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Glass Hammer - Culture Of Ascent CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.54 | 163 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Glass Hammer create a soundscape of mesmirising virtuoso prog!

Glass Hammer's "Culture of Ascent" is my first exposure to the band and was a pleasant surprise. I absolutely got lost in this ambient music from beginning to end. The way that the songs are structured and flow lucidly makes for a relaxing journey.

It begins so brilliantly with a comparable cover version of the Yes classic 'South Side of the Sky'. The female vocals work well and enhance the quality of the original, along with some virtuoso instrumentation including mesmirising violin, and sparkling piano; a concerto of radiant tranquillity. The heavier side of the band comes from the guitars but it is never overbearing. The riffs are well executed and become part of the soundscape rather than dominating. The guitar solo at the end is a fantastic touch. The harmonies are beautiful on this opening track in particular. I was stunned by the way in which the cover version sounded so innovative, fresh and appealing.

It is perhaps unnecessary to pin down any other track individually as the tracks wash over the listener like waves crashing on a beach. There are some lengthy epic such as the last two tracks and they are journeys themselves to immerse the listener. The harmonies on 'Sun Song' are worth mentioning and there is a scorching lead solo to savour. The singing is always very well undertaken. The sound is often a wall of instruments with a voice repeating in a chant like fashion.

The influences are apparent when hearing this music, at times I am reminded of Transatlantic, Spock's Beard, Yes or IQ. Of note is that Jon Anderson appears on 'South Side of the Sky' and 'Life By Light', and his voice is easily recognisable and enhances the atmospheres.

This is a thoroughly recommendable album. There are no filler tracks, the music is virtuoso and the structure is compelling. Glass Hammer are an amazing creative collaboration; progressive, innovative and totally satisfying music.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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