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Glass Hammer - Chronometree CD (album) cover

CHRONOMETREE

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.31 | 140 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Glass Hammer's "Chronometree" is a 2000 album that shows the band melding their Yes influences with ELP, and it works for the most part. Unfortunately the band did not have a decent singer with Brad Marler, and he often sounds stoned or just uninterested ruining much of the material on here. The musicianship is at times incredible, particularly the Hammond and lead guitar.

The big Hammond sound gloriously dominates "Empty Space and Revealer" with Mellotron swathes and steel guitar cascading over piano.

"An Eldritch Wind" is ambient and spacey with some relaxed vocals, not the greatest that Glass Hammer will experience but adequate. There are beautiful textures of autoharp, electric piano, and a steady percussion.

"Revelation/ Chronometry" is the big ELP happy organ sound, unmistakeable with complex 'Tarkus' ferocity and intricate 'Karn Evil 9' delirium all rolled up into a glorious package. The organ is incredible from Fred Schendel and it really is his show piece. There are nice sliding guitar tones from the incomparable Arjen Lucassen too. There are more vocals eventually from Brad Marler that are more unwelcome than embraced as they are rather toneless. I do like the bass heartbeat on this.

"Chronotheme" has a fantastic rhythm section with lashings of heavy guitar riffing. The Hammond runs are off the scale and then spacey synth takes over on another highlight of the album, an instrumental.

"A Perfect Carousel" is the acoustic ballad, another carbon copy of Lake's style. The vocals are actually better but still lack that emotion necessary, and they seem to get worse the more the song progresses. It has a pretty melody especially the acoustics. The synthesizer solo is not Emerson by a long shot but still satisfactory.

"Chronos Deliverer" is very dramatic, majestic and has the angelic choral vocals of Susie Bogdanowicz, Jamie Watkins, and Sarah Snyder. The spacey synths are backed by soaring lead guitar tones. It even throws in Vivaldi as the music builds to a crescendo.

"Shapes Of The Morning" is another instrumental with a ton of electric piano, swooping synths, fast fingered organ and pounding drums. The lead guitar soars beautifully with virtuoso playing. It is perhaps the best track as Brad Marler shuts up!

"Chronoverture" is an instrumental that begins with minimalist piano beautifully played, joined by cathedral organ. It explodes into Emerson territory and a striking quick tempo locks in. I like the shimmering Hammond and the way the lead guitar chimes in. It is a show pony for Fred Schendel who is stunning on keyboards. The way the tempo shifts is a fabulous touch on this definitive highlight.

"The Waiting" is the return of those horrid vocals, but the Hammond tries to drown them out without success. Symphonic strings herald the melody and staccato blasts of bass and drums are effective. It is a heavier song with dark synth tones and pounding percussion. "Watching The Sky" is a dumb short piece of weirdness driven by minimalist drums, whistles, and flutes.

Overall this album lacks a great deal, although there are some inspired moments. It has a weird concept about aliens calling from the netherverse while a guy plays a prog rock album, but it matters not. The vocals are the worst thing about it but it has some wonderful instrumental sections, and thankfully many tracks are devoid of any vocals. I would certainly not recommend it as a starting point because Glass Hammer are capable of so much more.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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