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Glass Hammer - The Inconsolable Secret CD (album) cover

THE INCONSOLABLE SECRET

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.40 | 194 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars American Glass Hammer was never a group that captured my imagination. I tried two or three albums and I just gave up. Too derivative material and too weak songwriting. Small wonder they never made the major league even if they were excellent musicians themselves. I guess I wouldnīt even bother to hear this one if it was not for my dear PA colleague and friend Progrules who defied me to hear their Knight of The North song. I ended up getting the Inconsolable Secret and I must say I was quite surprised by it. It is by far the best thing I ever heard of them so far.

This is a double CD and the first one has only two tracks, 15+ minute The Maker Of Crowns and the aforementioned The Knight Of the North (23:39 of duration). Both are excellent prog epics with a very retro sound: a kind of Genesis meets Yes meets Keith Emerson, plus a few Gentle Giant-like passages on the way. Still derivative? Definitly (the Roger Dean cover tells it all, doesnīt it?), but good stuff anyway. Lots of variety, shifting moods, changing time signatures, long Hammond runs, mini moog solos, Chris Squire-like bass parts and so on. Not perfect (some parts are more well structured than others), but really good keyboard driven prog rock that I love to hear. I wish they could play a little more guitar and the vocals were stronger, but those are minor details. Overall CD 1 is very strong and well craft, specially if you like 70īs bombastic symphonic prog.

Second CD starts very well, but begins losing steam halfway through. Some heavy orchestrated, instrumental tracks get in the way and they really donīt add anything to the other much more powerful tracks. The final epic, Having Caught A Glimpse is a little too long and bit corny too. However, the first three tunes are really good and the others non-orchestrated tunes arenīt bad at all either. The alternating male and female vocals are a good idea and were more well explored on disc 2 (meaning the female singer does a better job here). Production is very good.

In the end the sensation is that if Glass Hammer had trimmed this record to a single CD theyīd have a killer one in their hands, even at, say, 78 minutes of music (they could have easily ditched some 15 least). As it is my rating keeps shifting from 3.5 to 4 stars. I decided to round up to four since most of the songs are really good and this is surely their best so far in terms of songwriting. Iīll probably try to hear more of their CDs since they finally proved they could come up with some really strong and daring songs this time.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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