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Glass Hammer - The Inconsolable Secret CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.40 | 194 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well probaly it's better to erase one star at least, as I could resume my score this way: "2 stars" for the first -a bit uninspiring- side;"4 stars" for the second more convincing it's difficult to rate the new effort of G.H., because of the discontinuity of disc one as well as of their usual great approach within the second and final section of the concept, which is much more than simply "comfortable" from the artistic point of view. Besides, after listening to it for several times I can recognize some defects within, above all talking about the production, as it sounds very old in some circumstances.

But proceeding by order from the beginning, the "masterminds" of the band- Fred Schendel and Steve Babb- have chosen to play their usual analogical instrumentation such as Mini Moog, Mellotron, Hammond and Pipe Organ, within a strange contest for them,similar to the medieval set established by Rick Wakeman at the time of "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table", but showing a different output...the story is about a King and his loyal knights: the so called "Evil Knight" plots to fight the king, passing through so many vicissitudes of jealousy,epic battles as well as a restless love...ok, his noble purpose of setting the beauty princess free is the key of the whole concept. The female contribution to the plot by Sarah Snyder (but also by Susie Bogdanowicz) is important: they perform a few remarkable vocal parts, but they are not the unique singers of the present concept...the opener "A Maker of Crowns'" is a powerful epic number, enriched with a good piano, but also the Pipe Organ and their classical analogical sound (reminding me of the symphonic job performed by Camel), are remarkable. A lot of riffs at the synths and their powerful solutions at the Hammond Organ, represent the main features, but honestly the output is uneven: for example the harmonic guitar work is not bad, but the music development inside disc two is more interesting and original too.

Talking about disc two, "The Lady," is a diverse work, being more compact and cohesive, regarding of some different stories and vicissitudes...such "music" tale, enriched by means of excellent singers (otherwise showing the incredible talents of a few "guests" and session-women as important vocalists) finds its own top inspiration within track #3- 'Lirazel' -probably the best song of the concept; it reminds me of some Tolkenian tales, such as The Lord of The Rings. Moreover you find some explosive solos during the development of the story, like for example those ones at the drum and the keyboards, inside 'Mog Ruith': here the battle scene is really anthralling!!At the end the "catharsis" of the whole epic number is characterized by melodic songs, evoking a few but great emotions, such as those ones brought about the soft ballad 'Through a Glass Darkly' ;while 'Having Caught a Glimpse', always with the same tone, is finding its best way in the last part with its very captivating conclusion...

I don't understand what's all the fuss for their never-ending emulation of the seventies,especially in their approach at the instrumentation (by means of the old synths and a classic sound too, as well as through the guitar and "70's" bass pedals already used);nevertheless, by adding my esteem for their excellent lyrics, through a modern rereading of the "celtic" medieval legends, I like to make a special mention also for the orchestrations and the cover picture by Roger Dean. At the end I don't regard the whole concept album as much essential as "Lex Rex" or their previous "Shadowlands", but I could also change idea especially when I get involved with every detail...make your own choice!!

lor68 | 3/5 |


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