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Glass Hammer - Live at The Tivoli CD (album) cover

LIVE AT THE TIVOLI

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 12 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars "FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM"

This year it's 25 years ago that USA progrock formation Glasshammer released their first album Journey Of The Dunadan, anno 2018 Glasshammer has released 17 studio-albums, 3 live CD's and 4 live DVD's, along 3 compilations and even 1 single (Cool Air from 2016). They also did a 25th Anniversary tour, including a gig on the Cruise To The Edge. And on May 18th the band will release a new live album entitled Mostly Live In Italy, incredible, what a prolific progrock band! The backbone of Glasshammer is the duo Fred Schendel and Steve Babb (both multi-instrumentalists), after all those years they are the only original members.

I am not familiar with the Double Live DVD from 2015 but I have watched Glasshammer their first two live DVD's Lex Live (2004) and Live At Belmont (2006). If I compare these two with this third live DVD entitled Live At The Tivoli, I conclude that this one is superior: more varied (the band has invited The Adonia String Trio and the massive The Lee University Choral Union and The GPS Girls Choir) and Glass Hammer has matured during the years. Their very melodic sound is drenched into the Seventies symphonic rock tradition (especially Yes, ELP and Kansas) but more accessible and with an important role for the vocals (as usual in the USA progrock), along a male singer also three female vocalists. Fred Schendel delivers lots of strong keyboard work, from dazzling synthesizer flights and powerful Hammond organ runs to some majestic church organ and lush Mellotron waves. Another focal point is the guitarwork featuring lots of powerful and fiery solos and exciting interplay with the keyboards.

The atmospheres in the 10 compositions range from dreamy with violins (even a solo piece by The Adonia String Trio in Longer) and acoustic guitar to bombastic and up-tempo, with splendid work on guitar and keyboards. Especially in the track Knight Of The North and Having Caught A Glimpse, this is Glass Hammer at their best: exciting shifting moods with swirling Emersonian Hammond organ, fat synthesizer flights, powerful interplay between the musicians and compelling final parts with a huge choir and church organ. The final song is the Yes cover South Side Of The Sky (the studio version featured Jon Anderson), Glass Hammer does a decent job with good female vocals and a strong fiery guitar solo.

Excellent work!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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