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Glass Hammer - Lex Live CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

4.26 | 20 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I highly anticipated GLASS HAMMER'S "Lex Live" DVD, having viewed a clip ("One King") from the official Band site. What I saw and experienced then, was carried over to the entire DVD and I was not disappointed.

"Lex Live" is 122 minute DVD in which the first hour is devoted to the concert featuring favourite tracks from "Perelandra", "Chronometree" and "Lex Rex". The second hour is devoted to rehearsals, group interviews and a fine accoustic performance of "Lex Rex" in a motel room.The first noticeable thing is the "no-frills" approach to the stage setting. Just the basic lighting set-up and enough room for the three supporting girl singers, including Susie Bogdanowicz, to be seated. Steve Babb and Walter Moore were the frontmen on guitars and vocals, Matt Mendians on Percussion and Fred Schendel on Keyboards and vocals to all fit in.

The concert begins with an intro that is similar in content to that of "Lex Rex" but with added humour. Then it is straight in with "Chronotheme" noted for tight muscianship particularly from Fred on keyboards and Walter, who takes up lead guitar for this track. A nice lead in to the concert, with equal amount of footage shared between group members.

"Tales of Great Wars" is the first track played from "Lex Rex" and is again a tribute to Fred Schendels outstanding keyboard performance and Steve Babbs ability to write great lyrics. The vocals are great with some excellent harmonising.

"One King" is the stand out track musically, that is better live. Walter Moore playing lead guitar is quite outstanding. If you are new to Glass Hammer this will hook you into them as it is a melodic and memorable piece, reminiscent of YES with a dash of PINK FLOYD.

"Further Up and Further In" sees some nifty camera work and editing that enhances the overall performance from all musicians. It is here that we get our first glimpse of Eric Parker on accoustic guitar.

The following three tracks "Cup of Trembling", "Chronos Deliverer" and "When We Were Young" are seamless in delivery and performance. The vocal backup from the three girls and guest Sarah Snyder are outstanding. It is here that we see the versatility in musicianship of Fred, Walter and Steve - with Fred taking on the slide guitare, Walter taking over on keyboards with Steve and Eric taking on bass guitar. Their comfortableness with these instruments is evident in the tightness of playing. Matt gets to perform a small solo - a great way to introduce a hitherto unknown drumming talent.

"Heaven" completes the performance. A true symphonic rock piece with lush keyboards, vocals and a crescendo ending.

I would give this DVD a 4.5 rating if possible. However I will settle for 4 - my slight niggle being that sometimes the vocals are drowned out by the instruments, requiring some alteration to sound levels on my sound system and, group interaction with the audience is non-evident. Overall, a magnificent live performance, which outshines the studio version of "Lex Rex"in production quality particularly with sound. The big difference is having a drummer performing as opposed to drum machine sampling. Matt Mendians is a rare find and fits in perfectly with the rest of the group and the group show they are enjoying playing together.

valravennz | 4/5 |


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