Header
Glass Hammer - Perilous CD (album) cover

PERILOUS

Glass Hammer

Symphonic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars This is the third album from the same GH line-up with Steve Babb (bass/ keys/backing vocals) and Fred Schendel (keys/guitars/backing vocals) with Kamran Alan Shikoh (guitars) and Jon Davidson (vocals) along with Randall Williams sessioning on drums plus assorted guests. This settled line-up has assisted the band in quality while the borrowing of Jon for some other group has obviously aided the profile (I note that Glass Hammer are on the same cruise ship tour as Yes). GH have always put a lot of thought and care into their releases, so that the purchaser is already engaged before hearing a single note and the same is here again with great artwork and of course the booklet also contains all of the lyrics.

Here we have a concept album (not unfamiliar territory for GH) which is based on what happens when we walk through the gates into the cemetery beyond, and start a journey which can be 'Perilous'. The album kicks off with a string section, that leads into a fairly length instrumental introduction to "The Sunset Gate". This shows to me that Steve and Fred really know who their listeners are, and that they will be ready to spend the time and invest in what is going to be a great listening experience instead of looking for a quick fix hook or bridge. Long before the vocals started, the guitars and keyboards have struck an intense relationship with influences from classic prog bands abounding. An important thing to mention here is that while Glass Hammer have been influenced by the classic groups of the seventies, they are not just plain plagiarists but instead are doing something new while also casting a look back to what has gone before.

There is no doubt that Jon Davidson has a very similar vocal style to Jon Anderson, that is why he has been chosen to replace him after all is said and done, but these guys are not Yes clones. One of the most effective songs on the album is "In That Lonely Place" which starts with classical guitar and vocals from Amber Fults which takes the music in a totally different direction and even when Jon joins in the duet he sings in a different way to normal. Yes, the mellotrons come in to add backing but this is all about simplicity and context; prog doesn't need to be bombastic and multi-layered to be incredibly effective. Maybe now that Glass Hammer are gaining more recognition thanks to the Yes connection they will become well known to a much wider audience. This album certainly provides the basis for being able to do that. www.glasshammer.com

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#869217)
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Enjoy the music 'as-is' and forget about influences ...

Am quite happy with this album even though it was quite hard at first spin trying to understand the album until third spin or so. I finally realized the reason why it was quite hard it penetrated into my mind. Yeah, it's basically the preconception that Glass Hammer is a reincarnation of legendary Yes prior to 90125 album. So when I spun the album I always tried to compare every single thing presented here with what Yes dis in the past. Where is the walking basslines like Squire did in vintage Yes? Where is inventive guitar fills like Steve Howe did? Where is the punchy keyboard lines like Wakeman or Moraz (sorry for not to mention Downes) who really characterized the music of Yes? I was trapped by my own definition of reincarnation of Yes. Yes, I could fine vocal similarity of Jon Davison and Jon Anderson even though Jon ANderson is much powerful and clearer. But hey ... Why do I make my own confusing comparison? And then I started the fourth spin.... It relieved me really ....

As I wrote in previous review of Glass Hammer album: "Musically, Cor Cordium is quite simpler than classic Yes albums but the overall composition is really nice. One peculiar thing that I can observe at first spin is the guitar playing style that is different from Steve Howe. As I play the music quite often, I realize that I like this album and in some points I do not really care whether or not this album is like Yes replica" So is with this Perilous album, it's basically in similar vein than Cor Cordium. The good thing about this latest album is that the music flows really nicely from start to end in a seamless fashion or at least I do not really care about the change from one track to another as it flows nicely. So you got my point that the composition handles the transition pieces beautifully. I only paid attention to it when I spun the album and tried to find out the name of the opening track and I found that I was already at track three: The Restless Ones. This is one thing that I need to pinpoint as the beauty of any prog music offering is on the artist handles the transition pieces. If the listeners cannot notice the change to another track that means the composition has very good structural integrity and overall it sounds like a cohesive offering by the band. It happens here with Perilous.

Take an example now when the album arrives at short instrumental track "The Years Were Sped" it introduced with simple acoustic guitar fills that represent the entry of tis track without me having noticed that at the end of the fifth track "We Slept, We Dreamed" there were a very nice choirs that brings the track to the end and finally, smoothy transferred to the short bridge "The Years Were Sped" which demonstrates a very nice instrumental work. The bridge then proves its effectiveness when the succeeding track, even though there is a short break "Our Foe Revealed " which has great and solid bass lines combined with very nice and inventive keyboard solo. Woooow!!! I love this seventh track - especially when I just enjoy the music as Glass Hammer music and no comparison with Yes or whatsoever! In fact if we want to compare with Yes, it surpasses (musically) the quality of any Trevor Rabin era of Yes. So I do not blame any of you who consider Glass Hammer is the reincarnation of Yes as the music is really excellent!!

When Yes toured Asia-Australia and made a gig here in Jakarta in April 24, 2012 at JW Marriott Hotel, during the press conference I stood up made my comments to Jon Davison that I am a big fan of Glass Hammer and liked their Cor Cordium album. Jon was pleased (even though Chris did not seem quite happy with my "out of Yes" comment) with my comments and I really hoped that the next albums would be at par excellent as Cor Cordium. They did! This Perilous album is at least at the same quality as the previous and in fact slight better, I believe.

As I am writing this review I play the album through my iPod and now I am reaching track 8 with no sense of being bored with the music. Yes. I have to admit that overall there is proximity with Yes especially with the Jon Anderson-like vocal style. At the eighth track "Toward Home We Fled" I find guitar fills in a bit complex style like Howe's playing even though it's quite short. But the sounds of organ / keyboards are really good and promising.

Overall I can say this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection with excellent composition and good performance. On composition the music flows nicely from one segment to another with good harmony. Most of tracks have memorable melodies and there are changes in mood and styles throughout the music that make up a dynamic composition. The keyboard / organ plays dominant role even though guitar and bass lines are also contributing quite significant way. It's not something that essentially the same with Yes but there is no harm associating the music with Yes. Look at the ending tracks "The Wolf Gave Chase (1:59) - We Fell At Last (1:56) - In That Lonely Place (6:10) - Where Sorrows Died and Came No More (6:34)" that are really excellent and there is no way to compare with any composition by Yes. It's highly recommended album! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#884758)
Posted Monday, December 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Show Must Go On" (Freddy Mercury).

As I see it... With their last 3 albums, guys tried to bring old Yes sound to new level. And in most songs they succeeded, especially in this album, where strings and chores added more layers to the sound. It sounds very dynamic, powerful and gentle at the same time - "intelligent rock", if you will (I picked up somewhere such a word). It is Symphonic Prog of highest caliber. Thanks to stunning vocal, it's definitely early Yes, but 100% ORIGINAL - and that what matters. The same thing could be said about Agents of Mercy toward to Genesis. Having vocalists so close to Andersen and Gabriel, guys from both groups are enjoying to recreate old sound and carrying it on.

It's all about Love and Tradition. Love to our old Prog and carrying on its great Tradition. Thank you guys for been so brave to do that on a such high level. Please don't give up. Only one complain I have: it's a guy on the cover... I am covering him with my finger right now, and the cover looks way better. Someday, when you will reissue this album in digibook with SACD, please take this "backdoor man" out. 5 shiny stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to toilet_doctor (BETA) | Report this review (#931196)
Posted Saturday, March 16, 2013 | Review Permalink

GLASS HAMMER Perilous ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of GLASS HAMMER Perilous


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.08 seconds