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Glass Hammer - The Inconsolable Secret CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.40 | 194 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Well, I'm sorry, I tried really hard.

This will be my shortest review ever, not because the album is short or because it doesn't have enough substance to deserve more words from me (not that I hold my words in such high regard, anyway.) No, the reason for my review being short is, put simply, I've not much to say about this album. Why? Because it sounds as somebody else's.

I won't lie to you. You will find quite a few interesting instrumental passages and solos, you'll find more-than-decent musicianship in here. All in all, you won't be dissapointed due to lack of skills or to music beeing too simplistic, oh no you won't. The guys is this band can surely play their intruments and they can clearly write long, epic songs. You;ll find a good female singer, too, whose voice will bring charm to the second half of this quite monumental (in scope, not in quality) release.

I have two problems, and both big enough to make me give this album the rating I'm giving it:

1) You have to listen to it like 100 times before you grasp some structure, some coherence in it. I've only heard it 5 times, I have to say (5 should be enough at least for some idea to satick in my head) but I still can't decipher the map that is supposed to lead me to Glass hammer's musical treasure. I'm so lost in this over-soloed (my new word) album that I can't hardly get any musical theme to stay in my head for longer than 3 minutes. Don't get me wrong: it's not that I haven't heard more complex music that this, but even the most complex music has some resemblance of direction. In Glass Hammer, we hear solos at the start, some indistinguishable, not memorable themes down the middle, and more soloing, then some more themes (all not good enough to last in my mind) and then more soloing or instrumental waste. So that's my first problem with GH.

But hey! Even with this problem, I'd still give the album at least 2 or maybe 3 stars, because the musicianship is very good! The real problem for me is the second one.

2) You know, many people say The Flower Kings sounds like other earlier bands. I love the band (my second favorite actually) but I agree that their music clearly shows influences from, mostly, Genesis, Yes and King Crimson. TFK's music sounds like if Stolt and Co. put all of those musical lessons on the mixer, add their own unique ingredients, and the result is a largely retro-oriented prog but that sounds UNIQUE, 100% The Flower Kings'. You can smell, you can even see the influences, but you would NEVER say "TFK sounds EXACTLY like X or Y". Glass Hammer, on the other hand, sounds almost 100% EXACTLY like... The Flower Kings! Even the sound production is very similar! Of course, they sound like TFK but at its most weak: nowhere in the album can we find any of the beautiful themes, soul-lifting melodies, hope-inducing choruses that Stolt can so easily write. But the sound, the playing, everything owes a lot, if not ALL to the Swedish band.

That's my biggest problem with GH: as hard as I tried to like them, I couldn't help but say "man, these guys are ripping TFK off!" No offense meant, but I'd love to see what these talented musicians could do if they actually create music that sounded THEIR OWN.

Sorry, I don't like covers. And at times this albums sounds like a 80 minute cover of a medley of another band.

Recommended for: Fans of retro-prog, symphonic-prog.

Not reccomended for: fans of innovative prog, fans of music with more substance rather than scales; but most of all, fans of The Flower Kings...

... This is like the "generic" version of a brand-name musical medicine. Not only the active ingredients, but the inactive ones, too!

For better results, try this command: CTRL+C, CTRL+V.

The T | 1/5 |


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