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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Innerhythmic Sound System – I had heard about half of the tracks on this compilation before I got it, so I knew what to expect. Innerhythmic is dedicated to a kind of world/jazz/electronic fusion that I generally enjoy, and I...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues