Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Glass Hammer ~ Culture Of Ascent

I have been listening to the new one by Glass Hammer recently. This US band have been making excellent symphonic prog for many years now. Their last “The Incosolable Secret” was a bit of a high watermark. It was an ambitious 2 CD affair, with a very nice sleeve designed by Roger Dean. The band continue their Yes connection this time on “Culture Of Ascent” with Jon Anderson guesting on a couple of tracks and they also cover “South Side Of The Sky” which does fit in with the general concept of the album. I think this album is their most complex musically and I like the way they mix contemporary production ideas into the symphonic arrangements. Though Yes is an obvious influence, they are never derivative. They have taken Yes’s “Close to the Edge” and “Awaken” as prototypes and developed their own particular sound.

Another album that I have really enjoyed recently is “Doomsday Afternoon” by Phideaux. This is an unusual album. It is prog, with bits of folk and other ideas thrown in, but it’s not much like anything else in the genre. Very individual, theatrical maybe I need to check out their other albums.

I was recently on Big Big Train’s Gregory Spawtons blog, where he mentions Thieves Kitchen. I remember thier “Shibboleth” album of many years back, so it’s good to see they are planning a new album for sometime next year. Their keyboard player is Thomas Johnson who used to be with the mighty Anglagard! Now there was a band!!!

3 Comments:

Blogger alcockrj said...

Glass Hammer - now there's another band I don't know much about. I have one track of theirs from the album Odyssey. A friend of mine said he wasn't keen on Glass Hammer as they sounded like too much of a Yes copy. He preferred the original.

Phideaux - that's a band that I have seen mentioned a few times recently.

At the moment, I am downloading the IQ live album Forever as well as an album by Explosions in the Sky.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Barrie Sillars said...

I think Glass Hammer are much more than Yes copyists. Their music is carefully constructed with complex almost orchestral arrangements. I think they have taken Yes as their blueprint, but gone further with "Close to the Edge" than Yes did. I just like that big, bold symphonic sound with some nice female vocals which adds a different slant on things. They also use modern production techniques which adds something else to the mix.

Explosions in the Sky, a good post-rock type band who could be placed alongside Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and their ilk.

IQ should have a new album out next year

10:59 AM  
Blogger Twelve Stones said...

Hi Barrie,

haven't heard anything from Leo on the Anglagard CD's. Any chance you could see if you have any copies available?

Would be happy to reciprocate at any time with new BBT stuff when it comes out.

Cheers

Greg

11:58 AM  

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