most artistic bands, but according to the liner notes Glass Hammer considers this album a success if only they spark an interest in the Tolkein novels. So what we're left with, then, is basically propaganda for some classic literature which has proven over time it needs none. Hopefully Glass Hammer will find better, more inventive ways to spend their time and energy in the future.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 3, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Glass Hammer, Michelle Young

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

B.A.G. - Soudain, l'Éléphant – This French instrumental five piece of guitars, bass, keys, winds and drums plays music in a somewhat jazzy vein, yet with a rock flair and a multitude of influences ranging from world jazz and Arabic...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues