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Glass Hammer

Symphonic Prog

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Glass Hammer The Middle Earth Album album cover
2.42 | 83 ratings | 7 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Elrenn and Endereth (2:33)
2. The Old Troll (1:56)
3. The Old Troll and the Maiden (5:58)
4. Dwarf and Orc (3:53)
5. The King's Beer (2:41)
6. The Ballad of Balid Longbeard (4:11)
7. The Man in the Wood (3:27)
8. Mirkwood (2:12)
9. As I Walk (2:34)
10. The Last Ship (2:41)
11. Mithrandir (This Fading Age) (5:08)
12. Sweet Goldberry (4:41)
13. No Crown for Balin (3:07)

Total Time: 45:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Fred Schendel / guitars,mandolin, keyboards, winds, percussion, vocals
- Steve Babb / bass, keyboards, percussion, vocals

- Walter Moore / vocals
- Brad Marler / vocals
- Susie Bogdanowicz / vocals
- Felicia Sorensen / vocals
- Sarah Snyder / vocals
- Thomas Hammett / vocals
- David Luther / vocals
- Jamie Watkins / backing vocals
- Tim Starnes / violin
- Bob Stagner / percussion (11)

Releases information

Artwork: David Wyatt

CD Sound Resources ‎- SR1311 (2001, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GLASS HAMMER The Middle Earth Album ratings distribution

(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(7%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (38%)
Poor. Only for completionists (16%)

GLASS HAMMER The Middle Earth Album reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Just another album based in the "Lord of the Rings" ? I don't believe so, its good but not great.

The production is excellent and the USA band has a great achievement in creating a perfect atmosphere, as if the album was a story told in a medieval bar, and that deserves some credit.

But the album has many problems one of them is that most of the music is too repetitive and looses the interest of the listener after two or three songs, that's why it's hard to describe this album track by track.

Another problem is that all the work done creating the perfect medieval atmosphere is useless if the album lacks of substance or strength and IMHO it is a bit weak in both aspects.

The best song without doubt is "Mithrandir", taken from their much better album "On to Evermore" where it was called "This Fading Age" and adapted to fit in this release, this track is one of the band's best efforts, great instrumentation and beautiful vocals, the song is wonderful.

"Middle Age Album" is not for everyone, If you're not familiar with the band you should better start with "Chronometree", "On to Evermore" or "Lex Rex" but if you're a Glass Hammer fan I see no reason to ignore it.

Review by NJprogfan
3 stars Having found this album in a used bin, I was anxious to spin it. What came forth seemed straight out of a tavern somewhere deep in Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings Hobbit/Troll infested world. Great fun! Imagine Gryphon, or say Amazing Blondel singing songs about Middle earth and you'll get a good idea what's on the first 6 tracks. Starting with "The Man In The Wood" things begin to change. No longer are you listening to baladeers singing to some rowdy folks. Now it's basically a prog band singing medival folk using modern equipment. I especially love the voice of Susie Bogdanowica on "Mirkwood" and "As I Walk". Beautiful! In fact, track 6 to the end is more modern then the first 6, so it's a bit off-putting but a nice change of pace. Now, prog-wise, you get the feeling it's a Glass Hammer album only when listening to the massive keyboards on "Sweet Goldberry", very Yes/ELPish, otherwise its mainly a folk prog affair. So in that aspect, I give it a rousing 3-stars.
Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars I approached this Glass Hammer album with great suspicion. Another Tolkien derivate album?

The band did already produced one (their debut "Journey Of The Dunadan" which was a rather poor musical experience).

You can easily skip the first seven songs (which means more than half of this album). These are useless folk songs which are absolutely no interesting unless you organize a medieval party. To get almost thirty minutes of these troubadour oriented tracks is rather painful. And dull.

The mood remains folkish, but bearable with "Mirkwood". At least some true vocals and a comprehensive melody. The problem being that the next three tunes are just carbon copies. The dull mood is striking again.Hard.

I even start to miss their cloning music.Which is back with "Sweet Goldberry", to a certain extent.

The closing number provides a good overview of the whole: grotesque.

Same rating as "Journey Of The Dunadan": one star.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Huzzah!

I forsake thee. Go a-reaping in yonder field. Gather up bales of nerdbane, and take thy sword, Sting, the conqueror of the castrati Gordon Sumner, and venture off into the land of creatures known and unknown. You will vanquish d'Orcs, and the bloated Elvish Presleys before you complete thy quest.

2001. Steve Babb and Fred Schendel find that they were eight years too soon with their album dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkein's unreadable classic novels. So what to do? Do it again.

At least this one isn't as pitiful as Rick Wakeman's label repackaging some new age pieces with new names and calling the inspired by the books. But it isn't very food.

More than half of the album is made up of pseudo-celtic folky madrigals, played as if in a tevern, with a crowd singing along and pretending to enjoy the music. In fact, the songs are tedious. Most go on too long, and unless you are one of those who enjoys those character infested renaissance faires, are somewhat boring.

The second half of the album is a bit better, tending toward folkier pieces. The first song I can actually say that I like is Mithrandir (This Fading Age), which sounds almost like a Jon Anderson song. It is followed by Sweet Goldberry, the only song that could be called either prog or rock.

I'd recommend skipping this album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Another five GH CD's arrive at Chez Barnett (to complete the set of GH Studio recordings).This is the first to get the old lughole treatment (Lend an ear to). The first 7 tracks are all Medieval /Folksy efforts and I'm sort of positive that these tracks can be covered by the title of prog/quirky ... (read more)

Report this review (#176546) | Posted by M27Barney | Friday, July 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this album. The best songs were the live freeflowing minstrel tunes immersing the audience in the carefree lives of middle earth pleasures. Its a good fireside experience. So relax, don't be so critical, light your pipe and enjoy a good cup of ale from your wooden mug...cuz. ... (read more)

Report this review (#63733) | Posted by | Sunday, January 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Being a Tolkien admirer and fan, as well as a huge Glass hammer fan this CD really tickled my curiosity, so I couldn't wait to go out and buy it. After purchasing it, I rode back home immediatelly, went up to my music room, and put it in the player......but what a bummer. It's not what you wo ... (read more)

Report this review (#2931) | Posted by | Sunday, November 21, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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