Culture of Ascent, The New Album from Glass Hammer

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MayorOfLongview
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:04 am

yanks07 wrote:
Elric wrote:Well it looks as if this Album is getting treated fairly well on PE at preorder time. I hope this continues.
But what happens if we post glowing reviews of the album? If this is as good as I think it will be, I will say so, and no pun intended, will get hammered. It should be as fun as usual on PE.
I will be sorely dissapointed if there isn't a total meltdown on PE. It used to really bother me, but (knock on wood) I've got a tougher skin than I used to.

:D
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by yanks07 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:35 pm

I guess we should take the attitude that all press is good press. I hope we can keep the new album discussion going on the front page of PE for quite a while. Keeping it civil would be nice, I'm just not expecting that. If the posts cause even one person to buy the CD, that's a good thing. But we should be careful not to turn off any potential buyers.
And now for something completly different

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Post by Elric » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:39 am

I just got mine in the mail today. I just want to thank you guys for putting out such a great album! I am gonna be cranking this one up loud for a while!

The compilations CD is also very nice. I loved the bonus track!
Brent

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Post by Elric » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:57 pm

Ok I have always like SSotS, but......

Crank up Ember Without Name while you are driving, and the next thing you will see is blue lights in your rear view mirror and the sudden urge to stomp on your brakes!

This album is best listened to at volume 11.

This album is awesome!
Brent

Be kind to my mistakes, because I am not.....Kate Bush

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Post by yeshead 777 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:50 pm

Finally got mine today-two whole days after Elric!!!!Awesome doesn't cover it-I agree "Ember without a name" is not only incredible, and esp. cranked up, but MIGHT end up being my favorite GH song ever! This CD rocks, and WILL get the respect in the PROG community(and maybe even elsewhere)it so richly deserves!!!!!!!!
Art can "make people feel what's true rather than telling them".[Dan Haseltine,Jars of Clay].

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Post by Moog Taurus » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:58 pm

The new CD arrived yesterday along with the compilation disc I ordered :D
The first play last night was excellent and I am sure that this time next week it will be twice as excellent , it usually takes a few plays before new material finds it's niche with me .
The compilation CD is also a must own , I am glad I sent for that while pre ordering the newer disc.
I think the singing on SSOTS is very well done, as is the music itself.

Highly satisfied signing off.

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Post by Bnielsen » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:51 pm

I got mine and I'm listening to it in a variety of settings, speakers, headphones etc, before I write review.

Steve- tell Julie thanks for the smiley face on my order =p
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Post by yanks07 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:38 pm

OK, here is my review that I posted earlier on PE, and will later on with Amazon:

Here is my take on Culture of Ascent:

I simply love this album, and without a doubt find it to be their strongest work. It's some of the strongest symphonic prog I've heard in years. Other than a few minutes here and there, they have dropped much of the retro thing. In short, much of this does not at all sound like Glass Hammer. The music is vibrant and fresh, and has a much edgier, sometimes darker sound. It's still sinking in, my favorite track keeps changing. Right now it's the epic "Ember Without Name", with "Sun Song" coming close. Song by song, my thoughts:

"South Side of the Sky" - The Yes original is among my top 5 songs ever. What we get here is a solid, if unspectacular cover. I love Susie's vocals here, a much different take than the original. The near techno or trip hop beats early in the song offer a much different spin, and for the most part works. The production is sterling -the only aspect maring the original. The Wakeman solo piano section is left intact, played flawlessly by Fred. This is missing the power of the original, but with such a great melody to work with it really works. The Anderson vocals are limitted but very nice.

"Sun Song" -This is the harder rocking GH people are talking about. "Progressive hard rock" best describes this, maybe a more modern Kansas or the edgier parts of Spock's Beard, never quite reaching prog-metal levels. But it's quite original, not at all sounding like GH. This song does not let up, a nice, high tempo affair, and our first introduction to "Shreddy" on guitar. A welcome change to the GH sound, and totally fitting into the musical scheme here. Stellar vocals, some very modern synth tones -this one really ends too soon.

"Life by Light" -Simply gorgeous tune, Jon Anderson's backing vocals put to very good use. This is really the lone retro song, sounding an awful lot like Yes, think the "Going For the One" album, especially "Awaken" and "Wonderous Stories". I think around the 5:30 mark, we get some mellotron making it sound closer to "Topographic Ocean" material -a good thing in my book. Steve Babb does his best Chris Squire immitation here on bass. I have to point out his playing on the whole album is easily his best to date. Less subtle than on past records.

"Ember Without Name" -Epic #1. Likely my favorite GH track ever, and easily their most powerful tune. We get an almost angry GH sound in the long intro, again sounding almost nothing like the band's prior CD's. What strikes me, other than the more powerful tone, are the synth sounds and playing, nothing "70's" about them at all. Relentless also describes this track. More powerful vocals from Carl Groves this time.

"Into Thin Air" -Epic #2. Big Salem Hill influence on this, big imprint by Carl Groves here. I'm still warming up to the melodramatic first 8 minutes or so. But then things get interesting, that "edge" pops up again, that more modern GH. Can't offer a lot of details, needs more spins. Still, lots of twists and turns, highly melodic.

"Rest" - Nice breather to close out the set, still with a fine, dramatic ending. Starts out with the sound of a wind swept mountain. I keep hearing whispered in my head "Ever, ever...est". You know what I'm referring to if you saw the Discovery Channel series (season 2 Oct 30th!). Melodic and pretty overall, count this as still growing on me.

Overall, an album of the year contender, great and surprising stuff!
And now for something completly different

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Post by Moog Taurus » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:57 pm

Well I have heard the CD seven times and really feel at home with it .
It has most of the things I look for in music that I listen to these days and is over before you know it , as sign of excellence in my book 8)
The compilation CD is ace also .
Well done guys :D

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Post by yanks07 » Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:18 pm

That is so true, time flies so fast listening to this album! I don't have the compilation as I already own the epic track on the Odyssey set, though the song title escapes me. I may download those other tracks though if they are still on iTunes.
And now for something completly different

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