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


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 768 ratings

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The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Silent Corner and The Empty Stage is Peter Hammill's third solo record. The album is technically an huge leap forward from his previous album. Silent Corner contains lots of experimentation, like the heavy fuzz sound on "Modern", the distorted bass on "A Louse is Not a Home", and the heavy use of an oscillator on the whole album.

The heavy experimentation can clearly be heard on the first track, "Modern", a bass heavy and very dissonant sounding song. The song starts out very interesting, with some good verses, and acoustic guitar playing. Soon after this a extremely fuzzy sounds come in. The song is incredibly dark and ominous and took me a while to get into. Another rather bombastic track is "Forsaken Gardens", a song with pretty much the same structure as VDGG's Still Life, from the same titled album. "Forsaken Gardens" is a very enjoyable and dramatic song, one of the best on the album, and perhaps one of the best Peter Hammill has ever made.

The album contains three songs that somewhat sound like most of the material from Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night. "Wilhelmina", "The Lie" and "Rubicon" are more minimalist tracks, and are less experimental than most of the album. The songs all are interesting, though nothing more. Exception is "The Lie", which is much stronger and more interesting than the two. The two remaining tracks on the album are "Red Shift" and the epic "A Louse is Not a Home". "Red Shift" is an extremely experimental and mysterious, brilliant piece of music, and it always keeps me interested.

The magnificent climax, "A Louse is Not a Home" is probably the best song on the album, and arguably the best song Peter Hammill has ever made. The song starts pretty minimalist with only piano and vocals, but soon the song becomes a bombastic masterpiece, with lots of amazing unexpected changes and some of the best lyrics I've ever seen. The melancholic music and lyrics in combination with Peter's extremely powerful and haunting vocals make this song one of the most extraordinary ever made. A true masterpiece.

This album deserves four stars in my opinion. From the three "classic" Peter Hammill albums (Chameleon, this one and In Camera) I probably enjoy this one the least though. The magnificent "Red Shift" and "A Louse is Not a Home" really worth the money though, they're both masterpieces. I would recommend this to anyone who's (getting) into Peter Hammill, but I think he has made a few better solo albums.

The Sleepwalker | 4/5 |


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