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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Glass Hammer

Shadowlands

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If you like your music with lots of keyboards and anywhere from 8 to twenty-some minutes long, Glass Hammer is the band for you. Led by multi-instrumentalists Fred Schendel and Steve Babb, Glass Hammer has released its eighth album.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 1 at https://garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2005.

Track by Track Review
So Close, So Far
This song is three smaller pieces in one. The first movement is Kansas-like in both opening passages and its vocal arrangements. The second section is slower and features female vocals. The third movement has some multi-layered vocal tracks and a Steve Howe-like steel guitar lead before reaching a short coda.
Run Lisette
A pipe organ holds down the main riff on this song, and when the guitar solo kicks in the piece becomes a bit reminiscent of Yes' "Parallels." The lyrics deal with the French-Russian war in the early 1800s and our heroine - who, by the way, is a horse.
Farewell to Shadowlands
This is a bit of a hard-rocker with rather emphatic power chords, and the Howe-like steel guitar gets prominence here. The lyrics almost read as a hymn.
Longer
Arguably the 2004 winner of Most Unlikely Song to be Given a Prog Treatment, Dan Fogelberg's 1979 saccharine-laden ballad is given a little muscle and actually sounds all the better for it.
Behind the Great Beyond
A baroque movement makes for a curious opener to this 20:27 closer. The piece then goes through several movements and different styles. At the 9:55 mark a beautiful nylon-string guitar passage leads to the second half of the song, and a six-minute coda, again Kansas-influenced with its violin lead, closes out this piece.
 
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