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Glass Hammer - On To Evermore CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.07 | 80 ratings

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3 stars The first albums I heard from this good USA band where the Tolkien based "Middle Earth Album" not really prog but would have made a great soundtrack for The Lord of the Rings and the excellent "Lex Rex", so I bought the conceptual "On to Evermore" (The Story of Arianna and the Sculptor) with great hope and expectation only having heard the remake of the amazing "This Fading Age" from The Middle Earth Album.

Disappointed is a strong word to describe how I felt, but surely I expected much more from them, the album structure, instrumentation and vocals are more than correct, but there's something missing, and I believe it's strength, the music flows gently from start to end, but there's not a great emotion except in the previously mentioned "This Fading Age".

Every song is well structured and correctly developed what is probably their main problem, everything comes as you expect, there's no surprise, sometimes even a weak song followed by a masterpiece create a reaction in the listener, but in this case there's not a bad song or a masterpiece, only correct and well developed tracks.

It's hard to choose favorite tracks because most of them are in the same level, but this are the some of them:

"On to Evermore", after a soft beginning with bird sounds, gets even softer, to be honest I find nothing memorable in this track and the best I can say about it is that it's well played and has some interesting vocal sections

"The Mayor of Longview" is a strange track rhythmic and syncopated sounds like a march or a soundtrack for a fantasy movie maybe because it has something of The Neverending Story theme, in the end there's a light baroque keyboard section, which is the higher point of the track.

When I heard "The Conflict" had to read the credits five times to make sure Keith Emerson was not a guest for this track, absolutely ELP start that renewed my hope in Glass Hammer but again it dissolves in the same perfectly expectable structure, a good track but again something is missing, don't ask me what because everything seems correct and all the notes fit perfectly.

"Arianna" starts with a powerful synth solo, which reminds me of the 4 men era Genesis, followed by excellent piano and drums, at this point I expected an explosive song, but when the vocals joined, the reality was different, suddenly turned into something similar to a Phil Collins Ballad, this vocal section is far too long and repetitive, becomes absolutely boring, the soft middle section instrumental prepares for a final more aggressive plethoric of good keyboards and excellent vocals with a couple of abrupt changes, a good but uneven track, maybe too long for their own sake, the band could have done it better in 5 or 6 minutes.

"This Fading Age" is my absolute favorite, extremely beautiful track that starts with a fantastic mandolin and vocals, followed by excellent keyboards. A friend who's an excellent musician heard this track and told me that some backing vocals sounded unfinished as if a third vocalist tried to join but forgot the lyrics, it's absolutely true, but that's what I was expecting, at last Glass Hammer dared to do something different in this album, maybe incorrect for purists but absolutely innovative and challenging for the listener. The track ends with an ultra complex vocal and keyboard structure. The best track by far.

"Junkyard Angel" is another track where the band dares to do something different, starts with a soft piano and vocals that made me expect another pretty tune but suddenly burst in an Emerson Ian keyboard explosion followed by an almost heavy metal guitar

All the other tracks are in the same level, good but IMO not outstanding, a correct album, pleasant for the listener, but absolutely not challenging.

The complex vocal structure developed with the participation of all the band members deserves a special mention, especially Fred Schendel, Steve Babb and Walter Moore who take turns in the lead vocals with equal success, outstanding achievement.

Don't start your Glass Hammer collection with this release, begin with Chronometree and Lex Rex, then you should try this album, but don't expect something as amazing as the previous two.

Three stars is the correct rating IMO for a good but not spectacular album.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |


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