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Glass Hammer - Shadowlands CD (album) cover


Glass Hammer


Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 215 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I guess that very few people knew that Yes produced an album in 2004. Of course, after such a long career, it became difficult to surprise the fans and they decided to play it on the safe way.

Don't worry, you'll get the so special Howe sounds we all like, Rick is in good shape on the keys. Alan though seems to be a bit tired and plays just standard drumming while "The Fish" is more discreet than usual.

But the major problem is Jon. His voice is hardly recognizable, much more low tone oriented as if he couldn't reach these high pitched notes any longer. Compositions are average. Of course, one can't always write an album of the caliber of CTTE or "Relayer" (or plenty of other ones, you name them).

But still, with "Yes", one is always demanding. It's been a long time since the band didn't release so many "epics". A fine come back, actually. These long compositions were their trade mark. And "Shadowlands" is a return to the roots, with the shortest song clocking at 7'30".

No highlights, unfortunately. But no blunder either. Some fine instrumental parts ("Run Lisette", "Farewell To Shadowlands") do compensate weak vocals but Rick is doing a bit too much during the latter. He should have learned by now.

"Longer" could have been a bit shorter to keep the interest, but at times the band liked to extend some of their pieces (remember "Tales"). Another very much keyboards oriented piece of music. Well representative of the symphonic genre. At least we get fine backing vocals, so typical of the band.

And last but not least, the band is playing a true epic song like in the good old days. You know, the type of twenty minutes+, with a long instrumental intro, soft vocals entering the scene to introduce a another instrumental section. As if the band wasn't able to be original any longer. How comes?

It was also about time for Steve to play a short acoustic part as a liaison between two symphonic sections. it is not comparable with the best of their epics, but it is rather satisfactory.

Sorry. Hold on a sec. Someone is trying to say something to me.What? Are you kidding? Good Lord! I've just been told that this is not a YesAlbum! It's just "Glass Hammer". All of a sudden, everything becomes clear now: the voice, the compositions etc.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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