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Glass Hammer - Shadowlands CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 215 ratings

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4 stars My first Glass Hammer venture is still my favorite. Beautifully put together by a band who still believes in the spirit in good symphonic prog from the founding fathers. Nicely crafted epics that even boldly translates a Dan Fogelberg into a 10 minute prog piece. If anything, these guys are brave.

For my tastes, the star of the show is female vocalist Susie Bogdanowicz, who really brings "Farewell To Shadowlands" to life. Easily my favorite track. Schendel does some nice lap steel work, as well as creating a mood with the mellotron. Still, it's Susie who steals the show with her angelic voice and lovely presence (no secret that I've got a little crush on her).

Dan Fogelberg's "Longer" is one of the bigger surprises. It starts off very unassuming with a piano and organ intro, and it sounds nothing like the original more folk influenced song that just about everyone knows. It's not until 2 1/2 minutes in to the song that we hear the famous notes just briefly, as if to pay tribute to the original, but then the synths branch off and we're back in the land of prog. As I said, it's a big surprise, but Glass Hammer successfully pull it off.

The 20 minute "Behind The Great Beyond" rounds out Shadowlands. As with the other tunes (if I have only one complaint), the song is in need of powerful drums. At this point, I believe Schendel handled the studio drums, and as talented as Fred is, I like to have more intricate and varied drumming for such a powerful intro. As the song progresses, however, you get a sense of how heavily influenced Glass Hammer is by early Genesis when Steve Hackett was a member towards the middle. Extremely nice epic.

As I mentioned, the only complaint is how thin the drums are. Other than that, Shadowlands is a very pleasant listen. Highly recommended...especially if you're new to Glass Hammer.

E-Dub | 4/5 |


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