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Glass Hammer - Shadowlands CD (album) cover

SHADOWLANDS

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 172 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Blacksword
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Glass Hammer could be regarded as the saviours of symphonic prog rock. It was thanks to Prog Archives that I found this great American band. Shadowlands is the first GH album, I've heard, and while I eagerly wait for others to arrive in the post, I find myself loving this album more with each play. Is it perfect? No, but it is extremely good! To listen to it, you wouldn't think they were American and at first I was disappointed by this. It seemed daft that a US band should want to sound so much like a cocktail of Genesis, Yes and whoever else from the English prog garden! But then I got to thinking, 'why not?' They are so good at it, after all. The Keyboards are played beautifully, and some of the Mellotron parts are sublime, as are the soaring female harmonies which are at their most beautifully prominent in 'Farewell to Shadowlands' Glass Hammer are excellent musicians, and very talented composers, and while they're music may be very derivative, it does have a unique stamp on it that is their own. This may come out of a combination of English influence on the music and American accent on the vocals. The influences are far more obvious than in the work of Echolyn, for example or Spocks Beard.

The album suffers a little from, what must have been a limited production budget. The flaws, however, are minor and come down to bad mixing. For example on 'Run Lisette' the organ is so loud it nearly drowns out the vocals in some parts, which is a shame because this is the best song on the album IMO. Also brilliant are 'So close, so far' and 'Farewell to shadowlands' I feel the album loses a little of it's momentum in 'Longer' and the epic, 'Behind the great beyond' but this is not a view shared with many other reviewers.

All in all Glass Hammer, have delivered the goods on this album without a doubt. Symphonic prog lives, especially in the US. But hey, perhaps true prog does alittle more than just celebrate the past.

Blacksword | 3/5 |

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