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Glass Hammer

Symphonic Prog

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Glass Hammer Dreaming City album cover
3.70 | 150 ratings | 3 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Dreaming City (7:14)
2. Cold Star (7:29)
3. Terminus (4:17)
4. The Lurker Beneath (1:44)
5. Pagarna (3:33)
6. At the Threshold of Dreams (4:11)
7. This Lonely World (4:52)
8. October Ballad (4:11)
9. The Tower (2:40)
10. A Desperate Man (4:15)
11. The Key (6:10)
12. Watchman on the Walls (11:29)

Total Time 62:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Babb / keyboards, bass, backing vocals, lead vocals (1,5,12)
- Fred Schendel / keyboards, guitars, backing vocals
- Aaron Raulston / drums
- Susie Bogdanowicz / lead vocals (8)
- Brian Brewer / lead guitar (7,8), acoustic guitar (12)
- Reese Boyd / lead vocals (2,11,12), lead guitar (1,5,12)
- John Beagley / lead vocals (3,7,10)
- Joe Logan / lead vocals (11)
- James Byron Schoen / guitar (11)
- Barry Seroff / flute (2,11)

Releases information

Format: CD, Digital
April 17, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GLASS HAMMER Dreaming City ratings distribution

(150 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

GLASS HAMMER Dreaming City reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars From the spacey intro vibe of the first song and the heavy guitar part, I was surprised to realize this was an album of Glass Hammer. Then we are treated with a nice bass break that can only come from Steve Babb, but where are Fred's keys, oh yes then I hear them at the end in this fast pace song. This album that can only listen in one take without skipping a song is heavier and less symphonic. The band decided to get back to their early influences of Rush, Jethro Tull, and Tangerine Dream. There are more spacey prog passages and a classic rock feel where the band sticks to a more direct approach with the guitars having a sound that is more on the raw side than usual. The song "Pagarna" has some clear Rush influence with the typical guitar solo at the end. The band uses the flute and some nice acoustic guitar when they want to slow things down. Overall the keyboards on this album have taken a step back with occasional appearance letting the bass and the guitars the lead. The band has taken a chance here with their new direction. but I am glad they did after releasing too many albums of that same genre in the last decade. This a well-balanced album with some driven rock songs, some peacuful ballads and some dreamy electronic interludes.
Review by A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars Fantastic stuff here, not too many contemporary symphonic prog albums manage to be so enjoyable and intriguing, both fun and intricate, crossing effortlessly back and forth between different genres just in the span of an hour, all of this has to be in the essence of progressive rock, on full display on Glass Hammer's 2020 studio release titled 'Dreaming City', a concept album that serves as the first part of the so-called Skallagrim trilogy, a sci-fi opus that sees the Tennessee-native band go real heavy, while maintaining their melodicism and lush presentation.

Masterminds and multi-instrumentalists Steve Babb (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Fred Schendel (keyboards, guitars, vocals) deliver an enviable collection of twelve songs that should be endeavored in one take since most of them transition into one another, ideally making up the aforementioned first installment of the story, joined by drummer Aaron Raulston, among several other vocalists that appear throughout the LP. 'Dreaming City', the band's eighteenth studio recording opens up with the hard-rocking riff of the glorious title track with vocals by Babb, just to display this myriad of styles that the collective goes through throughout the entire duration of the album - symphonic rock is omnipresent, of course being the frame for the sound of Glass Hammer as well as throbbing hard rock, 70s style, with raging keyboards and mind-blowing solos, perhaps reminiscent of some early Uriah Heep or the virtuosic playing of someone like Jon Lord; there is a strong Rush influence in some sections, some sprinkles of Tull-tinted sections featuring lovely flutes, entire tracks that worship the sequencing magic of a band like Tangerine Dream, among other things. Such a pleasant, vibrant album, full of different sounds and moods, the bass tone of Steve Babb is quite impressive, the keyboards are incredible, the guitars are also great, then there are the several vocalists that all do a lovely job.

No bad songs on here, also keeping in mind the fact that they should be heard together, in the context of the album. The music is awesome, the band have their grip on the 'progressive' aspect of it all strongly, and present a surprisingly heavy side that is also very welcome and suits them finely. Some highlights would be (apart from the title track) 'Cold Star', the rocking 'Pagarna', the electronica of 'At the Threshold of Dreams', the melancholic 'This Lonely World', the gorgeous songs 'A Desperate Man' and 'The Key'.

Straightforward, impressive, proggy, catchy, emotional, it seems like 'Dreaming City' has it all, an excellent album that I already consider a classic of modern progressive rock.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Dreaming City is a masterpiece. What are my rules for determining that? Dreaming City is both music and literature. To REALLY experience Dreaming City I had to look(at the lyrics), listen(to the lyrics and music) and receive it. Basically I had to choose to get myself out of the way and surrende ... (read more)

Report this review (#2353915) | Posted by RFAPROG | Thursday, April 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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