Also see: NEARfest 2003
Bookmarks: Chronomotree ~ Middle Earth Album ~ LexRex
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 10:40:27 -0300 From: "Dario Axelrud" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: GH / Shadowlands
> Is this new GH disk as good as Lex Rex or even to Chronometree?
I'd say it's quite similar.
Start with _On To Evermore_. It's a great concept work, and the wait paid off (there was a sizeable gap in time between that and _Perelandra_). _Perelandra_ is quite good, too. Glass Hammer have keys a'plenty. If you like Glass Hammer, a great Italian band by the name of Il Trono Di Ricordi would suit you, as well :-)
From: Jeff Marx
I am being blown out of my chair by a group I'm listening to for the first time. The descriptions I have been reading are all very positive so I didn't even bother to listen to a sound sample. My *find of the week* is "Perelandra" by Glass Hammer. Combine the heavy wall of hammond organ and tasty analog synth sound a la ELP with the harmonic and symphonic qualities of Close to the Edge(CttE)-era YES and you get a concept album based on a C.S. Lewis work of Fiction. The keyboardist(s) don't need the handspeed of Emerson-Wakeman-Lindh, the phrasing and patch-choices are smooth and slick. The liner notes don't give instrument credits but Moog and ARP lead lines seem harmonized by thick Hammond C3/L-100 keyboard work among other vintage-sounding synths. Beautiful, soaring piano with lush backgound instrumentation, this album seems to have everything one could ask for in this conceptual/classical prog work of art. Awesome...
Fred Schendel's the main keyboardist (the guy with all the licks), while Steve Babb (D'arque) handles bass and keys. I'm glad you like GH, because they're a helluva bunch'a musicians! Too bad I didn't take to Babb's other project, Wyzards. Schendel and Babb's ambient/techno-lite, all-instrumental project, TMA-2, also got barely a spin or two in my CD player before I unloaded it. Those guys should just concentrate on Glass Hammer! Steve's a real nice guy, too. Nice guy to chat with since he actually picked up the phone at Sound Resources when I first ordered "Perelandra"! Give 'em a ring, sometime...Willfred's favorite band, Somnambulist (J/K) also recorded their debut at SR, as did Volare. Wait 'til you hear "On To Evermore".... :-)
"Perelandra" is a very very good album. It took me a little time to adjust to the easy-listening nature of this band, but once I accepted this band for what it was, I began to enjoy them a lot. The drawbacks to this album are the average singing and the miserable piece with the saxophone. If I had only heard the sax piece, I would never have purchased this album in a quazillion years. "On To Evermore" which is the latest album, is not a great album, but a good one. I was hoping this album would be heavier than the last one, but it turned out to be lighter, more song oriented. The first two tracks do nothing for me, but the album gets interesting by the third track. There is great singing on this album as opposed to the previous one. For me, the drawbacks to this album were that it got too light and fluffy, and more song oriented.
From: "E-Man" <>
GH is more so a gtr/keys/bs/drums quartet on ON TO EVERMORE, versus seeming like a "project," as on PERELANDRA. ON TO EVERMORE is indeed more song-oriented, but I feel it is leaps and bounds ahead of PERELANDRA! Sax is a great instrument, pending its application. Its characteristic sound is very expressive and rich in tonality, and can work just about anywhere, in jazz, rock, prog, even metal! I think Heavy Reign could use some sax ;-)
From: "Jeff Marx" <>
To me, their conceptual work ("Perelandra," and "Journey of the Dunadan") combines the very best Classical/Symphonic aspects of ELP and YES including hard-driving epic bombast on Hammond and synths, softer ballads, and highly melodic harmonies which have absolutely no aspects of new-age music. Their "Live and Revived" limited edition CD follows suit except for more guitar work and a less conceptual format. Except for the above, I do agree that they are very, very talented and are near the top of the modern progressive pantheon.
From: "Jeff Marx" <>
Some Glass Hammer news for any and all;
Glass Hammer has begun production on their fourth album. The lineup includes regulars Babb, Schendel, Carter and Moore. At least two 12-minute epics will be included and both Babb and Schendel will sit behind one of the largest pipe organs in the world for the recording. A full choir of professional choral singers will fill out the sound for what Babb is calling "the most massive production we've ever undertaken." He expects to be recording parts of the album in the U.K.as well as his home studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Drum tracking was recently finished at Walter Moore's Knoxville studio. A summer release is expected.
Their website http://www.glasshammer.com/ has recently been redesigned and is much improved in terms of art design, navigation and information. GH sound clips are available there and on my website as well for any who would like to check out their sound.
From: RAM <>
>> Glass Hammer is borderline easy-listening music, although, the last album >> had at one cool hard rock piece on it. I hope the new album has more heavy >> stuff. > >The new album is supposed to be a bit more bombastic and upbeat. I don't want people to think that I don't like Glass Hammer. I feel they're one of the better rock groups out there, and they remind me of Kansas in many ways. They're very talented and creative musicians, and they now have a kick-ass singer. However, some of their softer stuff is almost like "Sunday church lady" music. If they were reading these email messages, I would hope that they were encouraged to keep moving in the hard rock direction such as Kansas, or any of my other favorite prog-rock groups.
From: Jeff Marx <> > ps- How's that new Glass Hammer, Jeff? A vintage-keyboard monster of an album. Aggressive, sharp-as-a-tack Hammond alla Emerson/Robertson on just about every track, Moogs, and Mellotrons galore. Other beauteous-sounding vintage keys as well as Arjen (Ayreon) Lucassen's contributions on lead guitar. Right in there with their first two albums, although the concept is a throw-away...(Something about Aliens communicating their thoughts/symbology to some 70's stoner dude through the music of Yes...or some such silliness). Doesn't matter though, the instrumental work is GH at their best. A no-brainer for the keyboard-oriented crowd.
From: "Stephen & JoAnn" <> Ah Jeff, now you've gone and spoiled the ending for me, I guess I'll just have to put on Fragile and get stoned myself! ;-) This is a most excellent CD. Immediately recognizable as Glass Hammer but in so many ways a different band and sound. I really think if the early GH work with it's narration and hobbits story lines (but Perelandra may never be topped IMO) was too much, this CD you'll love. It's only prog rock and roll at it's finest. This CD has the light, life and sound I first heard in Kansas. Seriously, a must have for good music fans.
From: "Wade C. Boring" <>
Subject: Re: New Glass Hammer!
It was the spoken word that turned me off too, I usually don't like those kind of albums very much, I'm too busy trying to hear the music and get annoyed with narration. Are their other releases similar? I did think the music was good, so maybe there's another CD by them that might be more representative of their work.
"Jeff Marx" <>
I just got Glass Hammer's new Celtic/folksy "Middle Earth Album." Music for Renaissance faires! Very little on the prog side, the first six tracks are recorded at The Prancing Pony, an inn in the village of Bree, in Middle Earth. Raucous Tolkien-inspired vocal ballads on mandolins, harpsichord, recorders, fill the air. They insist they were actually there, so who am I to argue that? :) The "atmosphere" is certainly conveyed well. The final 7 tracks were recorded back in their studio, still in Middle Earth mode, but adding some Hammond and synths....If you get the deluxe package from glasshammer.com, it comes with a 2nd CD with lots of cool outtakes/unreleased GH tracks/commentaries from Steve and Fred, as well as an original Middle Earth short story from Steve. A nice way to prepare for the LotR movie coming in December! Nice stuff, not my exact cup of tea, but it is interesting to hear another side of GH. They promise a major progressive rock album this winter.
From: "Jeff Marx"
<> Subject: Glass Hammer Update
The boys have put together a 6-minute mp3; works-in-progress from their forthcoming album "LexRex." Pieces are in various stages of completion, but there's plenty that is already sounding sweet. For Dr. Rob; the vocals sound more in line with Perelandra than with Chronometree :) http://www.glasshammer.com/index2.html
From: "upnsm0ke" <>
Subject: Re: Re: [ProgAndOther] Glass Hammer Update
Well...it's sounding a little better than last time...Mark's got some really wailin' moments, bums me out that they're not playing at Baja Prog, anymore. Bret's vocals aren't bugging as much, either! In fact, he's got some good pipes. However, I must say I pressed 'skip' on "Then You Were Gone"...it was just rubbin' me the wrong way. :)
From: "Jeff Marx" <>
Date: Sun Oct 6, 2002 5:33 pm Subject: "Lex Rex"
I've been through "Lex Rex" three times Brett, thus far it appears to be their most steady and mature work. Monster vintage keyboard show from Fred and Steve, who have delivered one that could almost be a lost Yes album from their prime 70's years. A no-brainer e-prog green-light special :)