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Glass Hammer - If CD (album) cover

IF

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.91 | 253 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

cutsofmeat
4 stars I felt compelled to review this album after listening to it last night after spinning it for about 5 months now. I have really liked everything from Lex Rex to Culture of Ascent. They have a revolving door when it comes to the lead singer but the backing and female vocals have always been consistent. I thought their last album was quite an improvement with Carl Groves on lead. Then they went and changed things up and went with another new voice, Jon Davidson. OK fine, we are used to that. BUT where did Susie go? I really thought she was the consistent vocal glue that held things in place from album to album (along with the other female singers).

At first, I really thought it was a dull album. The first several listens really did nothing for me and it hardly compared to the great albums of the past. Sure, there was great musicianship. And Davidson's voice was actually quite good. But something seemed to be lacking and I couldn't put my finger on it. So I came to the conclusion it had to be the lack of backing vocals and if it wasn't that, I really didn't know why it wasn't drawing me in. This album should be right up my alley from what I know about my taste in music. So I put it on the shelf for a few months and wanted to revisit it later after about 20 spins.

THEN last night I pulled it back out...This album sounded fantastic! What happened? Nothing except that since I was quite familiar with the songs and sections, I was able to anticipate what was coming next. In the world of prog, familiarity almost always enhances a listening experience compared to that of mainstream type of music. Some of my favorite all time albums grew over the course of time, some took years until I fully appreciated them. And this album is following that pattern which is a great sign of it aging quite well. So in the end nothing changed but my opinion went from it being a 2 star album to a 4 star album by just leaving it alone for a period of time. Sounds crazy but I am sure most everyone on this site can relate to this prog phenomena. Is it as good as Lex Rex or Shadowlands? I'm not sure but it doesn't matter, this album can stand on its own as an excellent addition to any prog collection. But just don't give up on it too soon like I almost did. IF is very challenging and will be a reward to those who persevere.

cutsofmeat | 4/5 |

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