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Symphonic Prog

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2 stars I had to jump on the opportunity to be the first to review this one, regardless of how I felt (especially after blitzing through the prior three albums tonight). And for this band in particular, how I feel is... something. Hailing from the Proto-Prog era of the late-60s, and it shows, oddly enough Glass never released a single record in their heyday. Their first was 2004, No Stranger to the Skies, comparably matched in quality to its followup, 2005's Illuminations. But as they go, until this album, it just got worse and worse. From meh (Spectrum Principle, 2009) to just plain bad (Palindrome, 2014).

Right off the bat, this feels like a much more confident band and definitely the Glass that I know (better than not knowing them haha). An often stripped-down Jazz-inflected Symphonic power trio (oftentimes completely missing the very necessary "power" from the equation). Also often rhythmically quirky, and I wonder if entirely on purpose... Sorry. I just don't have a whole lot of positive things to say, especially culminating to the very-nearly- awful Palindrome, the sorry album that came before this one. Even though this is more confident and surely better material and performances than that (barely), it still shows the same ol' weaknesses that have plagued the band since their first recorded efforts. Bland compositions abound, in the least. So many times, throughout the whole of their discography, I find myself saying "This is almost a good song." That's just... sad to me.

Where they succeed most (at least in part) is with the opener, "Emergence", "7", which is kind of ruined by its plastic sonic choices, the almost-Canterbury "Ultraverse Quadradextrous", and the even more nearly-Canterbury "Eye of the Needle", driven nicely by bass.

But yeah... A fairly consistently disappointing experience.

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Posted Monday, December 20, 2021 | Review Permalink

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