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Glass Hammer announce `Valkyrie'

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    Posted: June 25 2016 at 11:00
Sourced from the Progradar and Progarchy sites:

Renowned progressive rock outfit Glass Hammer have announced their 16th studio album, ‘Valkyrie’, will be released this autumn.

The new release will again see Susie Bogdanowicz taking lead vocal duties for the first time since their underrated `Three Cheers for the Broken Hearted' album back in 2009, backed by founding members Steve Babb and Fred Schendel, whilst also retaining drummer Aaron Raulston and guitarist Kamran Alan Shikoh.

A full on concept album in the vein of their highly regarded previous epics ‘Lex Rex’ and ‘The Inconsolable Secret’, ‘Valkyrie’ was rehearsed as if it would be a show then recorded all of the basic rhythm tracks live, but there’s still a lot of recording to do back at the studio at this point.

Bassist Steve Babb offered: "We’ve managed to come at this album in a totally new way. We have been in the rehearsal room for months, rehearsing the album as if it were to be a live concert. Our shows are so much more edgy than our studio albums and we really wanted to capture that energy. When we felt the ‘show’ was ready, we hit record. That happened over the last weekend and the results are outstanding. There is still a lot of studio work to do, but the basic tracks have been captured and we are well on our way to making “Valkyrie” a very unique album.”

“‘Valkyrie’ is about a soldier who marches away to battle only to find himself embroiled in a war that was far more than he bargained for. The story is intense, as is the music.”

No release date has been set yet but the band has promised “Valkyrie” for sometime in the fall of 2016.

Enjoy the teaser trailer!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2016 at 03:25
You have to be impressed with these guys.  Their output is pretty prodigious really, looking forward to this one too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2016 at 06:37
New update taken from the Prog website:



The nine-track follow-up to last year’s `The Breaking Of The World' is to be released on September 27, and sees vocalist Susie Bogdanowicz playing her biggest role to date with the band, after fans demanded the move.

Bassist and producer Steve Babb tells Prog: “This is pure Glass Hammer. Fred Schendel and I are handling more of the vocals than we have in several years.

“But Susie is front-and-centre throughout most of the album – and our fans have not been shy in telling us that’s the way to go. Guitarist Alan Shikoh and drummer Aaron Raulson complete the Valkyrie lineup.”

Describing it as a concept album in the vein of 2002’s Lex Rex and 2005’s The Inconsolable Secret, Babb adds: “It’s the story of a soldier’s struggle to return home from the horrors of war, to the girl who loves him and must ultimately find her way to him. Of course, it goes much deeper than that – and that’s why I’ve dedicated the lyrics to those battling the long-term effects of trauma, and those who care for them. It’s a serious subject for a serious album.”

They took a fresh approach to the creative process, by rehearsing the entire album as a band for months, rather than developing the songs, recording them, and then rehearsing for shows.

Babb says: “The goal was to capture the edginess of a live concert while recording – hopefully that comes across.

“The burden was on Susie to bring the lyrics to life, and build an emotional crescendo for the album’s finale. Like a live show, it has to end with a bang.

“She delivers. The whole album builds till that final track and then – we’ll see you soon and I hope you’ll agree: it’s an epic finish.”

Pre-orders for autographed copies begin on August 30 via Glass Hammer’s website. http://glasshammer.com/

Tracklisting:
1.The Fields We Know
2.Golden Days
3.No Man's Land
4.Nexus Girl
5.Valkyrie
6.Fog Of War
7.Dead And Gone
8.Eucatastrophe
9.Rapturo

(no running times yet!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2016 at 06:56
Awesome! Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2016 at 14:17
nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2016 at 06:36
Originally posted by Aussie-Byrd-Brother Aussie-Byrd-Brother wrote:

Sourced from the Progradar and Progarchy sites:

Renowned progressive rock outfit Glass Hammer have announced their 16th studio album, ‘Valkyrie’, will be released this autumn.

The new release will again see Susie Bogdanowicz taking lead vocal duties for the first time since their underrated `Three Cheers for the Broken Hearted' album back in 2009, backed by founding members Steve Babb and Fred Schendel, whilst also retaining drummer Aaron Raulston and guitarist Kamran Alan Shikoh.

A full on concept album in the vein of their highly regarded previous epics ‘Lex Rex’ and ‘The Inconsolable Secret’, ‘Valkyrie’ was rehearsed as if it would be a show then recorded all of the basic rhythm tracks live, but there’s still a lot of recording to do back at the studio at this point.

Bassist Steve Babb offered: "We’ve managed to come at this album in a totally new way. We have been in the rehearsal room for months, rehearsing the album as if it were to be a live concert. Our shows are so much more edgy than our studio albums and we really wanted to capture that energy. When we felt the ‘show’ was ready, we hit record. That happened over the last weekend and the results are outstanding. There is still a lot of studio work to do, but the basic tracks have been captured and we are well on our way to making “Valkyrie” a very unique album.”

“‘Valkyrie’ is about a soldier who marches away to battle only to find himself embroiled in a war that was far more than he bargained for. The story is intense, as is the music.”

No release date has been set yet but the band has promised “Valkyrie” for sometime in the fall of 2016.

Enjoy the teaser trailer!

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2016 at 11:53
Latest trailer for the album:



and I'm keen to find out who that no doubt absurdly handsome person mentioned at the 1:12 minute mark is!

Autographed copies of the album are available for pre-order from the band's webstore at the link here, as well as t-shirts, etc - http://glasshammer.com/official-store/

If you're a fan of the group, believe me, you're in for a very special treat with this album.

Edited by Aussie-Byrd-Brother - August 27 2016 at 13:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2016 at 13:26
Cool, you're in the preview image Cool Did you write a review already?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2016 at 13:29
Ahh, I see it now too!

Written part of a review, the band obviously took a part of it that looked nice for their promo.

But I've heard the album, and my gut instinct says that it's their best to date, really an incredible disc. And I truly think what I wrote above, it wasn't some knee-jerk excited spur of the moment praise! It certainly wipes the floor with the Anderson/Stolt disc

Edited by Aussie-Byrd-Brother - August 27 2016 at 13:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2016 at 13:54
It seemed that epic right from the start. I can't wait to hear it Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aglasshouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2016 at 16:33
I'm going to order it. Hopefully the autographed copies won't be too expensive but my guess is they will be.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2016 at 06:27
Originally posted by Aussie-Byrd-Brother Aussie-Byrd-Brother wrote:

Ahh, I see it now too!

Written part of a review, the band obviously took a part of it that looked nice for their promo.

But I've heard the album, and my gut instinct says that it's their best to date, really an incredible disc. And I truly think what I wrote above, it wasn't some knee-jerk excited spur of the moment praise! It certainly wipes the floor with the Anderson/Stolt disc
 
CD services went really over the top and suggested it was their Dark Side Of MoonLOL
 
I've got it on order of course and hope its at least half as good as The Inconsolable Secret (their masterwork imo). if so I will be very happyBig smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2016 at 08:30
Disc is ordered along with a t-shirt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AEProgman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2016 at 08:31
Fan of these guys, I am looking forward to this one, even though there are other albums by them I still need to get (Inconsolable Secret being one of them).  They keep pumping them out and at good pace and quality.

I still am waiting for that knock out 5 star album by them (to me IMHO), everything I have by them thus far have been solid 4s to upper 3s, hope this is it!  Guess I need to get Inconsolable Secret next since I have a little time until this one comes out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2016 at 06:55
Originally posted by AEProgman AEProgman wrote:

Fan of these guys, I am looking forward to this one, even though there are other albums by them I still need to get (Inconsolable Secret being one of them).  They keep pumping them out and at good pace and quality.

I still am waiting for that knock out 5 star album by them (to me IMHO), everything I have by them thus far have been solid 4s to upper 3s, hope this is it!  Guess I need to get Inconsolable Secret next since I have a little time until this one comes out.
 
TIS actually has a 'deluxe edition' with an extra bonus disc over the original 2 discs. The extra disc features versions of the tracks with Jon Davison on vocals so its worth getting.
The particular line up at that that time also had Matt Mendians on drums. He only did the 2 albums with them (the other being Culture Of Ascent which is one of those 4 star albums you refer to) but he was their best drummer imo , not that they've had that many! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 18 2016 at 08:47
New video, and the album is a little over a week away now!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2016 at 07:12
Finally a full-length track to share with listeners from the album!



My (rather overlong and overly gushing ) review of the album can also be found here.

http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=1613518

If you're already a fan of the group, chances are you are absolutely going to love this album to bits.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rendref Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2016 at 04:28
So... I listened to new album... Somebody who likes it, could you please explain to me... how do you like that? Here are my thoughts:

Awful, emotionless vocals immediately put you off. I don't even know, if they just plain emotionless or they sit so bad in the mix. First two songs leave me in strange feeling, that I just don't get something. People are talking about great vocals here, but I hear only barely understandable tasteful voices. Susie Bogdanovich does not help it all. I've read so many positive things about her performance, but hey: absolutely flat voice an no emotions whatsoever. The mixing makes words unrecognizable sometimes - why the hell do vocal sit so low in the mix? It is the most crucial part of the music. 
Time passes by, and after two songs I just don't care.
Third song, "No Man's Land" is the longest track, it has to be awesome (by unwritten prog rules), right? Nah, we have 3 (!) minutes of simple guitar arpeggios at the beginning of the track before something interesting starts to happen. And that interesting is not bright enough, to my taste, however, it is the best portion of the track, before vocals kick in and it goes all to hell. And what is that awful heavily processed low unintelligible burping voice at the end of the song? WTF is that voice? What is it? The music at this section is just uninteresting chord progression with organ over it... and burping. Yeah, that makes a great listen,sure... Is that what I should hum like an ear-candy of this album?
Another example of strangely vocals, is the washed out vocals of Susie in the "Rapturo". I don't understand neither words, no production decisions for that. If you were trying to make album with such great cover artwork awful - you've succeeded. I cannot believe such good artwork can hide such bad music.
None of the vocal melodies even have some kind of enjoyable motifs, that I could hum afterwards! There is nothing for my mind to sit on here, it's just plain suffering. And it is not that I did not give the album time to grow on me - I listened to it more than 5 times in order to get things figure out and realize why I did not like the album at all. I had no success. It is still a mystery to me. The album has no memorable melodies, no inspiring motifs, no interesting structures, no pleasant vocals and no emotions. All the good instruments are there, but somehow it all just misses. It is not enough to jam on vintage instruments over some simple chord progressions and call it one of the best 2016 prog outputs. Something has to stick, to click, something has to be freaking awesome, it has to have dynamic, make my feet and hands move according to music, hum and sing along!
All of the above is so obvious when I listen to this album after just released Neal Morse Band's "The Similitude of a Dream" - there I get all of the things I miss from GH release: such great, sticky melodies, awesome use of instruments, inventive solos and arrangement, great vocals (not the greatest, but all of them sound good and pleasant, and the melodies do the rest), memorable material, and music that breathes and lives.
"Valkyrie" sounds like dead music with vintage instruments with absolutely terrible vocals lacking any emotions, lacking any good melodies and motifs. It is just some notes over some chords with awesome instruments. And those vocals.

Somebody, please, explain to me what am I missing? How am I hearing this completely different album, that everyone is enjoying here on Progarchives and all over the internet.

PS Of course, after 5 listens I can appreciate some music on this album, but it still nothing compared to what other bands do. I honestly hope other albums are better. And I hope other people participate in vocals, because it is the weakest part of the album. 

Positive side of this album: "Nexus Girl" is more or less interesting, compared to other tracks. And "Eucatastrophe" is pleasant sounding. The end of "Eucatastrophe" still has only organ rolls and no actual singable melody.

PSS I liked "Lex Rex" and the vocal was OK, with absolutely awesome track there "Centurion" and good  "Tales of the great wars" and many other pleasant, though not always super memorable songs. I even don't mind "Chromometree", though it also feel like generic prog-material with no bright melodies, but, man, at least vocals are good there - I can hear them, I am not put off by them, and I can understand the words.


Edited by Rendref - November 21 2016 at 05:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2016 at 05:04
Ah, see, clearly the problem is you're wrong and we're not.



It's called having free will to form your own difference of opinion, mate!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rendref Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2016 at 05:36
Clearly)
Yeah, but the problem is it does not feel like it is difference of opinion :) There are albums that I do not like, but I can completely understand how and why other people like them: early Porcupine Tree, new Opeth albums, Arena/Pendragon albums, and so on. Here it is just plain fact: vocals are bad and they are mixed in bad (in my defense, I am a sound engineer, so it is not just trolling).
I would appreciate if somebody could take examples from my post above and give a different perspective on them. Because, for some reasons, I really want to get this album.
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