Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PETER HAMMILL

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Peter Hammill picture
Peter Hammill biography
Peter Joseph Andrew Hammill - Born 5 November 1948 (Ealing, West London, England)

Peter HAMMILL is one of the most unique and influential voices in prog. He was the pivotal figure in VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR (VDGG for short) who formed in 1967 at Manchester University. His obsession with lost love, lost faith, time, space and existence itself are the cornerstones of both his work with the band and his solo albums. He was also their principle songwriter. The classic line-up was the HAMMILL, Banton, Jaxon, Evans combo which produced the peak "Pawn Hearts", "Still Life" and "Godbluff" albums. He has since brought out at least 30 solo albums, marked by lyrics of the utmost insight (usually) and a total refusal to compromise. Their complex music, as often brutal as it was lyrical, fitted somewhat uneasily into the once and then niche of Progressive Rock. An interesting figure whose albums certainly merit investigation..!

The first of a classic trilogy in progressive rock history, "Chameleon"... and its companion pieces "The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage" and "In Camera", are as good if not better than many of the VDGG albums. FOR FANS OF PETER HAMMILL...!

See also:
- Van Der Graaf Generator
- The Long Hello
- Isildurs Bane

PETER HAMMILL forum topics / tours, shows & news


PETER HAMMILL forum topics Create a topic now
PETER HAMMILL tours, shows & news Post an entries now

PETER HAMMILL Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all PETER HAMMILL videos (8) | Search and add more videos to PETER HAMMILL

Buy PETER HAMMILL Music



More places to buy PETER HAMMILL music online

PETER HAMMILL discography


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

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

3.77 | 354 ratings
Fool's Mate
1971
4.06 | 382 ratings
Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night
1973
4.31 | 913 ratings
The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
1974
4.14 | 410 ratings
In Camera
1974
3.77 | 291 ratings
Nadir's Big Chance
1975
3.96 | 353 ratings
Over
1977
3.51 | 227 ratings
The Future Now
1978
3.67 | 218 ratings
pH7
1979
3.94 | 260 ratings
A Black Box
1980
3.56 | 184 ratings
Sitting Targets
1981
3.74 | 160 ratings
Enter K
1982
3.71 | 152 ratings
Patience
1983
3.16 | 86 ratings
Loops & Reels
1983
2.99 | 135 ratings
Skin
1986
3.51 | 137 ratings
And Close As This
1986
2.87 | 103 ratings
In A Foreign Town
1988
3.33 | 114 ratings
Out Of Water
1990
3.44 | 109 ratings
The Fall Of The House Of Usher
1991
3.04 | 66 ratings
Peter Hammill-Guy Evans: Spur of the Moment
1991
3.68 | 145 ratings
Fireships
1992
2.81 | 92 ratings
The Noise
1993
2.42 | 48 ratings
Offensichtlich Goldfisch
1993
3.30 | 99 ratings
Roaring Forties
1994
3.22 | 97 ratings
X My Heart
1996
2.43 | 66 ratings
Sonix
1996
3.43 | 94 ratings
Everyone You Hold
1997
3.41 | 93 ratings
This
1998
2.78 | 51 ratings
Roger Eno & Peter Hammill: The Appointed Hour
1999
3.95 | 92 ratings
The Fall Of The House Of Usher (New Version)
1999
2.82 | 72 ratings
None Of The Above
2000
3.25 | 81 ratings
What , Now?
2001
2.72 | 57 ratings
Unsung
2001
3.56 | 85 ratings
Clutch
2002
3.74 | 117 ratings
Incoherence
2004
3.58 | 105 ratings
Singularity
2006
3.33 | 107 ratings
Thin Air
2009
3.60 | 81 ratings
Consequences
2012
3.54 | 82 ratings
Peter Hammill/Gary Lucas: Other World
2014
3.69 | 52 ratings
...All That Might Have Been...
2014
3.69 | 48 ratings
From The Trees
2017
4.00 | 12 ratings
In Translation
2021

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

3.75 | 56 ratings
Peter Hammill & The K Group: The Margin
1985
3.36 | 46 ratings
Room Temperature Live
1990
3.61 | 38 ratings
There Goes the Daylight
1993
3.66 | 37 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1995
3.26 | 19 ratings
Tides
1996
3.35 | 27 ratings
The Union Chapel Concert (with Guy Evans)
1997
4.32 | 51 ratings
Typical (Solo Performances)
1999
3.95 | 45 ratings
Veracious (with Stuart Gordon)
2006
3.65 | 20 ratings
In The Passionskirche - Berlin MCMXCII
2009
4.00 | 13 ratings
PNO GTR VOX - Live Performances
2011
4.08 | 13 ratings
Live At Rockpalast - Hamburg 1981
2016
3.67 | 6 ratings
X/Ten
2019
5.00 | 1 ratings
Not Yet Not Now
2019

PETER HAMMILL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 12 ratings
In The Passionskirche - Berlin MCMXCII (video)
1992

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

3.67 | 10 ratings
Vision
1978
3.00 | 1 ratings
Peter Hammill
1982
2.60 | 38 ratings
The Love Songs
1984
3.86 | 3 ratings
The Essential Collection
1986
3.50 | 2 ratings
Enter K / Patience
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
Il Rock
1989
3.96 | 17 ratings
The Calm (After The Storm)
1993
3.31 | 16 ratings
The Storm (Before The Calm)
1993
3.09 | 9 ratings
Past Go - Collected
1996
3.33 | 6 ratings
After The Show (A Collection)
1996
3.00 | 2 ratings
Ο Άγγελος Του Παράξενου
1997
2.57 | 7 ratings
The Thin Man Sings Ballads
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Fools Mate / In Camera
2003
3.33 | 11 ratings
Pno, Gtr, Vox, Box - 84 Live Performances
2012
4.43 | 7 ratings
Not Yet, Not Now
2019
3.50 | 2 ratings
The K Box
2019

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

4.17 | 6 ratings
Red Shift
1973
2.29 | 5 ratings
Birthday Special / Shingle Song
1975
2.30 | 4 ratings
Crying Wolf
1977
2.67 | 3 ratings
If I Could
1978
1.33 | 5 ratings
My Experience
1981
3.00 | 3 ratings
Paradox Drive
1982
2.50 | 2 ratings
Film Noir
1983
2.33 | 8 ratings
Just Good Friends
1985
2.00 | 3 ratings
Painting by Numbers
1986
1.50 | 2 ratings
A Fix On The Mix
1992

PETER HAMMILL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Black Box by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.94 | 260 ratings

BUY
A Black Box
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars "A Black Box" saw the light in 1980 and comes soon after courageous and innovative works such as "The Future Now" and "PH7" even if the long "Flight" suite was composed before "PH7". At that time his career had taken an uncompromising direction and obstinately more and more distant from the music business. It is an atmosphere of desolation that emerges from the grooves of this record: the expressive dryness of certain sound solutions bring "A Black Box" closer to the contiguous New Wave sounds even if Hammill still maintains its own intelligible language. tronconi: side A of the vinyl includes seven short and concise pieces that were composed after the "Flight" suite to complete the album and give it greater length: this does not mean, however, that they are mere fillers, indeed in these sound sketches there are some of the best pages written by the English composer.

With the essential support of synth, drum-machine and guitar, the first side begins aggressively with "Golden Promises". The following "Losing Faith in Words" is introduced by a bleak keyboard and the song manages to involve thanks also to typical aggressive voice of Hammill and then immediately leave the scene to "Jargon King", a recited piece dominated by the drum-machine and by experimental synth effects, certainly one of the most atypical songs of his repertoire. which is confirmed by "Fogwalking" where the guest David Jackson peeps out with his sax to punctuate what is uo of the top of the record: a ghostly piece that takes us on an imaginary journey in a misty panorama of the soul. Short "The Spirit", with "In Slow Time" Hammill gives us another unforgettable page full of dark atmospheres characterized by the massive use of synth. "The Wipe" is an experimental sound sketch that closes the first part of the album.

Then comes "Flight", which with its 20 minutes originally occupied the second side of the vinyl of "A Black Box". It is certainly the highlight of the record that begins with subdued notes of piano and acoustic guitar and then unfolds in a variegated sound mosaic in which quieter moments alternate with typical expressionist and dramatic delusions, to which VDGG had accustomed us. "Flight" is a sort of condensed poem of the present day in which life is compared, through rapid succession of very successful metaphors, to an airplane flight. The piece is a continuous alternation of calm moments and storms in flight, and is all supported by Hammill's functional piano and his, once again incredible voice.

 Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.06 | 382 ratings

BUY
Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Van der Graaf Generator has always been one of my favorite progressive rock bands, Peter Hammill being the main reason for that. May 1973 LP "Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night" was released, second solo album by Peter Hammill, after the dissolution of Van Der Graaf Generator, certainly, which took place in a peaceful way, since on the album there are all the members of the band. The production can be a little rough and the structures approaching simplicity. From time to time there is a repetition or "slip", but in the end there are "flaws" that enhance this record even more.

The disc opens through "German Overalls". It features memorable acoustic melodies, confident and diverse emotional vocals often alternating in a tone of uncertainty, caution and in between. It has a full-bodied harmonium at its end that enhances the music, as well as a cathartic electronic/electric flow. The second is "Slender Threads", again a top notch acoustic track, including a couple of extremely pleasant interludes and a perfect main melody. The vocals include occasional louder moments, but are largely a very low, subtle, and unobtrusive resource. In "Rock and Rôle" there is a great hint of Van der Graaf Generator, "punk" sound with electric riff and strong performances by Nic Porter, Guy Evans and David Jackson, his bandmates (in the case of Nic, former partner ). Tasteful piano additions and a cleverly arranged long instrumental bridge positively mark the song. "In The End" is a piano and voice track with great feeling conveyed through the power of Peter Hammill's emotion-laden voice. A beautiful piano bed sets the tone for a beautiful but very nervous interpretation, full of venom, despair and hope whenever the words demand it. "What's It Worth" is the most captivating track on the record, with a beautiful and surprising flute, simple acoustic melody is the flagship of an extremely cozy musical journey. Again, Peter Hammill's vocal performance is also highlighted, very clean and accompanied by an incredibly beautiful harmony. "Easy to Slip Away" is the most different moment on the album. Another piano song and voice with a very high emotional charge, mainly due to Peter Hammill's vocal delivery, something at least sincere, powerful and clear. The track also has saxophone bridges played with the soul, incredible mellotron, in short, a different track from the rest of the album.

"Dropping the Torch" is another acoustic piece from the album very well executed, where the vocals are clean and well organized and everything done with simplicity and feeling. The track that closes the album is "(In the) Black Room/Tower" and it starts with an instrumental explosion. It has chaotic and crazed keyboard effects, flutes, roaring sax, imaginative percussion, lots of vocal harmonies and a shocking and always prominent piano. Extremely complex music that balances chaos and control well and expresses what is conventionally inexpressible. Probably the standout track for most people who listen to the album and are familiar with Peter Hammill's work.

Every song on this album is good, and all of them also have moments of excellence. An extremely moody and expressive record, made mainly for Peter Hammill fans who find his way of artistic expression simply fascinating. One of the best solo works by one of the greatest geniuses in the history of progressive rock.

 In Camera by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.14 | 410 ratings

BUY
In Camera
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars After the publication of The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage, Peter Hammill, the multifaceted artist who gave the Van Der Graaf Generator a soul, creates another brilliant album that one never tires of listening to, In Camera, a thick album unique, full of those atmospheres dear to this artist who has earned a place of honor in the Olympus of music and lyrics. Always intimidated in his compositions, even in this work of '74, Hammill throws into all the melancholy and darkness of the soul, touching musical heights that those who have always followed him know how much they are sought after. If you want to let me pass a term appropriate to this In Camera, it is not enough to say that this album is pure orthodoxy because it goes against all musical and compositional metrics, but it is also a sublime concentrate of pure musical madness. Needless to say, here there is prog, proto prog, proto folk, folk in its pure state and the madness is right here, in knowing how to carefully mix all the derivations in this new idea born for most of the pieces in your home?. . but also in hell, in that gloomy darkness that exalts the soul.

"Ferret And Featherbird" is a song not very indicative to understand the disc, both because it dates back to the year sixty-nine and Hammill "exhumes" it for no apparent reason, and because it is a bizarre combination of almost Hawaiian and piano sounds, on which however, he inserts Hammill's beautiful ethereal cantato. Song that leaves you speechless. "No More (The Submariner)": this is where the record really begins, with the synthesizer of David Henteschel chilling the blood at the opening of the piece by simulating the crazy sound of a siren; then the bass is added, and in the central part the synthesizer of Henteschel and the superb piano of Hammill cross in divergent and concentric flights, to form an aerial-sonorous skirmish; then at minute Three \ Forty a pause, the restart, and finally the continuous echoing cries of Hammill to close the piece. "Tapeworm" is another exaggerated piece, worthy of being on an album by the former Van Der Graaf Generator: it is a strongly rock piece, dominated by a round of piano chords with a fixed pattern, by David Jackson's saxophone increasingly thirsty for slaughter. and from the shocking drums of Guy Evans that hits hard in this piece like never before; in the central part Hammill also gives us one of his usual cabaret interludes that we remember for example. "Again" seems to be the usual ballad for acoustic guitar, but here, and perhaps for the first time, Hammill reaches the state of "beautiful song": it is above all, indeed I dare say entirely, to the poignant bass that accompanies the acoustic guitar from central part of the song onwards. "Faint-heart And The Sermon" ("The Weak And The Sermon" should mean) is another peak, and here is always Henteschel maneuvering a beautiful synthesizer, skillfully contoured by Hammill's bass and piano; the refrain is singsong catchy, but then it turns into Hammill's "usual" elegiac song, significantly strengthened in the finale by an effect of Henteschel's still intrusive and powerful sirens. "The Comet, The Course, The Tail", another acoustic ballad, is almost linked to the desperation of "Viking" in "Fool's Mate": even here we find an overbearing bass that imposes its shots, machine-gunned, this time. The song works all right, especially thanks to Hammill's singing, unsurpassed in my opinion in modulating certain epically tragic musical tones. "Gog and Magog (in Bromine Chambers)" is a real mini rock opera that harks back a lot to progressive and gothic musicality, a segment full of sound effects and noises where keyboards dominate, and the percussions that project the great artist into other sound experimentalisms.

The fact is that everything In Camera is impressive, a work composed and performed by a genius.

 The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.31 | 913 ratings

BUY
The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars February 1974. After the good "Chameleon In The Shadow Of Night" Peter Hammill returns with his third solo album which sees more or less the same stylistic features of his predecessor, that is a piano-voice or piano-guitar slide song formula, some rock pieces with bass and drums and, finally, a final progressive suite.

Without a shadow of a doubt, a work that finally made me feel and deliverd same sensations as my first listening to Pawn Hearts. An LP for tears, in the happiest and most radiant sense of the word. A varied but at the same time coherent collage that transversely pierces the best of English music (and not only) of the period, maintaining an exceptional and precious personality. Technically, for the English artist we are talking about music not so far from the best works of the Generator, an intimate progressive rock, dramatic but never excessive, dominated by the surprising inspiration of Hammill. A sorcerer of the voice, and also a notable multi-instrumentalist, a great writer of songs and lyrics. All this creative potential conveyed in works that are always interesting, often masterpieces but never less than dignified. We start with "Modern", a song introduced by an extremely irritating acoustic guitar, which creates a very cacophonic initial jingle; then the sax of the faithful David Jackson (ex Van Der Graaf, like Hammill) enters to sow sonic terror and anguish without mercy: distortion or some other strange effect will probably have been used here too. The second track "Wilhelmina" deserves a different story, a masterpiece of voice-piano, embellished in the central part by a very classic harpsichord that contributes to giving emotional depth to the piece, to which the bass effectively holds staff. We now come to "Forsaken Garden". The tune is introduced by Hammill's nostalgic and heartbroken singing. Then the song rises, bass and drums enter (Guy Evans, of course, also from VDGG) and David Jackson's magical flute takes the stage to give decidedly apocalyptic tones to the song. "Red Shift" is a sly song, almost expectant, almost slimy, with a serpentine and "insinuating" trend: it hypnotizes, leaves a strange sense of uncertainty: here too, song-form almost similar to the previous one, although the drums are more controlled and not prone to the superb apocalyptic excesses of "Forsaken Gardens". "Rubicon" is the classic slide guitar ballad that Hammill. All is concluded with the twelve minutes of "A Louse Is Not A Home", which does not look bad next to the historic "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers" of a few years earlier. ("A Louse Is Not A Home" is the final suite, another phenomenal piece where Jackson's sax intervenes, really fundamental here, the piece becomes prog, with various tempo changes).

"The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage" remains untouchable, as if enveloped in a crystal aura, timeless, exquisitely anchored to its era but, still in 2021, of an impressive topicality.

 Crying Wolf by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
2.30 | 4 ratings

BUY
Crying Wolf
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Both songs on this single were taken from Peter Hammill's album Over (1977) in which the artist pours out his anguish and heartache raised by the ending of a long relationship. The fairly well produced album has never been among my PH favourites, although it has some fine songs. Alas, I'm not referring to these two songs.

'Crying Wolf' is a straight-forward rocker featuring the VdGG rhythm section of Nic Potter and Guy Evans. Undoubtedly the song is soaking with soar emotions from Hammill himself, but as a listener I'm left pretty cold. There's not much of musical substance, and definitely no prog flavours in sight.

I don't know if the B sider is an abridged version as it could be, since 'This Side of the Looking Glass' is nearly seven minutes on the album. The tender and passionate vocals are backed up by an orchestra, arranged and conducted by Michael Brand. I appreciate it as an exceptional Hammill performance (he hasn't recorded orchestral arrangements too often), but maybe it's a bit too syrupy, and the melodies could really be more memorable.

2˝ stars rounded down.

 The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.31 | 913 ratings

BUY
The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by Artik

5 stars One of those rare solo albums which hold the ground with the best efforts of the actual bands of origin. VDGG aura is heavily present, not only due to the unmistakable Hammill's voice and his usual theatrical interpretations, but also his band mebers who gathered here to help their mate. So we have basically all VDGG members present and the songwriting is as strong as on the best band's releases. High points are many: "The lie", Forsaken Gardens","Red shift" and brilliant closer 12 minutes epic "A louse is not a home". The rest is very good too. There is so much to love here for a Van der Graaf fan.
 My Experience by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
1.33 | 5 ratings

BUY
My Experience
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

1 stars -- First review for this single -- Peter Hammill and especially his classic prog band Van der Graaf Generator are among my long-time favourites, but I certainly don't like everything he's done, quite far from it in fact. The majority of the early 80's output is a good example of that. Sitting Targets (1981) does contain some pretty good songs, but the songs in this single -- both taken from the album -- are in my opinion nearly awful to listen to.

'My Experience' is a noisy and punkish song, and it reminds me of Talking Heads but with a harder edge. Not a song I'd wish to re-listen after hearing it once.

'What I Did' is even worse! Noisier and more aggressive. The soundscape is hostile, industrial and cold -- and terribly monotonous. Especially the percussion is like banging one's head against a wall. Good grief. In theory I appreciate the way Peter Hammill was at the time positive towards the punk & new wave movements and let them influence in his own expression, but this is a firm No Thank You for me.

 The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.31 | 913 ratings

BUY
The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by Auslander

5 stars This is my first review and I decided that I would review an album that I found via this website. I was passingly familiar with VDGG but had not heard any of Peter Hammill's solo work. This album came to my attention through its high ranking in the Best Prog Albums of all time chart on this site. When reading other reviews I was mildly apprehensive about buying it, but chose to anyway on a whim. I feel some of the reviews do not do this album justice. They speak of edgy sounds and overwrought vocals but seemingly falter when describing the real accessibility of the melodies and singing. When I hear the vocals it sound like Bowie doing a Peter Gabriel impersonation. Lyrically, there is depth but it does remind me of the song structures of early Genesis, so even though it can seem apocalyptic in tone, there is always that element of song craft. Indeed, I even find myself humming the tune of "Modern" quite often. It is unusual to discover an album without a weak track. Even the bonus live tracks are of good quality, innovative saxophone work is another high point on many songs. The deceptively simple guitar playing is of great quality. Sometimes it isn't the amount of notes you play, but the notes in between that carry a song. Hammill seems to be inherently aware of this fact. Yes, it is complex. Yes, it is prog. But, in my ears, this is accessible. This is music that can transcend fashion and fads. It is timeless and a new essential in my collection of favourites. 5 stars.
 A Black Box by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.94 | 260 ratings

BUY
A Black Box
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by softandwet

5 stars Every VDGG fan, listen to me now. If you love A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers and try to find some prog epic with its gloomyness, its awesomeness but can't find it at all, don't search further, it's here and under thy eyes. Flight; Forget about the first side, I've listened to it something like twice. But Flight, I've listened to it 20 time since I found it 5 months ago when I was looking for another A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers, and it's beautiful. It has basically the same vibe as APOLKs but with a more new-wave sound and a out of tuned grand piano (and with more guitar). But yes, it has the saxophone ; yes, it has the powerful horrific The Clot Thickens section (it's called Nothing Is Nothing) ; yes, it has the powerful and voice-fully Land-End Sineline section (it's called A Black Box and it follows Nothing Is Nothing) ; yes it has the grandiloquent Hammill's voice (which is quite terrifying sometimes). All you have to understand is that the lyrics here are quite harder to catch than in APOLKs. Talking about the lyrics, you, basically, can replace the lighthouse keeper with a plane pilot (BUT, with the different layers of narrations, Hammill is something of a poet you know). SO, even if it's quite unorthodox, and because I'm a punk, I'll grant this album 5 stars, only for the Flight epic, because it has to be more well-known among the prog landscape for it's one of the last prog epic of the classical era (if its not THE last). SO, yeah, give it some 4 or 5 listen to get into, it's kinda long, and kinda too new-wave for a classical prog fanatic. Be infulgent.

Fricking 5 stars.

 The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.31 | 913 ratings

BUY
The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The third album by Van Der Graaf Generator's leader, after the masterpiece "Chameleon in the shadow of the night", "The quiet corner and the empty space" reinforces the progressive component of Hammill's music, thanks to the extensive presence of Jackson, Evans and Banton.

The beginning is spectacular, with

1. Modern (7:28) Hammill produces a music that, like in the first albums, manages to combine aggression, epic, paranoia and existential anxiety, with a hybrid sound that has no equal in rock. Compared to the past, only the line-up changes, where guitars and bass are much more important. There is an orgiastic passage of fantastic instrumental sound and the voice is quite functional. It is an absolute masterpiece. Rated 9.

2. Wilhelmina (5:17) A deeply felt piano ballad, a songwriter story, it starts slowly, then it has an excellent progression between a minute and a half and two minutes, which it repeats a minute later, to reach the climax towards the end of the piece , which arrives suddenly. Excellent arrangement, refined. Rated 8+.

3. The Lie (Bernini's Saint Theresa) (5:40) Beginning at the piano worthy of classical music, with the piano played in a percussive way, comes the voice of Hammill, very at ease with the contrite, penitential, almost church-like atmosphere, then voice and piano perform in a crescendo full of pathos , with slowdowns and accelerations. Typical song by existential philosopher songwriter, with an atmosphere that is at the same time romantic and distressed. Rated 8.

4. Forsaken Gardens (6:15) Splendid rock piano ballad, with a riding progression, which returns three times inside the song and has a splendid epic emphasis and the song of heartfelt Hammill (There is so much sorrow in the world). Voto 8,5.

End of side A.

5. Red Shift (8:11) The song is more experimental than the others, with sound effects and jazz drums, saxophone in evidence, to recreate a cosmic sound that compared to the old Van der Graaf Generator albums is more rarefied and jazzed. The beginning is too much slow but then comes an instrumental piece with Jackson's sax and the very jazzy Evans' drums, until the piece stops, Hammill's voice expresses his lament and at that point the song starts up again with much more energy, with Randy California's acid guitars finally in evidence. The piece then improves in the final, and while not remaining among the best of the album, it arrives at a beautiful instrumental orgy, acid, before the final sung again by Hammill. Rated 8.

6. Rubicon (4:11) Pastoral folk piece, with voice, guitar and bass well in evidence. Hammill's voice makes the music restless, with moments of pathos, but overall it is the calmest and most unadorned song on the record, the acoustic song by a songwriter that interrupts the soundstorm heard so far. It is the weakest piece of the album but its position is strategic, it serves to make the listener breathe. Rated 7+.

The album ends with one of the absolute masterpieces of the solo Hammill, which, as in the previous album ends the disc in a crescendo of sounds worthy of the best Van Der Graaf Generator.

7. A Louse Is Not A Home (12:13). We are at very high levels, we seem to hear VdGG at their peak, and in fact we didn't feel them so full and so fit as In A Black Room. But this composition surpasses even the aforementioned, because it is more homogeneous, more linear, a single sound poem as in the days of the trilogy (The Least, From H to He, Pawn Hearts). After a melodic and epic beginning at the same time, the first instrumental variation begins, which includes the Jackson's medieval flute and soon after sound electronic anguish. The rhythmic progression and the voice of Hammill alternate with moments of stasis, comes a pause with sounds of sax that resemble those of the suite of Pawn Hearts, then the suite starts again. Hammill still manages to amaze the English scholastic prog groups with moments that are completely wild and full of violent pathos that upset the controlled feelings of English people. Hammill confirms itself to be irregular, out of the box of the same progressive due to the emotional charge that it puts us: the progressive music that it forges is disturbing, aggressive, violent, emotionally very strong, and in these its emotional earthquakes it translates into a rock completely unpredictable and composite that is categorized as progressive but in fact, unlike progressive groups, which first of all try to compose complicated music in a planned way, in the case of Hammill the progressive sound of the music is only the consequence of the swing of his emotional stages, and therefore it is a much more visceral and much less cerebral progressive. In the end the piece reaches a climax of rare emotional power. Rated 9.5.

Very inspired album. Absolute masterpiece of progressive rock.

Medium quality of the songs 8,3. Rating 9,5/10. Five stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead 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.