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Glass Hammer - Culture Of Ascent CD (album) cover

CULTURE OF ASCENT

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 134 ratings

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progrules
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Another very fine release by this great American band. But how good is it ? If I go down the list of songs I can immediately start repeating my argument about covers (Shadowlands). This time though it's a more straightforward cover of the famous Yes-classic. This means I have less appreciation for this one than I had for Longer despite great vocals by Susie. I hope GH will not make a constant occurring habit of making covers. In this case I also wonder: is this a filler or did they want to make a very original cover ? This can only be answered by GH themselves but whichever it is I will never embrace this. With the next song they prove they don't need covers, really, and this is at the same time my very favourite of this release: Sun Song. This is a very special one because it's the first time I hear this band do some (almost) metal-like guitar playing. That could have to do with new band member David Wallmann. I don't know what made GH decide to take this man because it actually doesn't really suit their style but on the other hand I don't really care. It's a breath of fresh air to me and if this song is a prelude for a new Glass Hammer: I don't have a problem with it. It will take some getting used to but I will succeed at that. But this is not the only thing that makes Sun Song a very special one. After David's riffs we are treated with the Adonia string Trio of this band displaying great violin for a while before the song gets at ease towards the end. Really magnificent and very daring track, as I said: my highlight. Third song is Life by light a vocally orientated track sounding very nice. Then it's epic time: first Ember without name, another track that starts pretty heavy for GH standards but again it's ok as far as I'm concerned. This doesn't keep going throughout the entire song. The rest is average, more what we are used to by GH. The other epic is more quiet with some beautiful passages by the string trio again. I'm not sure yet but somehow the two epics don't get stuck in my mind too easily. Could be a matter of getting used to but I will judge about that in a later stage probably. Last song is called Rest and is indeed the rest of the album. Not that this album is that heavy but it is a versatile album with both beautiful, quiet parts as well as some rougher passages, more than we're used to by GH.

As I said, not a problem for me, I'm a prog metal fan, but not every Glass Hammer fan will feel the same way I'm afraid. Time will tell but for me this is another 4 star effort by this band (3,8).

progrules | 4/5 |

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