Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

GLASS HAMMER

Symphonic Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Glass Hammer picture
Glass Hammer biography
Founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA in 1992

Glass Hammer is a symphonic-progressive rock band from the United States. They formed in 1992 when multi-instrumentalists Steve Babb and Fred Schendel began to write and record Journey of the Dunadan, a concept album based on the story of Aragorn from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. To their surprise, the album sold several thousand units via the Internet, The QVC Shop-At-Home Network and phone orders, leaving Babb and Schendel convinced that the band was a project worth continuing.

While many musicians have appeared on Glass Hammer albums over the years, Babb and Schendel have remained the core of the band. Both play a variety of instruments, but Babb mainly concentrates on bass guitar and keyboards while Schendel plays keyboards, various guitars and drums until the addition of live drummer Matt Mendians to the studio recording band in 2004. They also sing, although a number of other vocalists have also handled lead vocal duties including Michelle Young, Walter Moore, Carl Groves, Susie Bogdanowicz and Jon Davison. Worthy of mention, Yes vocalist Jon Anderson provided backup vocals on two songs from 2007's Culture of Ascent.

Lyrically, Glass Hammer is inspired mostly by their love of literature (most notably Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and John Krakauer) and Babb's love of Victorian prose and medieval mythology.

Musically, they lean towards 70's driven symphonic rock, with strong keyboard orientation; specifically Hammond organs in the tradition of ELP. They have a superb melodic flow to the music they make, encapsulating real power and dynamics without ever becoming overpowering. Their most apparent influences are Yes, ELP, Genesis, and, to a less noticeable extent, Camel. While Glass Hammer have, for the most part, combined those influences into a characteristic style of their own, they made much more direct references to the aforementioned bands on their 2000 album Chronometree and the 2010 release If. Without a doubt, GH remain one of the most popular groups in the progressive rock genre. All the albums are very conceptual, and there is great musicianship overall.

Current band members include co-founders Steve Babb (bass guitar and keyboards), Fred Schendel (keyboards and guitar) along with Alan Shikoh (guitar) and lead vocalist Jon Davison.

Contributors to this article: ProgArchives, Wikipedia, Sound Resources

GLASS HAMMER Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to GLASS HAMMER

Buy GLASS HAMMER Music


GLASS HAMMER discography


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

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

2.05 | 92 ratings
Journey Of The Dunadan
1993
3.07 | 98 ratings
Perelandra
1995
3.07 | 96 ratings
On To Evermore
1998
3.32 | 176 ratings
Chronometree
2000
2.42 | 86 ratings
The Middle Earth Album
2001
3.76 | 218 ratings
Lex Rex
2002
3.70 | 236 ratings
Shadowlands
2004
3.43 | 220 ratings
The Inconsolable Secret
2005
3.53 | 191 ratings
Culture of Ascent
2007
3.03 | 131 ratings
Three Cheers For The Broken-Hearted
2009
3.88 | 343 ratings
If
2010
2.86 | 59 ratings
One
2010
3.74 | 237 ratings
Cor Cordium
2011
3.86 | 222 ratings
Perilous
2012
3.46 | 174 ratings
Ode To Echo
2014
3.82 | 186 ratings
The Breaking of the World
2015
3.83 | 186 ratings
Valkyrie
2016
3.80 | 146 ratings
Chronomonaut
2018
3.70 | 151 ratings
Dreaming City
2020
3.99 | 98 ratings
Skallagrim: Into the Breach
2021
3.61 | 53 ratings
At the Gate
2022
3.87 | 33 ratings
Arise
2023

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

3.08 | 19 ratings
Live and Revived
1997
3.72 | 34 ratings
Live At Nearfest
2004
3.73 | 20 ratings
Double Live
2015
3.86 | 7 ratings
Mostly Live in Italy
2018

GLASS HAMMER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.23 | 26 ratings
Lex Live
2004
4.07 | 30 ratings
Live At Belmont
2006
4.00 | 11 ratings
Live at The Tivoli
2008
4.00 | 7 ratings
Double Live
2015

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

3.72 | 19 ratings
The Compilations, 1996 to 2004
2006
4.05 | 22 ratings
The Inconsolable Secret - Deluxe Edition
2013
3.66 | 22 ratings
Untold Tales
2017
3.77 | 4 ratings
A Matter of Time - Volume 1
2020

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

3.80 | 5 ratings
Cool Air
2016

GLASS HAMMER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Inconsolable Secret by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.43 | 220 ratings

BUY
The Inconsolable Secret
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars My favourite album, or shall I say, double album, by Glass Hammer. I find it long but still well developed and balanced. Music is accessible, to both occasional prog listener and typical retro-prog fan. The first CD is grandiose, with perfect blend of symphonic prog atmosphere and keyboard virtuoso playing. Singing is melodic and quite fitting into overall scenery. The second track is a great classic prog-rock epic. The second CD offers a wider stylistic palette including a bold classical music inspired piece "Long and long ago", pastoral "Lirazel", medieval "Merridan's song", gloomy soundtrack "Walking toward doom", ELP workout on "Mog ruith", highly catchy "Through a glass darkly" towards the grandiose code on "Having caught a glimpse"

You may object to this album not bringing anything new from Glass Hammer nor enriching the prog rock upper echelon but it's a really well executed album.

 Live At Nearfest by GLASS HAMMER album cover Live, 2004
3.72 | 34 ratings

BUY
Live At Nearfest
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars After the overblown short introduction (could be 1 minute shorter), we're invited into the complex world of Glass Hammer playing. The sound is decent, keyboards very audible however vocalist need to try hard to compete with the instruments intensity and succeed only in quiet passages. Glass Hammer confirm their attention to detail when playing and their soundscapes can get pretty intensive. Most of the material is strong although I don't dig their 90's stuff. The Kansas cover version is welcome surprise with nobody else than Steve Walsh. It turns into a nice jam in the end. Well, this is the only live album by Glass Hammer I have and I'm thankful for it. I'd gotten rid of "Live and Revived" because it had a weak material and playing was not yet at my expected level.
 Shadowlands by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.70 | 236 ratings

BUY
Shadowlands
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Glass Hammer resurfaced in 2004 with the "Shadowlands" album which continues in their vein of ELP/Yes inspired elegant progressive rock. But you'll certainly see tons of other influences (Kansas in the last track, Spock's beard etc.) Compositions are longer than usual allowing not to hassle things and offer really ornate keyboard workouts that draw my most attention apart from a few solid hooks. I didn't know the original song by Dan Fogelberg and must admit that Glass Hammer made it quite sophisticated and provide some good vocal harmonies. The last composition is my favourite one due to Kansas references, classical music inspired elements and the finishing 6 minute instrumental section that is very symphonic.
 Lex Rex by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.76 | 218 ratings

BUY
Lex Rex
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars After the promising "Chronometree" and medieval "The middle earth album", Glass Hammer are back with another classic album from their repertoire. Adding a female singer and improving male vocals adds to the overall sound. Instrumental playing is already really solid, highly symphonic prog but with numerous mellow sections (like in "Tales of the great wars"). The band has also improved songwriting, especially in the long pieces which are more cohesive. There are many clever if not innovative keyboard workouts, often simultaneously played. Let's acknowledge band's perseverance to improve and get more ambitious. When it comes to influences, we can still hear ELP, Yes, Spock's Beard and Flower Kings. Potentially, you can hear even more of them? The album is a piece of prog candy but I wouldn't call it essential listening.
 Chronometree by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 176 ratings

BUY
Chronometree
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Glass Hammer left the shade of 3rd class prog-rock band by this release which shows improved playing, more lively sound instead of the early 90's cheesy sounds (especially on keyboards and drums). Thus they are able to further exceed the average vocal and average songwriting. Keyboard playing is solid, stately and acts as the main magnet. Guitar is a bit less visible but still well complements the sound as the second main instrument. In the compositions like "An Eldrich wind" the band shows their sense of melody and the vocal of acquired taste. Despite often sounding like bringing too much inspiration by ELP and Yes, somehow they fulfill my taste when it comes to a retro-prog album with good instrumental moments.
 On To Evermore by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.07 | 96 ratings

BUY
On To Evermore
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by hugo1995

3 stars Has some solid songs on here with actual good "Glass Hammer" music beginning. But there's also a lot of misophonic crap (like 30 seconds of meowing in one part) that makes me question if I should even be giving this a 3, but there are good parts worth listening to that makes up great prog. This is personally the first decent album that Glass Hammer released in my opinion.

Good album for fans of good prog choirs and keyboards, such as early Spock's/Neal Morse, Moon Safari, Brighteye Brison, etc. Might even go as far to say styles of Yes and Beach Boys on a vocal level. But this version of prog itself is very different from Yes.

First half of this album, especially the prog epic Arianna are just choir-boy bliss and totally worth listening to if you're a fan of this type.

 Double Live by GLASS HAMMER album cover Live, 2015
3.73 | 20 ratings

BUY
Double Live
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by ArturZientalski

3 stars Google translator ------- The album ''If'' from 2010 is the end of the prog-rock story :) ''Double Live'' from 2015 is quite a decent position compared to releases from ''One'' (2010) to ''Arise'' (2023) Very pleasant to listen to. Pop- Rock release not only for Glass Hammer fans. For me, there are definitely too many "sound effects", often exaggerated :), but it's a piece of decent music :) My rating is 3.0-3.5.

original text ------- Płyta ''If'' z 2010 roku to koniec progrockowej opowieści :) ''Double Live'' z 2015 roku to całkiem przyzwoita pozycja w porównaniu z wydawnictwami od ''One'' (2010) do ''Arise'' (2023) Bardzo przyjemne w słuchaniu Pop-Rockowe wydawnictwo nie tylko dla fanów Glass Hammer. Jak dla mnie jest zdecydowanie za dużo w nim ''efektów dzwiękowych'' często przesadzonych :), ale jest to kawał przyzwoitej muzyki :) Moja ocena to 3.0-3,5.

 Arise by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.87 | 33 ratings

BUY
Arise
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars GLASS HAMMER group founded in 1992; known for composing on the Lord of the Rings book and hosting Jon ANDERSON who brought me to them; a sound on YES, ELP and GENESIS initially for the sound of the keyboards and a symphonic rock assigned to the specific musical flow; their 22nd album is about the exploration of deep space by an android, so we are therefore going for space rock, doom metal and psych-rock from the 70s to today, a beautiful progressive range which is evolving.

"Launch of the Deadalus" rhythmic intro, spatial neo prog on a Dantesque final organ leading to "Wolf 359" starting title on a heady heavy riff; Hannah deploys her voice eyeing that of MOSTLY AUTUMN, merging with almost all prog groups with a female voice; the final orchestral side between symphony and grandiloquent melody, music seeking to "talk to the gods of Olympus" with a supercharged keyboard confirms the metallic desire. "Arion (18 Delphini b)" more psychedelic track with vocoder voice, dynamic for rock enthusiasm and forward bass reminiscent of RUSH. "Mare Sirenum" the marine interlude, instrumental becoming crystalline, hypnotic; a grandiose psyche rise which makes a magnificent progressive nod to the electronic music of TANGERINE DREAM, sublime. "Lost" follows, a long, captivating intro of almost two minutes before Hannah takes the reins on a piano and new wave scents; the emphasis on a SPARKS, a MI-SEX, half dancing, half contemplative and a timeless melody to finish electro dub. "Rift at WASP-12" its catchy heavy sound; between the film and the psyche, on a languorous and surly MOTORPSYCHO, a sign of the prog oxymoron; an overboosted stoner, on a MONSTER MAGNET. A GLASSHAMMER in fact squeaky and twirling but effective.

"Proxima Centauri B" drives the point home, heavy bass, scratchy wah-wah riff, heavy drums looking towards BLACK SABBATH; rhythmic before a soaring break which disconcerts thanks to the sovereign Hammond, the bass keeping its place; Hannah screams more and more and gives pep. "Arise" first of two long pieces; spacey and oriental air on TANGERINE DREAM from the start; a musical bluff with this organ from ancient times and a title which refers to the sound of yesteryear and an air mixing Chrissie HYNDE with Anneke from GATHERING; Steve shows here even more his love of sophisticated, dithyrambic, colorful music, with a final soaring chord where the Mellotron comes to light. "The Return of Deadalus" for the beef, the crazy improv that we no longer expected in 2023; a good old instrumental gig from a bygone era surfing between psychedelic rock, bluesy rock and hard 70s madness; an end-of-album gift with still the old greasy sound of MOTORPSYCHO, yes GLASSHAMMER transcends itself; flights of keyboards from the time when the organ gave prog its letters of nobility; Steve's bass, always heavy and powerful, and the guitar which twice releases a solo that will make you swoon: Hannah arrives at the end to remind us that her voice is also important; final which leaves you perplexed, stunned favoring astral travel quite simply; an astonishing and explosive mix, heavy worthy of DEEP PURPLE.

GLASSHAMMER hit hard, very hard; heavy prog as we like it with vintage sounds, a sound that gradually changes confirming their musical evolution; a concept album about space exploration that is bound to send you very far away for an hour; strong and soaring recording, perfect progressive osmosis of prog sounds and an obligatory album of the month in view of this musical deluge.(4.5)

 Arise by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.87 | 33 ratings

BUY
Arise
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by richardh
Prog Reviewer

4 stars According to the database this is the 22nd studio album by this symphonic prog band hailing from Tennessee. Formed in 1992, I first became aware of them with the release of their fourth album Chronomotree in 2000. This was recommended to me as an ELP/Yes style album and certainly keyboardist Fred Schendel provides plenty of Keith Emerson/Rick Wakeman style licks. They stuck reasonably firmly to this approach over the next 10 years that arguably reached its zenith with the so called 'Jon Davidson' trilogy (If, Cor Cordium and Perilous). Chris Squire got to hear about a vocalist that could reasonably replace Jon Anderson in Yes so Davison departed after 2014's Ode To Echo album where by this time he was sharing vocal duties with the returning Carl Groves. From then on GH became a much more fluid line up with different guitarists and drummers, not to mention various lead singers although they remained remarkably consistent in output.

The current lineup of Steve Babb (vocals, keyboards, guitars), Fred Schendel (drums and guitars on one track) Randall Williams (drums) and Hannah Prior is perhaps their most stable for a while. What's readily noticeable is the lack of traditional keyboards in the mode of Emerson and Wakeman that was so recognizable on many of their albums. Instead, this is replaced by electronic sounds that help create a more atmospheric feel. The general style is now even heavier than recent albums, very guitar dominated especially Steve Babb's muscular bass who is undoubtedly one of the best players of that instrument around.

The concept? Certainly, deliberately very space rock influenced and partially a homage to early Floyd and similar early seventies psyche bands. The album finishes strongly with a few longer tracks (Arise 11.44 minutes and The Return of Deadalus 16.51 minutes). Overall, it comes in at a nice meaty 59.38 minutes. I purchased the MP3 album but I gather this has some very nice artwork and a lovely insert booklet explaining the concept if you get the CD version. If you like their recent albums, you will like this. If you think this is another Yes/ELP clone band and got off the 'bus' around 2014 then hop back on the bus and give this a chance!

 Arise by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.87 | 33 ratings

BUY
Arise
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by cstack3

4 stars The band Glass Hammer, led by bassist/guitarist Steve Babb and his fine crew, have generated a very nice new CD! I am particularly impressed with vocalist Hanna Pryor, who shines throughout!

The music has an interesting blend of western and Middle Eastern sounds, particularly poignant at this stage of history, considering the clash of those worlds. Steve's bass playing as always is excellent, and they use classic prog sounds such as heavy wah-wah guitar and Mellotron strings!!

This is a very nice effort, and I congratulate Steve and his band for producing a very taught, emotionally uplifting body of music.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.