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Glass Hammer - Journey Of The Dunadan CD (album) cover

JOURNEY OF THE DUNADAN

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

1.97 | 57 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
1 stars A terrible debut from an otherwise excellent modern prog band.

Glass Hammer is one of the best modern symphonic prog bands along with The Flower Kings, Spock's Beard, and Echolyn. So where did they begin? Well, let's just say they definitely improved over time.

Glass Hammer's album "Journey of the Dunadan" is very poor for various reasons. For one, it contains all the mistakes that typically flaw debut albums. They were still trying to find their sound, and their songwriting skills were definitely not as good as they would soon become. In addition to those usual mistakes, most of the music here is really poor. They have a good song here, and a good song there, but overall there are really only 2 or 3 songs worth listening to. After I finished listening to this album I have a really tough time recalling any of the melodies on the album. In addition to the music, this is loosely based on The Lord of the Rings, and they do not do the books any justice at all.

It's really a shame that this turned out so bad because they show their potential. In those two or three songs they hint at their greatness, but never fully apply it. I see potential in this album, but all it comes out to be is a below average progressive rock album. I'll explain every song in more detail next.

THE MUSIC:

"Shadows of the Past"- A spoken word intro starts off the album. A dark string melody soon enters. It is followed by a very ELP-ish piano and drum section. Soon a good melody comes in, but all in all this is a really poor instrumental track.

"Something's Coming"- After the poor overture, this song starts with some really good organ chords. It sounds very ELP-ish again, but in a different way. Filled with nice synths and organ, this is one of the best songs on the album.

"Song of the Dunadan"- Spoken word and some piano chords open up this song. When vocals come in we have some enjoyable melodies. After the main section ends, we have a fairly enjoyable instrumental section. It gets fairly boring after a while, and it could have easily gotten away with being shorter. Still far from the worst this album has to offer, though.

"Fog On The Barrow-Downs"- The fourth track opens up with some wind sound effects. Some voices come in, but my no stretch of the imagination is this a "song". Just some talking and noises.

"The Prancing Pony"- It starts with the sound of fireflies, then we just hear an acoustic guitar with a bunch of people talking. A completely meaningless song.

"The Way To Her Heart"- This song is also available on their following album "Perelandra", and I recommend you hear it there. It is arranged much better on their next album, and that album is far better as a whole. As for the version on this album, it's a beautiful acoustic song, but like I said, a better version can be found on their following album.

"The Ballad of Balin Longbeard"- It opens up with some people chanting and clapping. A flute and acoustic guitar melody enters, and is then followed by vocals. People talking follows as the music begins to fade out. The song ends with clapping and talking. It captures the atmosphere of the album well, but it is a pretty lousy song.

"Rivendell"- A rhythmic drum and synth line begins this song. There is some more spoken word. To be honest, the fact that there's spoken word in almost every song it really detracts a lot from the overall value of the album. After the speaking we have a pleasant enough instrumental synth line.

"Khazad-Dum"- This is a solo piano piece that isn't very memorable at all. It's not the worst from this album, but it isn't good either.

"Nimrodel"- What a surprise! It's opened by spoken word! After that we have a decent instrumental track. It has some fairly enjoyable parts, but it really isn't that good.

"The Palantir"- A spoken word opens up the piano chords that would soon follow. The whole band soon comes in. The melodies aren't very captivating at all. Another decent track?

"Pelennor Fields"- An opening of organ chords is followed by a synth line. This mostly keyboard driven instrumental is one of the better songs on the album.

"Why I Cry (Arwen's Song)"- After a short piano intro we have some feminine vocals. This is a pretty nice song, but once again it is nothing special.

"Anduril"- An organ intro opens this song. There are vocals on this song, and it sounds very ELP-ish. The only problem is that even right after I listened to it it's tough to recall any of the melodies.

"Morannon Gate"- The only guitar orientated song isn't too bad. It's nice to know that they actually have a guitarist that is present. This is an almost hard rock song at times, and it is one of the better songs here. Still nothing too out of the ordinary, but it is enjoyable.

"The Return of the King"- The only reason you might want to consider buying this album. Some nice synth and organ lines open up the closing song. I really like the melodies to this song, and it is definitely the highlight. This is the only song that I'll really remember after hearing this album.

I might raise this rating to a 2 just because the last song is very enjoyable and there are a few other decent songs here. However, I will give it a one simply because if you are going to get into Glass Hammer, this should be the last album you purchase from them. Even then, it's really not worth getting unless you are a completionist. Thus, it fits the one star description. It would be a 1.5 in a perfect world, but since that is not available on our current rating system, I will give it a 1 simply because Glass Hammer has done much better.

1 star.

J-Man | 1/5 |

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