Exposé Online banner

Glass Hammer — Journey of the Dunadan
(Arion 7690511111120, 1993, CD)

by Dan Casey, Published 1994-05-01

Journey of the Dunadan Cover art

This debut album from a Floridian duo of multi-instrumentalists leaves a host of unanswered questions. First, after the '90s have already proven to be a prolific breeding ground for new and original talent (e.g., Il Berlione, Änglagård, Deus Ex Machina, etc..), of what value is an entirely Tolkein-based fantasy/concept album? Glass Hammer offers us just that, complete with in-character voice-overs, narration and sound effects. At only 30 seconds in to the album, the memories of Spinal Tap's "Stonehenge" come racing back. Admittedly, it gets better than that (but not too much) with a few instrumental passages that sparkle with tasteful organ licks. The overall sound is made up of organ, synth, electronic drums, bass, and vocals (which are dull, lackluster, and over-used as a rule). Fans of modern Kansas might like the music here, and if you're familiar with the short-lived Cinema label from the late '80s, this has a lot in common with that sound as well. But because Journey... fails at such a fundamental level, it's difficult to swallow even the better moments, and its certainly not worth having to weed through the tired clichés to find them. History has shown that originality is key in propelling the most artistic bands, but according to the liner notes Glass Hammer considers this album a success if only they spark an interest in the Tolkein novels. So what we're left with, then, is basically propaganda for some classic literature which has proven over time it needs none. Hopefully Glass Hammer will find better, more inventive ways to spend their time and energy in the future.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 3, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Glass Hammer, Michelle Young

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mezquita - Recuerdos de mi Tierra – Spain's late 70s "progressive rock" scene was flowing in the abundance of new and creative talent and this short lived band was practically at the zenith of this genre's adherents. A heavily folk...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues