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Glass Hammer - If CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 304 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars 3.5 stars really!

This is the kind of thing Yes should be putting out. This implies that this is something of a Yes "copy" or even tribute. I'd say the latter is more accurate than the former, as the more I listen to this album, the less the music really sounds like Yes (though there are certainly some extremely similar.......some would say "rip off".......moments).

I think the main similarity is the vocals of Jon Davison. Of course, he is now the full time vocalist for Yes, and performed for a Yes tribute band for many years. The resemblance is uncanny, so it's no surprise that the Yes comparisons are made. Then we have the guitarist, who sounds remarkably like a young Steve Howe, and was almost certainly heavily inspired by him. The bass has that heavy Rickenbacker overdriven sound that Squire was always known for, and the keys use a lot of vintage sounds, many of which were used by Yes in their heyday. The cover art is great, though again, the similarity to one Rodger Dean can not be ignored here either.

So two paragraphs in and I'm STILL comparing that band to Yes. For many people, this is where they decide that it's not for them, they don't need another prog band trying to recreate the glories of a more famous 70's prog band, etc. This was my first thought upon hearing it the first time as well. However, repeated listens have opened this album up to me as a valid and enjoyable work in its own right. There is no denying the Yes similarities, but since when has Yes produced an album as good as this? I would say not for at least 20 years. So to me, this is a welcome addition to my collection. Beautiful melodies, stirring orchestral crescendos, fantastic guitar and keys solos, odd time signatures........but most of all, emotional impact. This album moves me like Yes albums of old used to. Sure, it's not as innovative and "new" as those albums were upon release. This is unquestionably retro prog, with a heavy Yes influence. Yet, it is also a beautifully, well written and arranged prog rock album that after 2 years I still haven't gotten tired of hearing. To me, that is enough to make it essential. Tracks 1, 5, and 6 are my firm favorites, also sounding the most Yes-like, incidentally, but every song has something I like. Behold The Ziddle is the one where the Yes comparisons break down a bit, though I suppose it has some correlation to the heavier and wilder parts of the Yes' catalog.

Basically, if the constant references to Yes haven't put you off yet, then you need to own this album. For my personal taste it really is a 4 star album, but in the scope of prog music and this site I'm going to round down to 3 stars, as I don't think I can honestly say it is an "excellent addition to ANY prog rock music collection". Just to mine, and perhaps yours, if you love Yes and wish they would make good symphonic prog again.

infandous | 3/5 |


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