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Glass Hammer - Chronometree CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 152 ratings

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2 stars Glass Hammer's blend of spectacular synth voyages and awful vocal segments is perhaps at its most frustrating on Chronometree. Unlike subsequent albums Lex Rex and Shadowlands, where the cloying female vocals (usually belonging to Susie Bogdanowicz) do the trick, here we have the weak 80s pop-rock tones of Bard Marler. I must say that I started my Glass Hammer experience with Shadowlands, and then worked my way backwards. After hearing Chronometree, I decided to stop.

This album is more of a group effort than Lex Rex and Shadowlands. For a start, Fred Schendel is mainly on keyboards instead of going the multi-instrumentalist route that those albums would see him take. The result is a stronger presence of guitar ( Ayreon mainstay Arjen Lucassen guests on lead guitar alongside Marler and a couple of others), but the highlights are still the Emersonian keyboards of Empty Space Revealer and Revelation, and some gorgeous synth work on Chronotheme.

It is perhaps telling that the most "unspoiled" track on this album is the scintillating instrumental Shapes Of The Morning ... which clocks in at less than 2 minutes long! I don't want to give you the impression that there aren't moments of exquisite joy on this album, because there are, but way too many songs sparkle, burst into fire spectacularly and then fizzle out.

In fact, it's not just the tepid vocals, but the surprisingly uneven (and frequently quite dull) compostions that give this album an aimless, incoherent feel that make it the worst of the three Glass Hammer albums I am familiar with. Chronometree stands as a particularly striking example of a band wasting its talents. ... 48% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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