Exposé Online banner

Glass Hammer — The Inconsolable Secret
(Arion SR1320, 2005, 2CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01

The Inconsolable Secret Cover artOne could arguably claim that this release finds American prog band Glass Hammer at the top of their game, which probably explains the scope of this effort. First of all, it s a two-disk set in a nifty digipack case wrapped in sumptuous artwork from Roger Dean. Secondly, the music and lyrics are based on an epic romantic fantasy poem by bassist/keyboardist Steve Babb, spread across both CDs in two parts (The Knights on disk 1, and The Lady on disk 2). Thirdly, the material is broadly symphonic and epic in style and presentation, heavily influenced by classic Yes and Kansas. Singer Walter Moore vividly recalls Steve Walsh whenever he steps up to the microphone and keyboard player/guitarist Fred Schendel's pedal steel playing (last seen on their 2004 effort Shadowlands) instantly evokes Steve Howe while his keyboard work is a solid blend of Keith Emerson's Hammond muscle and Rick Wakeman's synth flash. What's lacking from this opus, however, are enough bankable musical ideas. While everything sounds like Glass Hammer (which sounds like a lot of other bands) too little of it stands on its own merits. One can appreciate what these guys have produced from the standpoint of sheer hours of labor, though lacking enough solid content the end result is a beautiful yet empty vessel. I know this band has many admirers, but my advice is to do more with less. Oh, and included on the first disk is a Making of video, the full epic poem, and Roger Dean desktop artwork.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Glass Hammer

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Horace X - Strategy – When last I heard from Horace X, back in 2003 with Sackbutt, I found their eclectic mishmash of influences both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they didn’t really sound like anyone else; on...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues