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Glass Hammer - Perilous CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 201 ratings

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4 stars Enjoy the music 'as-is' and forget about influences ...

Am quite happy with this album even though it was quite hard at first spin trying to understand the album until third spin or so. I finally realized the reason why it was quite hard it penetrated into my mind. Yeah, it's basically the preconception that Glass Hammer is a reincarnation of legendary Yes prior to 90125 album. So when I spun the album I always tried to compare every single thing presented here with what Yes dis in the past. Where is the walking basslines like Squire did in vintage Yes? Where is inventive guitar fills like Steve Howe did? Where is the punchy keyboard lines like Wakeman or Moraz (sorry for not to mention Downes) who really characterized the music of Yes? I was trapped by my own definition of reincarnation of Yes. Yes, I could fine vocal similarity of Jon Davison and Jon Anderson even though Jon ANderson is much powerful and clearer. But hey ... Why do I make my own confusing comparison? And then I started the fourth spin.... It relieved me really ....

As I wrote in previous review of Glass Hammer album: "Musically, Cor Cordium is quite simpler than classic Yes albums but the overall composition is really nice. One peculiar thing that I can observe at first spin is the guitar playing style that is different from Steve Howe. As I play the music quite often, I realize that I like this album and in some points I do not really care whether or not this album is like Yes replica" So is with this Perilous album, it's basically in similar vein than Cor Cordium. The good thing about this latest album is that the music flows really nicely from start to end in a seamless fashion or at least I do not really care about the change from one track to another as it flows nicely. So you got my point that the composition handles the transition pieces beautifully. I only paid attention to it when I spun the album and tried to find out the name of the opening track and I found that I was already at track three: The Restless Ones. This is one thing that I need to pinpoint as the beauty of any prog music offering is on the artist handles the transition pieces. If the listeners cannot notice the change to another track that means the composition has very good structural integrity and overall it sounds like a cohesive offering by the band. It happens here with Perilous.

Take an example now when the album arrives at short instrumental track "The Years Were Sped" it introduced with simple acoustic guitar fills that represent the entry of tis track without me having noticed that at the end of the fifth track "We Slept, We Dreamed" there were a very nice choirs that brings the track to the end and finally, smoothy transferred to the short bridge "The Years Were Sped" which demonstrates a very nice instrumental work. The bridge then proves its effectiveness when the succeeding track, even though there is a short break "Our Foe Revealed " which has great and solid bass lines combined with very nice and inventive keyboard solo. Woooow!!! I love this seventh track - especially when I just enjoy the music as Glass Hammer music and no comparison with Yes or whatsoever! In fact if we want to compare with Yes, it surpasses (musically) the quality of any Trevor Rabin era of Yes. So I do not blame any of you who consider Glass Hammer is the reincarnation of Yes as the music is really excellent!!

When Yes toured Asia-Australia and made a gig here in Jakarta in April 24, 2012 at JW Marriott Hotel, during the press conference I stood up made my comments to Jon Davison that I am a big fan of Glass Hammer and liked their Cor Cordium album. Jon was pleased (even though Chris did not seem quite happy with my "out of Yes" comment) with my comments and I really hoped that the next albums would be at par excellent as Cor Cordium. They did! This Perilous album is at least at the same quality as the previous and in fact slight better, I believe.

As I am writing this review I play the album through my iPod and now I am reaching track 8 with no sense of being bored with the music. Yes. I have to admit that overall there is proximity with Yes especially with the Jon Anderson-like vocal style. At the eighth track "Toward Home We Fled" I find guitar fills in a bit complex style like Howe's playing even though it's quite short. But the sounds of organ / keyboards are really good and promising.

Overall I can say this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection with excellent composition and good performance. On composition the music flows nicely from one segment to another with good harmony. Most of tracks have memorable melodies and there are changes in mood and styles throughout the music that make up a dynamic composition. The keyboard / organ plays dominant role even though guitar and bass lines are also contributing quite significant way. It's not something that essentially the same with Yes but there is no harm associating the music with Yes. Look at the ending tracks "The Wolf Gave Chase (1:59) - We Fell At Last (1:56) - In That Lonely Place (6:10) - Where Sorrows Died and Came No More (6:34)" that are really excellent and there is no way to compare with any composition by Yes. It's highly recommended album! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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