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Glass Hammer

Symphonic Prog

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Glass Hammer Live At Belmont album cover
4.11 | 26 ratings | 5 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Long and Long Ago
2. One King
3. Run Lisette
4. Farewell to Shadowlands
5. Through the Glass Darkly
6. Knight of the North
7. When We Were Young
8. Having Caught a Glimpse
9. Heroes and Dragons

Behind-the-scenes video footage
Rehearsal video footage
Slideshow with commentary

Total Time: Over 250 minutes of content

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Babb / bass guitar
- Fred Schendel / keyboards
- Matt Mendians / drums
- David Wallimann / electric guitar
- Carl Groves / vocals
- Susie Bogdanowicz / vocals
- Bethany Warren / vocals
- Flo Paris / vocals
- Eric Parker / acoustic guitar & steel guitar

With The Adonia String Trio:
- Rebecca James / violin
- Susan Hawkins / viola
- Rachel Hackenberger / cello

150 singers of The Belmont University Singers
and The Belmont Women's Choir

Releases information

Far more than a mere treat for the ears, Glass Hammer's double-DVD set, Live at Belmont, is a veritable feast of both sight and sound. Superbly mixed in 5.1 surround sound, Live at Belmont delivers an experience that transports the viewer right to the front row of a magical live performance. Experience the world's premier progressive rock band in all its majesty, supported by Belmont University's 150+ member choir and The Adonia String Trio. As with their studio recordings, Glass Hammer's Live at Belmont delivers progressive rock music the way it should be: overflowing with excitement, full of personality and emotion, expertly performed, and commanding the attention of all that listen.

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GLASS HAMMER Live At Belmont ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

GLASS HAMMER Live At Belmont reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars Thirteen years ago Glass Hammer delivered her debut album entitled Journey Of The Dunadan, now here is a 2- DVD (running time 250 minutes)) by this popular and acclaimed USA progrock formation. The concert was recorded in Belmont (USA) with the use of 8 cameras, you can notice that because the crew often switches to all parts of the stage. The sound of Glass Hammer has echoes from Yes and ELP but less complex and adventurous. Keyboard player Fred Schendel delivers lots of pleasant vintage keyboards sounds (Hammond, Mellotron, Minimoog, church-organ) out of his digital equipment. He is very pleasantly accompanied by fiery electric guitar work, wonderful work on the steel- guitar (evoking Steve Howe), a violin-section, 3 female background singers (one does at some times the lead) and, during the final two tracks, by a massive choir of 150 people! This reminds me of the sheer megalomaniac days of 'Seventies Rick Wakeman solo' when the stage was crowded with many, many musicians and a battery of keyboards!

My highlights on DVD 1 (the concert) are Run Lisette (flashy Minimoog runs and a fluent Hammond organ solo), Knight Of The North (wonderful interplay by warm female vocals and beautiful paino, from sparkling to dreamy), the epic When We Were Young (very alternating including fine violin-Mellotron waves, a piece with propulsive guitar and lush organ and an instrumental break with swirling Hammond and powerful bass play) and Having Caught A Glimpse (the massive choir and great keyboard work, an amazing combination). On DVD 2 you will find lots of interesting bonus features like parts of early gigs (like Nearfest 2003), the songs Lirazet and Tales Of The Great Wars with photos, rehearsals (with the choir), a trailer and 'behind the scenes'.

I am sure that this pleasant and tasteful DVD will delight many progheads, especially because of the great interplay and soli on keyboard and guitars. RECOMMENDED!

Review by E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I just finished watching this and it's even better the second time. Spawned by the creative minds of Babbs and Schendel, and with hints of Yes, Genesis, and Kansas, Glass Hammer blends symphonic prog with soaring harmonies, beautiful melodies, pure musicianship, and electrifying energy.

Taped live in Nashville, TN, Glass Hammer gives us a true live experience that greatly outdoes Lex Rex Live. Salem Hill's Carl Groves steps in and does a marvelous vocal performance from beginning to end. In addition to Groves, guitarist David Wallimann has taken over lead guitar duties. The guy can flat out fly on the guitar; however, I don't really get a sense of true emotion from him. It feels a bit sterile and all too flashy. I'd much rather hear a guitarist in there who's more sensitive to the guitar (i.e. Steve Rothery, David Gilmour, or Steve Howe). Aside from that and the spotty camera work, Live At The Belmont makes for a truly enjoyable viewing experience. A trio of female vocalists (led by Susie Bogdanowicz.... I love you, Susie!) add such a sweetness and beauty to this music. It's never more evident than on "Run Lisette" and "Farewell To Shadowlands" as the ladies truly shine. Great job. Towards the end, the band is accompanied by the Belmont University choir, who really punch up "Having Caught A Glimpse". It'll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

My favorite part of this DVD, however, is how the band puts the music FIRST! Very tight and professional, the band just seamlessly brings together brilliant symphonic prog. From Matt Mendians Peart-esque drumming to the harmonies, Glass Hammer have definitely put together a quality experience for their fans. 4.25 - 4.5 Stars.

Review by lor68
4 stars Well you know that my opinion has been never affected by my symphonic music background and as such an interesting live - like this recent one - brought about a certain emotional feeling among all the fans of the band, including me, I 'm happy to review this product after burning it at my DVD player one more time. In fact We have been waiting for this important performance - as it is witnessed by their second most inspiring and best DVD (after "Lex Live") - for a couple of years and right now I can say it's really worth the price.

Of course - even though the mood is not equal for instance to that incomparable transmitted by another symphonic band like After Crying (think of a couple of recent famous lives, regarding this latter fantastic amd more versatile Hungarian band), I think that the approach of G.H. is well worth checking out at least. But coming back to their tunes, I like to mention the stunning instrumental opener of "Long and Long Ago", where David Walliman - their newcomer guitarist - shows his good skill, even when He plays a few " more jazzy" harmonic lines taken directly from Disc Two of "The Inconsolable Secret" studio album; then I appreciate "One King" very much, a selection from "Lex Live", which is better than the original version. Moreover here Carl Groves is well fitted into the new ensemble of G.H., like otherwise in the track "Through the Glass Darkly", where He supportes Susie - the lead vocalist - in a remarkable way!!

Instead the epic number "Knight of the North" is worth a special mention, because the long instrumental interludes work in a cool way, above all thanks to the team work, regarding of all the core members and the instrumental unplugged lines by Eric Parker as well...the quality of the mix is good in general, making this "Live At Belmont" a must- have for the fans of this intelligent US band.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Glass Hammer's The Inconsolable Secret is one of my favorite US prog discs and I have chosen not to review it yet (but soon), relying instead on this DVD that features that new revamped crew in a live setting and a quatuor of long selections from The Inconsolable album. By this time the Tennesseans really got their personnel together in a purely energetic upgrade, with stalwart drummer Matt Mendians pounding fiercely, Swiss import guitarist whiz Danny Wallimann and Salem Hill's Carl Groves, a vocalist who actually can sing, how delightful to have you all here! The sizzling "Long Long Ago" sets the tone immediately, laying down the foundation for some lovely keyboard excursions by the chubby Mr. Schendel both on ornate piano, rabid organ and delirious synths while Walliman quiets any doubt that he can lick a mean guitar. He is Swiss, so visual exuberance is kept quite discreet but can he ever shred! Throw in some real live strings and you get a show opener that is riveting in stature and space, Babb keeping his bass propelled like some musical electrician. Seeing the three female backing vocalists smile as they sing adds only to the enjoyment. "One King" from Lex Rex is more in your face, go for the jugular piece that intros agreeably for a brief drum fling and the throbbing bass run of "Run Lisette", a masterful feat from all appointed, especially the brimming vocals , lead male and backing female work that is sheer radiance. Schendel exchanges synth bursts with the manic guitar, back and forth and the whole experience is astounding. The remainder of the concert program continues in a sober manifestation, no theatrics a la ELP, or silly between song humor like Tull or visual effects from classic Genesis. Just musicians grooving to make some atmospherically dense prog, certainly not far from the Relayer boys, evident when Eric Parker throws in some screeching steel guitar just like Steve Howe. Okay, Babb has a Squire fetish, Mendians thrashes like a dirty White boy and Schendel can Wake(a)man with apparent ease but these are certainly great musicians to be influenced by. Welcome change of pace is provide by extended piano etudes (seeing Schendel sweat profusely is funny, no wonder they are asking for towels), and gracious vocals from the pretty Susie Bogdanowicz such as the combination on the gut-wrenching ballad "Through the Glass Darkly" a highlight segment that has both musicality, poignancy and atmosphere while Carl Groves' voice does well to enhance the experience. Another track from the "Secret" But it's the other Inconsolable track that reaps all the glowing headlines. "Knight of the North" is an epic and majestic recreation of the studio masterpiece, a rare example of rock band and classical orchestra getting it right in a live setting, with colossal multi-voiced choir work, slick guitar excursions that almost veer near the outer perimeters of fusion and a volley of sterling keyboard interventions by the fat man. While this is no "Gates of Delerium", it still nevertheless compares nicely with the Flower Kings epics of which there are so many. Groves really starts getting into the music, his enthusiasm eye candy and everyone lets it rip in a potpourri of rapid fire riffs and solos that is hard not to admire. Wallimann in particular unleashes a couple of short blasts that verge on the impossible and then you even got some honky-tonk piano from the Schendel guy, overtly recalling the Tarkus crew from the UK. When the massive 150 member choir arrives on stage, the imposing sonic and visual effect is truly staggering, so the final three pieces have this enormous presence that is wonderful to witness. (All those teenage vocalists standing and waiting for their parts must be wondering WTF is this prog music?) . One thing no Mellotron or string synth can emulate is 150 voices! Things get very intense on the symphonic jewel "Having Caught a Glimpse" (another and the last TIS track), celestial singer Flo Paris trading howls with the husky Groves on a bed of upward gliding choruses with the Belmont singers adding the oomph! The strings add even more depth to the feel and the finale is overwhelming in its sincere and massive beauty. Simply magical music here. "Heroes & Dragons" closes off the show in typical Glass Hammer fashion, everything tossed into the pot.

While not a penta star candidate or the best concert video ever, it's still an agreeable ride into the prog sunset and a fine show. Which is want you wanted in the first place, no? Think about it , they are from Nashville /Chattanooga . Incredible world .

4 transparent mallets

Latest members reviews

5 stars Once I was not a big fan of Glass Hammer... There thought that there were some interesting tracks but it was all. Then, I bought this DVD and everything changes from then ! How to say what I felt listening to it - it really hard to explain : in this concert, everything is brilliant, tight, ... (read more)

Report this review (#232221) | Posted by Ultime | Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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