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Glass Hammer - Chronometree CD (album) cover

CHRONOMETREE

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.27 | 111 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
3 stars Strangely, I quite like this album. I say strangely because I actually walked out of their performance at Nearfest. They did open the show with a song from this album, which was promising to me, but I'm afraid the performance of Lex Rex bored me to tears.

But back to this album. This is pure retro prog through and through. Since the "concept" deals with an old college buddy who felt his Yes albums had secret messages from an alien race that were giving him some great secret about time travel or something, it seems appropriate that Yes, ELP, and even Kansas type passages abound on this album. There are some keyboard parts that will make you think you accidentally put on an ELP album instead of this one. However, this is not really a criticism for me in this instance, because I think it all works very well. Arjen Luccassen (of Ayreon) fame is a guest on this album and some of his blazing guitar work can be heard early in the album.

The album is, in essence, a single piece of music divided into two parts separated by two individual pieces (A Perfect Carousel and Chronos Deliverer). The main suite is quite good, if very retro, with excellent playing and composition in the best 70's prog rock tradition. The lyrics are often amusing, relating the tale of Tom and his strange obsession fueled by bong hits and 70's prog albums. Occasionally, they are even somewhat profound (An Eldritch Wind). Some complain about Brad Marler's vocals. Personally, I found them to be quite refreshing on a prog album. The music may be solid retro, but the vocals are very "alternative pop radio" sounding. This could be a total disaster of course, but somehow Brad makes it work. On his solo composition, A Perfect Carousel, featuring just him and a 12 string guitar along with some atmospheric moog in the second half, he comes across like an earnest Dave Mathews. But again, it works well for me for some reason. The other individual piece, Chronos Deliverer, is something of an overblown choir piece with lots of keyboards and an "angelic" type of melody. Not a highlight, but not terrible either. Still, it is the main suite that makes this worth hearing I think.

So overall, not a masterpiece and not necessarily essential. For me, it kind of is since I still pull it out and listen to it from time to time. To fans of the band I'd say it's a must have (though I'm not really sure where most die hard fans put this in relation to their other albums that I have not heard). For me then, a solid 3.5 stars. For the archives, rounded down to 3.

infandous | 3/5 |

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