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Glass Hammer - Shadowlands CD (album) cover

SHADOWLANDS

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.72 | 156 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Each piece is expertly crafted symphonic rock, full of life and the ability to reign in my interest every single time. There exists just the right blend of flourishing grandeur and delicate simplicity. More than ever, the vocals are stunning here, since Walter Moore is toned down and not as squeaky, and the ever-lovely Susie enchants listeners with her charming voice, both in the background and in the fore. She is, without a doubt, my favorite female progressive rock vocalist. The main men Steve Babb and Fred Schendel delight with their respective talents, complimenting each other without one overpowering the other throughout.

"So Close, So Far" Acoustic guitar begins this majestic journey of music, as organ, hearty bass, and a robust synthesizer lead join the graceful procession. A gorgeous electric guitar prances over airier instrumentation. Some rapid vocals and rhythms make up the last bit, with high-pitched synthesizer and steel guitar. Overall, it's a fascinating beginning to a great album.

"Run Lisette" While it's so difficult to choose a favorite piece from this album, this may be it. A gritty bass and guitar combo employs a very creative riff as flourishes of bright organ wash over it, and the electric guitar plays some very melodic leads thereafter. Bogdanowicz sounds absolutely lovely alongside Moore. The powerful church organ and guitar stir up some great music, indeed reminiscent of "Parallels" by Yes. What a wonderful piece!

"Farewell To Shadowlands" Using a meandering organ melody over a more structured clean, springy, rhythm gives the introduction to this song yet another uplifting feel. The synthesizer themes are exceptional, bouncing over a pleasingly effervescent bass. As usual, the lady simply sounds phenomenal.

"Longer" The fourth track is a cover of a Dan Fogelberg's hit- an interesting choice for this bombastic progressive rock band. The song begins with a simple piano lead, followed by organ, clavichord, and generous yet gradual layers of other instruments. Comparatively speaking, this is the weakest track on the album, since it can at times drag and be disinteresting, but it's still a very good cover.

"Behind The Great Beyond" The epic track of the album also begins with piano, soon accompanied by strings, and honestly, it all sounds like the tune of a nursery rhyme- an interesting opening to be sure. A fuller sound suddenly enters, with synthesizer lead and excellent organ, bass and drums. Over Mellotron and clean guitar the lovely duet of Moore and Bogdanowicz sing a beautiful melody. Abruptly the music stops to give way to a grand classical guitar interlude. The strings make a spirited reappearance thereafter. A variety of solos follow, last but not least of which is a vigorous synthesizer lead that ultimately draws the composition (and the album) to its conclusion.

Epignosis | 5/5 |

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