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Hourglass biography
Formed by guitarist Brick Williams, Hourglass is a Prog Metal group from Utah, USA. The band's first effort was the hard-to-come-by "This Lonely Time and Place," followed up by the much more polished "The Journey Into" in 2002 and 2004's "Subconscious." The band has now released the excellent double album "Oblivious to the Obvious".

54 months is a long time to work on an album. But that is exactly how long it took Hourglass to finish their new double album "Oblivious to the Obvious." Four and a half years of writing, recording, mixing, mastering and the result is 139 minutes worth of music. Even though it is a lot of music, it is only 10 songs. Hourglass has never worried too much about the length of their songs, and epic songs have always been a part of what the band does. "Oblivious to the Obvious" is no exception. The album has a little of everything, from heavy metal riffs and screaming vocals, to laid back piano and acoustic passages, and some very tasteful groove sections. Vocal harmonies are scattered throughout the album as are many guitar, keyboard, and even bass solos. There is something for everyone on "Oblivious to the Obvious."

The band has gone through numerous personnel changes with Williams as the sole constant. Current drummer John Dunston replaced Zachary Taylor for "The Journey Into." Founding keyboardist Eric Robertson and current keyboardist Jerry Stenquist have traded seats twice, with Robertson playing on "This Lonely Time and Place" and "Subconscious," and Stenquist playing on "The Journey Into" and "Oblivious to the Obvious."

Bassist Jon Berrett played on the first two albums, then Clark Woolstenhulme played on "Subconscious," and the bass chair is currently held by one-time Hourglass vocalist Eric Blood for "Oblivious to the Obvious."

A different vocalist has performed on each album, with Jon Shumway on "This Lonely Time and Place," Chad Neth on "The Journey Into," Cody Walker on "Subconscious," and Michael Turner for "Oblivious to the Obvious."


Hourglass will appeal to fans of Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Shadow Gallery, Threshold and Rush to name but a few and are highly recommended.

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Oblivious to the ObviousOblivious to the Obvious
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HOURGLASS discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

HOURGLASS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
This Lonely Time and Place
3.18 | 22 ratings
The Journey Into
3.56 | 29 ratings
3.80 | 81 ratings
Oblivious to the Obvious

HOURGLASS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HOURGLASS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HOURGLASS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HOURGLASS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by SevDawg

4 stars This band really surprised me. Based on other reviews I was expecting basic vanilla prog metal, in some cases there's truth behind that, but I believe that this is some solid progressive metal music. It took a few listens for the album to sink in, once it did I appreciated the album a lot more.

Musically HOURGLASS has their own style. It's progressive metal with neat song structures and instrumental parts. The bass is audible throughout the album, which I really value in progressive metal music. A few notable mentions for songs from this album are "38th Floor" and the title track "Oblivious to the Obvious".

"38th Floor" is at times peaceful, atmospheric, funky, and has the typical heaviness associated with progressive metal. It's a solid song and can be considered an epic (20+ min) and is one of the best from the album. The bass guitar is very good on this song, and the melodies are catchy.

"Oblivious to the Obvious" is the title track and 30+ min epic that ties the album together. It's a solid piece of music similar to "38th Floor" and has multiple parts. The progression in this track is neat as it plays through its five parts. Musically it might be the most diverse on the album, though "38th Floor" is also similar in that regard.

Nearly a 140 minute long double album, it may be a tad too long in duration for some, but I like having that much music accessible in one album, and it honestly goes by fairly quickly. This was a good find, and I recommend it to any fan of progressive metal.

 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars There is so much that can be said about this album, but I will try to keep this review short. The album, quite frankly, blew me away. The amazing vocal harmonies that are achieved, the extremely well-done guitar work, the technical drums, and the fantastic piano all suck the listener into a journey inside the head of a depressed man. The depression is based on a dissatisfaction with life that seems to stem from his parents, and this man's life gets worse and worse until he has some rather startling realizations. I found that I can identify with the lyrics on an extremely personal basis---I have had many of the same feelings and emotions in some of the same situations. Overall,the lyrics and the lyrical content are some of the best I have heard in a while. With all of that said, these musicians excel in the music itself with some extremely well-done technical portions, pleasant softer parts, and some of the best bass guitar I have ever heard (no joke)---he really is the star of this album. However, the album's greatest strength is still in the lyrical quality. So, while this album is around 2 hours and 30 minutes in length and includes some rather long tracks (the longest is around 20 minutes), it really never feels that long. The groove that is set, the engrossing lyrical content, and the fresh sound all combine to make this album something special. I would recommend this band to fans of Riverside, Haken, or Redemption. These fans will find some of the same themes, as well as the same technical expertise, excellent atmosphere, and vocal quality. I am really looking forward to this band's next effort.
 Subconcious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.56 | 29 ratings

Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Hourglass third studio album from 2004 named Subconcious is another worthy in any way progressive metal album. I was quite pleasent surprised about their previous release, this one is no diffrent. Progressive metal very well played, even the originality lacks, but is not a bad thing after all, they manage to come with a good album from start to finish. The album is very lenghy over 79 min of music , divided in 2 big sections Mists of Darkness and Exit Wounds , both sections devided again in small pieces clocking as a whole around almost one hour + 2 pieces from their own, title track and Altered State. So, progressive metal well performed, where the skills of the musicians are very prodominant, specialy on opening track almost 18 min of solid and quite well composed track, from gentle guitar parts to bursting moments, arrangements are top notch here, the guitar and drum passages are worth for sure to be heared by any prog metal listner, excellent parts. All album is technical, but never being to technical to become boring, is very well melted with more gentle, mellow parts to give a realy great result. The voice is pleasent and fits very well into this kind of music. Forte tracks are The Hammer's Strike , The unbeliver, very strong musicianship very similar with Dream Theater btw. So, 3 stars for this album, rounded to 3.5 , good towards great, prog metal listners will find this album a great discovery for sure.

 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I still remember the first time I heard HOURGLASS' "Subconcious" album a few years ago. That first track blew me away, but with that album clocking in at almost 80 minutes in length it lost most of it's steam well before it ended. On their latest recording which took 4 1/2 years for them to complete, they bury us with almost 140 minutes of music over two discs. And while I could condense this to 50 minutes and say it's a solid 4 stars, the reality is what it is. Way too much music here that is good but nothing more. It brings this down to a 3 star rating. Many Prog-Metal fans have hailed this as one of the years best but in my opinion REDEMPTION's "Snowfall On Judgment Day" is the years best Metal album with this one quite a ways back.

Too much music here to really go over it all, but the first album starts with "On The Brink", and this is the highlight of this whole recording. It has this nice heavy intro with lots of bottom end. Synths join in then the tempo picks up around 1 1/2 minutes. It settles with piano before 3 minutes but not for long. Vocals after 4 minutes. A great throaty scream as well. I like the guitar before 8 1/2 minutes. It sounds like a mosquito. The bass is fat in the excellent instrumental section that follows. Vocals return before 11 minutes. Fantastic start.

One thing that bothers me about this album is the same thing that brought down "Subconcious" later on, and that's where the lyrics seem to become more important than the music.The only problem here is that THAT happens a lot more on this recording because it's so long. Anyway lots to like here but there are too many passages that seem to coast musically as the focus is put on the vocalist. Just my taste in music and distaste for double albums I suppose.

 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars My recent development in opinions (how I evaluate albums), especially about long albums, has recently increased their value. It's tiring, but honestly, who of us can stand listening music for so long. OK, I can. I've just listened it and am listening this again. It's helluva (terrible word, but it describes situation very well) album and I've been listening it for a third time in a row. Still can't get enough of these wonderful tunes. And I really mean it, I don't see this as cliché, more like the best of its genre. I don't see it as too long, I see it as a lot of great music in one package. I don't see half empty glass, but half full instead. I would like to describe this music, but it's too eclectic (most of styles I know/like are switching here), together with melody. Yes, everything is nice here (sometimes it's even like symphonic prog, sometimes like Symphony X), singer reminds me James LaBrie, but why not. Only thing that you won't find here is extreme pitch black dark atmosphere, extreme fast metal and death meal (hehe, I mean metal) elements.

5(+), Hell, it even has damn jazz elements. I simply love this album, as it offers everything I want, with basis of prog metal. That's fine recipe if you ask me. Prog is here, every part of this record is soaked in it.

 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by manticornio

2 stars By hearing this album, I recognize how far a music which main idea is a cliché can go. I can't deny the progressive personality, but, behind this orthodoxes forms, the hard rock riffs, the guttural screaming, and the hard punch rhythm section tells me nothing but commercial music is invading the good manners. Not happy with releasing just another progressive metal heavy rock CD, HOURGLASS production is a double album, making longer the agony with enervating sounds, very technical, but with nothing original to say. The best thing in this album is the rhythm section, capable to support the guitar and the vocal madness, while keys are mainly to create some good atmospheres, and some occasional good piano moves. For me, 'Homewar Bound' is the best moment in the album, and yet insufficient to tell is worth to buy the CD, unless you like to move your head with fury.
 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by jpgarcia7787

2 stars Oh my god... I despise a lot of prog metal because too much of it is just really cliche, boring and entirely too predictable, but this album has got to be one of the worst. This has been the most difficult album for me to listen to throughout 2009. It was absolutely terrible. It sounded like a failed attempt at Dream Theater with Geoff Tate vocals. Nice try, Hourglass, but it didn't work out for you. I think the only song that even remotely got my attention was Delirium, an instrumental track. I began to enjoy the smooth jazz section, until it was completely ruined by failed-LTE guitar soloing. Throughout the entire album, there is just too much extraneous stuff... too much excessive playing where not needed. If you're gonna do that stuff, pick the right spots to do it to heighten the music. Don't let the playing take the place of the inspiring music. The music needs to grow and form itself on it's own. This is the perfect example of an album that was overshot and over-killed, and in result only held back what the music could have become. Another "Fail." for prog metal. Great job.
 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Hourglass's 2009 release is a mammoth album- two discs jam packed with heavy music totaling a massive two hours and twenty minutes. For those who like metal in doses, listening to this record can be a daunting task, but as someone who falls into that category, I have to say I hated this album upon the first hearing, but was very impressed, especially the second time around, when I realized I recognized several of the melodies and riffs. At times, the vocals range from exaggerated imitations of Layne Staley or Bon Jovi, which can be annoying at times. The bassist, however, seems to make this album- whenever he pops up by himself, I know I am in for a treat, and even in the background he tends to stand out. Despite the discouraging length, this powerful album will no doubt find its way out of my speakers on many more occasions.

"On The Brink" After a striking introduction, the guitarist chugs out some chords, while a thin organ sneaks over them. The whistling synthesizer is a grand touch, occurring right before an intense piano. The lead guitar makes use of both shred techniques and sustained notes, but in either case, it is very melodic. The vocal bridge toward the end is somewhat silly, but for the most part, this is a killer progressive metal track, and should gratify most.

"Homeward Bound" Dark piano and soft guitar comprise the beginning of this second track. Generally it is more pleasant than the first track, with better singing, great bass work, lovely piano, and tasteful guitar. There's a great bass solo midway through, that, while not exceptional in and of itself, is fabulous for setting up the next part of the piece, which includes a fiery guitar lead. However, the bass toward the end is nothing short of phenomenal.

"Pawn II" The band goes for a Hispanic/Near Eastern vice with the classical guitar juxtaposed with other exotic sounds. The piano comes in, and introduces a heavier sound, full of rapid rhythms. A short, exotic yet funky bass solo brings in the guitar shredding that is rather out of place. The vocal section begins rather abruptly. This part includes one of the most ingenious riffs I've ever heard in conjunction with a vocal melody. And once again, there's a gutsy bass solo right around the corner, this time giving way to some keyboard madness.

"Faces" Delicate piano and equally delicate vocals begin this piece, which sends the album in a lovely direction. The lyrics are a tad cliché, particularly in terms of rhyming, but that's all right- the music is beautiful and remains that way for quite a awhile, even when the bass finally comes around to usher in the next phase.

"38th Floor" Once again, the bassist shows what he's made of, kicking off the track with some fancy finger-picking. The vocals are solid, and the synthesizer adds a great dimension to the piece, but the guitar tone is thin and takes away from things I find remarkable. There's some great interplay between all the instruments as they rock out. An airy and almost tribal section arises in the middle, serving as the basis for a more melodic bass solo and vocals with a fresh and positively memorable vocal melody. Tasteful electric guitar comes back in, both as a rhythm and lead instrument, lending an almost bluesy feel to the segment. The bassist ultimately holds it together and keeps it interesting. Overall the arrangement is solid, and full of variety in terms of composition, but even then, this song just seems to be too long and overbearing. For a piece of such length, the ending is entirely lackluster and unsatisfying, sort of petering off with some jazzy meandering on the piano.

"Façade" Gentle electric piano begins the second disc. Initially the lead guitar sounds like a saxophone until the slides make it more clear that it is indeed a guitar. The bassist fades in out of nowhere, making this a less than subtle transition, and soon the chugging guitar and drums increase in intensity and begin the next phase of the piece. This main vocal section is closer to power pop rock, with a bouncy and catchy vocal part.

"Skeletons" This is probably the worst track on the album, particularly with those opening vocals. Nothing here is nearly as memorable as anything else, particularly on the first disc. The whistling keyboard solos are plusses, however.

"Estranged" Hourglass goes the acoustic route for this gorgeous second-person song. To me, this sounds a lot like the softer side of Enchant, both instrumentally and vocally. Not only is the vocal melody amazing, but the acoustic guitar solo represents a few moments of sheer brilliance.

"Delirium" With spunky bass and heavy guitar, this ten-and-a-half minute instrumental gets going, as subtle keyboard textures are introduced. I could have been fooled that Victor Wooten himself was sitting in with the band on this track, particularly with all those rapid bass notes. The second half is largely jazz-rock music, with a steady beat and continuously creative bass and guitar fretwork. When things return to the heavier side, each member takes turns with a quick cadenza between recitations of a common riff. Finally, the bassist just dominates with a speedy solo alongside hurried drumming.

"Oblivious to the Obvious: Part 1 - No Chance" An elegant twelve-string guitar begins this five-part, thirty-minute epic. Despite the bright backup vocals and instrumentation, the lyrics are thematically dark, apparently about the horrific cycle of atrocious parents inadvertently breeding atrocious parents. Finally, there's a proper piano solo, and shows what the keyboardist is able to do with another instrument besides a synthesizer.

"Oblivious to the Obvious: Part 2 ? Realization" Remarkably, the band resists the urge to plow ahead with metal and actually creates an even more depressing, sedated mood. The vocal melody is very good.

"Oblivious to the Obvious: Part 3 - Remember Me" Rightfully so, things pick up right in the middle, with a synthesizer lead and crunchy guitars. For once, the bass playing is restrained, almost pounding out the root notes of the chords. Not surprisingly, there's another bass solo at the end.

"Oblivious to the Obvious: Part 4 - In My Hands" This fourth part, which is surprisingly short, is based on a creative and heavy riff.

"Oblivious to the Obvious: Part 5 - Redemption" The finale features a chunky bass and haphazard keyboard runs. There's a slick guitar solo later on, but that's about it. While the previous track could have led to a suitable conclusion, this instrumental almost acts as disjointed filler, firstly since there are no lyrics to continue the quasi-narrative, and secondly because none of it really flows together. It was like the band wanted to "balance the weight" of the second disc with that of the first one. Whatever the case, there isn't much of interest going on here, especially since almost everything that preceded it was far superior.

 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by natewait

3 stars Hourglass is a new band to me. They are based out of Utah, which happens to be where I live. I discovered them on one of my favorite prog sites where there was a very positive review of this album. From there I went to Hourglass' website and listened to samples from their latest album and was blown away. I bought the CD from them immediately because of how impressed I was. When I recieved the CD in the mail a couple days later, I couldn't wait to listen to it! I put the CD on my ipod and started to play the music and...I wasn't all that impressed. I was really bummed out- had I made a huge mistake? Luckily, I decided to give the album another chance and was blown away by it all over again. How could I have been dissapointed with this album on first listen? This is definitely a really good album!

This album could be classified as Progressive Metal, but it is never too heavy. The heaviest track is easily the first one, On the Brink, that starts off Disc 1. This song really reminded me of The Glass Prison by Dream Theater, which is one of my all time favorite songs. It has a powerful riff, and the whole band plays fantastically- it is a perfect start to a great album. The singer, Michael Turner, sounds like Ted Leonard from Enchant, but also gets in some growling in the opening track. He hits this high note in the second half of the song that just blows me away every time- he is truly a great singer. What really impresses me about this band, though, is the amazing bass playing of Eric Blood. There are moments where the music stops and Eric Blood plays an awesome bass part by himself before the rest of the band come in. These are some of my favorite parts and show how funky and rocking he is as a bass player. Amazing stuff!

There is a lot of stuff on this album, so I think it would take too long to go through each song individually, so I'll just give some highlights. What is amazing to me is that this album spans two whole discs and there is not a boring or bad moment throughout the whole album. I love Pawn II, which seems like an instrumental until the soft, tasteful vocals come in about halfway through the song. There is some amazing playing going on in this song and it just blows me away every time. I love the closing epic on the first disc, called 38th Floor. It is over 20 minutes of highlights that move seamlessly from one piece to the next. Just so you know I'm not playing favorites, I really love the guitar playing of Brick Williams, it is truly outstanding.

I love the instrumental piece on the second disc, Delirium. It gives all players a chance to shine including the two band members I haven't mentioned yet, Jerry Stenquist on Keyboards and John Dunston on Drums. There is no weak link in this band, every member is fantastic! And, who can forget the awesome epic that closes the album? The title track, a thirty minute piece split into 5 parts, is incredibly done and showcases all the great styles that this band includes in its music. There are heavy bits, some great singing, more tasteful bass work, a beautiful ballad section, and a jazzy ending. It is the perfect ending to a great album as the band members jam together.

I love this album! The more I write about it, the more excited I get about it. It is an album that keeps growing on me and really makes me appreciate the complexity involved in progressive metal. There are some minor imperfections, mainly the sound quality of the album is not as crisp as I would like it to be. Also, I have a feeling Hourglass have even better albums to come, so I want to give them room to grow. But, this is definitely a great album!

 Oblivious to the Obvious by HOURGLASS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 81 ratings

Oblivious to the Obvious
Hourglass Progressive Metal

Review by mel from hell

4 stars I did not know hourglass till now,but as it proved, it was a huge mistake. In this epic(both CD's contain music almost 140 minutes) we hear an excellent lyrical progressive metal with fully respect to progressive rock. Fortunately, the voice is pretty good(many prog bands suffer in this sector), the bass player is awesome and adds volume to this masterpiece. Generally, all the members deliver us an excellent example of how progressive metal should be played. It is a pitty that this band has not gained the recognition it deserves. Complex structures, feelings, a blend with other genres of music, long enough songs-all the components needed to produce a state-of-the art musical monument. I cannot yet decide whether it is an excellent addition to any prog collection or a masterpiece. I will rate it with 4 stars, I hope I am not underestimating this gem.
Thanks to Hibou for the artist addition. and to progmetalhead for the last updates

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