Glass Hammer — The Inconsolable Secret
(Arion SR1320, 2005, 2CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01One could arguably claim that this release finds American prog band Glass Hammer at the top of their game, which probably explains the scope of this effort. First of all, it s a two-disk set in a nifty digipack case wrapped in sumptuous artwork from Roger Dean. Secondly, the music and lyrics are based on an epic romantic fantasy poem by bassist/keyboardist Steve Babb, spread across both CDs in two parts (The Knights on disk 1, and The Lady on disk 2). Thirdly, the material is broadly symphonic and epic in style and presentation, heavily influenced by classic Yes and Kansas. Singer Walter Moore vividly recalls Steve Walsh whenever he steps up to the microphone and keyboard player/guitarist Fred Schendel's pedal steel playing (last seen on their 2004 effort Shadowlands) instantly evokes Steve Howe while his keyboard work is a solid blend of Keith Emerson's Hammond muscle and Rick Wakeman's synth flash. What's lacking from this opus, however, are enough bankable musical ideas. While everything sounds like Glass Hammer (which sounds like a lot of other bands) too little of it stands on its own merits. One can appreciate what these guys have produced from the standpoint of sheer hours of labor, though lacking enough solid content the end result is a beautiful yet empty vessel. I know this band has many admirers, but my advice is to do more with less. Oh, and included on the first disk is a Making of video, the full epic poem, and Roger Dean desktop artwork.
Related artist(s): Glass Hammer
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more