Tag Archives: Glass Hammer

Glass Hammer Travels Back to Early Prog

Glass Hammer – Chronomonaut (Sound Resources/Arion Records, 2018)

Chronomonaut is part 2 of a concept album developed by American progressive rock band Glass Hammer. The story follows Tom, a progressive rock-obsessed individual who received alien voices speaking to him through his favorite albums. Volume 1, Chronometree centered on Tom’s teenage years in the late 1970s. On Chronomonaut, Tom has grown up and experiences a mid-life crisis. The voices have returned and have been inciting Tom to time-travel back to the splendor days of the early progressive scene.

Glass Hammer have nailed it. They have captured the essence of early progressive rock, where proto symphonic influences met Beatles influences; brass-fueled rock-jazz similar to Blood, Sweat and Tears and early Chicago; folk-rock, and psychedelia. Although considerably less symphonic than many of their previous recordings, the instrumental section led by current members Babb, Raulston and Schendel is formidable, with memorable guitar solos, magnificent keyboards, creative drumming and lead bass lines.

On the vocal side, the band uses various vocalists, including current member Susie Bogdanowicz as well as Discipline’s Matthew Parmenter and a local Gospel singer called Patton Locke.

The Glass Hammer lineup on this album includes Steve Babb on bass, keyboards, lead and backing vocals; Fred Schendel on keyboards, guitars and backing vocals; Susie Bogdanowicz on lead vocals; and Aaron Raulston on drums.

Guests featured: Brian Brewer on guitar, steel guitar and mandolin; Jamison Smeltz on saxophone; Matthew Parmenter on lead vocals; Chris Herin on guitar; Reese Boyd on guitar; Phil Stiles on guitars; Tommy Ogle on saxophone; Bria Poteet on trombone; Stephen Bearden on trumpet; and Randall Williams on drums.

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Forward-Looking Prog from Glass Hammer

Glass Hammer – Valkyrie (Arion Records / Sound Resources, 2016)

American band Glass Hammer has matured into one of the finest progressive rock bands in the current scene. On Valkyrie we find a mix of female and male vocals that provide a unique personality to the band’s sound.

The vocalists on Valkyrie are Susie Bogdanowicz who delivers the lead vocals along with Steve Babb and Fred Schendel who provide the background vocals, presenting a delightful combination of solo, harmony and eerie distant vocals.

On the instrumental side, Glass Hammer is a powerhouse. Valkyrie is a concept album about a soldier trapped in an endless war and the woman he left behind. What’s so satisfying about Glass Hammer is the fact that it plays straightforward epic symphonic progressive rock, without pandering to the metal and pop crowd. You’ll notice influences from the classics such as Genesis, ELP and Yes, along with more modern progressive bands, including Steven Wilson.

On some of the pieces, Glass Hammer has incorporated progressive jazz-rock fusion, electronics and effects, demonstrating that the band is forward-thinking and exciting.

The instrumentalists delight the listener throughout the album with beautifully-constructed arrangements featuring cathedral-style organs and string synths, along with memorable keyboard, bass and guitar solos supported by creative drumming.

The lineup includes Susie Bogdanowicz on lead and background vocals; Steve Babb on bass, keyboards, and background vocals; Fred Schendel on keyboards, guitars, and background vocals; Kamran Alan Shikoh on electric, acoustic, and classical guitars; and Aaron Raulston on drums.

 

 

Valkyrie is a truly excellent progressive rock album and a must have addition to your collection.

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