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Glass Hammer - Lex Rex CD (album) cover

LEX REX

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.72 | 155 ratings

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Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I'm certainly not the first person to complain that Glass Hammer waste some absolutely superb classic sounding synth passages thanks to unnecessarily twee, pop-sounding vocals. I felt this problem on Shadowlands, which was the first album of theirs I encountered, and it is definitely worse on the preceeding album Chronometree. Sadly it's also present on Lex Rex (I'm none too impressed with the intro/intermission theatrics either!) but thankfully, the band's compositions are at among their strongest.

Musically, Lex Rex is probably the pinnacle of Glass Hammer's impressive reportoire as the ELP/Yes/Genesis influenced band moves from one exciting song to another ... The first song Tales Of Great Wars is liberally sprinkled with blistering synth work from Fred Schendel (or possibly Steve Babb), but during the first half of the song, the vocal melody threatens to ruin it, and it comes as something of a pleasant surprise therefore when some pleasing vocal harmonies ensue!

One King is practically a Yes tribute with piano, organ and synthesizer taking turns to dazzle, interspersed by an Anderson-like vocal line (which amazingly is just about the least irritating one here!) I could do without the Rabinesque guitar though. Unfortunately the 15 minute Further Up And Further In boasts majestic instrumental work that is almost destroyed by poor poppish vocal segments, that surely aren't in tune with the mood of a concept album about Ancient Rome.

The same applies to both A Cup Of Trembling and When We Young, which are totally power-packed until the lame vocal segments makes their presence felt, while Centurion actually manages the skill of being a good, progressive but un-Glass Hammer like tune, for most of it's duration.

Lex Rex is just about the best Glass Hammer of them all, but is still distinctly flawed in a way that other contemporary keyboard heavy albums really aren't. I would actually go for the works of the Scandinavian trio of Anglagard, Wobbler and Magic Pie, the US' Echolyn or Israel's Trespass before coming to this band. ... 55% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |

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