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Peter Hammill - The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage CD (album) cover

THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE

Peter Hammill

 

Eclectic Prog

4.36 | 538 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. For many Hammill fans this is the one, their favourite. With Banton, Evans and Jackson on board it might as well be a VDGG album right ? Well it's probably the most VDGG sounding record that Hammill did anyway. I have to say that this album only recently clicked with me. This was tough going. Experimental and dark, with Peter's tortured and theatrical vocals doesn't exactly make this very accessible. In fact I think this music would clear out unwanted guests fairly quickly.

"Modern" opens with strummed guitar as vocals and fuzz bass join in. Mellotron foods in before Hammill spits out the lyrics. Organ and an atmospheric interlude after 2 1/2 minutes. It's building 4 1/2 minutes in as it becomes pretty dark and experimental. Vocals are back before 6 1/2 minutes. "Wilhelmina" is a song for Guy Evans' daughter who they called Willie. Piano and vocals lead the way. Mellotron 3 1/2 minutes in is a nice touch. "The Lie (Bernini's Saint Teresa)" is a rant against organised religion. The vocals get really passionate here, but the lyrics are even more biting. I really like his reserved vocals with piano to open. Organ 2 1/2 minutes in before it calms right down after 3 minutes. The organ is back before 5 minutes reminding us of church. Experimental ending.

"Forsaken Gardens" is a song VDGG would play after the Godbluff reformation. Fragile vocals, piano and flute early. Evans comes pounding in on the drums before 2 minutes as the tempo picks up. Very meaningful lyrics about the suffering and pain in the world. Amazing track. I like the sax that comes in later. The drumming is really upfront as well. "Red Shift" features guest the late Randy California from the band SPIRIT on guitar. Hammill said the talking at the start of the song was a mistake and shouldn't have been left on there. This track goes back to the sixties. It has a psychedelic flavour to it. I like the sax, and the drumming is outstanding. The guitar comes in after 5 minutes and suits the psychedelic mood. The guitar goes on for 2 minutes. Nice.

"Rubicon" is mostly strummed guitar, bass and vocals. "A Louse Is Not A Home" had already been played by VDGG before the band broke up and was originally to be on their next album that was obviously didn't happen at the time. Almost gothic vocals to open with piano. The tempo and mood really sway back and forth a lot. Hammill is incredible vocally on this track. This really is a monster song, a classic ! I like the drumming late followed by the floating organ to end it.

Patience might be the key here. This is still growing on me.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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