Glass Hammer — The Inconsolable Secret
(Arion SR1320, 2005, 2CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01One 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.
Related artist(s): Glass Hammer
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more