My review of TIS

A Giant-Sized Epic

Moderators: MayorOfLongview, FredProgGH, Sam Gamgee, Bnielsen

User avatar
Bnielsen
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:26 am
Location: Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

My review of TIS

Post by Bnielsen » Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:11 pm

Glass Hammer's latest offering, The Inconsolable Secret, is a 2-CD Progressive Rock album that eclipses their previous concept album masterpiece Lex Rex in nearly every aspect.

Musically, the sound of both Lex Rex and Shadowlands are represented and built upon exponentially, and the addition of Matt Mendians (Live at Nearfest and Lex Live) as GH's studio drummer will simply shut up the long time grumblings of fans and reviewers alike. The band experiments with styles never heard before on pervious albums, and the wide range of sound benefits the overall feel of both discs and highlights Babb and Schendel's growing maturity in songwriting that comes with their eighth major release. The production work is crisp and pristine, with a balanced sound. No instrument is ever too loud for need of overpowering the others, and having heard the album on a variety of systems, it seems to play well without much tweaking.

Lyrically the album centers around a 60+ page epic poem by Steve Babb entitled "The Lay of Lirazel" which in its own right is an incredible work, and is included with other goodies on the digipack-enhanced first CD.

Disc One, entitled "The Knight" contains two songs that are very much done in the fantastic "stripped down" sound of lush vocal harmonies, organ, mellotron, synth, bass, and guitar that made Glass Hammer famous. It opens with ‘A Maker of Crowns’ a powerful song that has a piano, organ, and a synth riff running throughout that harkens back to Camel’s work. The 25+ minute epic ‘The Knight of The North’ has many sections and moods that work together as a whole- you never realize that you listened to near a half-hour of one song. At 7:50 into this track, there is a blaze of inspired synth and Hammond work, but there are simply too many highlights to mention; the piece closes strongly with warm choir and orchestra.

Disc Two, or “The Lady,” is a cohesive set of songs that tell a story just as Lex Rex had, book ended by two tracks over 10 minutes in length. The beautiful female vocals get to take center stage multiple times, showing the incredible talents of both old and new girls. ‘Lirazel’ remains a favorite of mine; although I wish it was longer! Many of the instrumental and symphonic pieces in the middle of CD two evoke a very “movie score” feel to them- you are taken along for the ride, like something out of The Lord of The Rings. ‘Mog Ruith’ is an explosion of drums and keyboards fit for a battle scene. The soft ballad ‘Through a Glass Darkly’ evokes emotions that run deep, and fits nicely within the set. ‘Having Caught a Glimpse’ has soaring vocals and melody, and culminates in an incredible way, bringing themes and cues from other songs on the album to bring disc two to a close, which sent shivers through my whole body.

All this incredible orchestration, especially at the end of ‘Having Caught a Glimpse’ almost worries the keyboard fan in me slightly. Fans need to make sure GH never forgets the sound that Lex Rex and Chronometree made famous.

That small reservation aside, which in no way detracts from this work as a whole, this is a must buy for any fan of Yes, Kansas, Echolyn, or keyboard-driven symphonic prog as a whole. Special mention must be made of the wonderful cover art and new logo created by famed artist Roger Dean.

One wonders how they might top this album, for Glass Hammer once again has taken a myriad of musical influences and made it completely their own: 5/5.
Last edited by Bnielsen on Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
Brian Nielsen
GH Merch '09 - GH Roadie '05 - GH NEARFest Choir '03
Image

User avatar
Bnielsen
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:26 am
Location: Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Post by Bnielsen » Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:06 pm

so uh, that was my 'official' review-
my less formal ones is simply
IT PROGS!

Steve, fred, matt, walter, susie, eric, flo, bethany, sarah, laura:
You all are incredible, and have put together an incredible album.

Steve, special mention- Im still working my way through The Lay, but ... wow... wow....... wow.
Last edited by Bnielsen on Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Brian Nielsen
GH Merch '09 - GH Roadie '05 - GH NEARFest Choir '03
Image

User avatar
MayorOfLongview
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 2273
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2002 10:08 am
Contact:

Post by MayorOfLongview » Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:22 pm

Bnielsen wrote:so uh, that was my 'official' review-
my less formal ones is simply
IT PROGS!

Steve, fred, matt, walter, susie, eric, flo, bethany, sarah, laura:
You all are incredible, and have put together an incredible album.

Steve, special mention- Im still working my way through The Lay, but ... wow... wow....... wow.



You can just imagine that I nearly spoke in rhymes after writing that....
Cat...
Hat...
Bat...
Sat...
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

User avatar
Bozo
Professional
Professional
Posts: 791
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:29 pm
Location: Germany

Post by Bozo » Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:39 pm

A wonderful review. I would for my opinion mention that not only the sounds of Lex Rex and Shadowlands are to hear there are pieces from every earlier album from GH. It just sounds even more mature. Allso I find those short pieces wich didn´t get five bunnies from Sam on The Lady are so inportant for the hole feel of the disc. When you listen to it as one big peace it´s those small brave pieces like Mog Ruith that builds up the fantastic feeling, wich makes this work so very special. It´s a great Album and listning to The Knight in car at high volume makes you fly. (I have a eight speaker Bose system in my car)

Tanx Guys for saving the Prog!
The world is smaller than you think!

User avatar
Sam Gamgee
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 5:27 pm
Location: The World of Ideas
Contact:

Post by Sam Gamgee » Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:52 pm

Ok, hold it Brian. Glass Hammer progs in pink?! I don't think so. Pink is not a progging color. Something that truly progs deserves a color scale much higher - alien would understand.

MayorOfLongview wrote:You can just imagine that I nearly spoke in rhymes after writing that....
Cat...
Hat...
Bat...
Sat...


Oooh, I bet the little guy had fun with that one. It's like having Dr. Seuss as a dad! Haha!

Hey, Bozo, don't take me so seriously! I'm still coming to understand what the album means - it hasn't fully sunk in yet, so that was a preliminary Sam-taking-each-song-individually-after-about-only-7-listens thing. I'll need at least a few more months before I really can tell you what the album means as a whole. :)
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

[url]http://www.ghfan.net[/url]

User avatar
Bozo
Professional
Professional
Posts: 791
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:29 pm
Location: Germany

Post by Bozo » Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:28 pm

SAM! It wasen´t ment to be seriously this is just my opinion and I don´t think evrybody can like the same things. These are the small thing that makes us different and life so worth living.
The world is smaller than you think!

User avatar
Bnielsen
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:26 am
Location: Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Post by Bnielsen » Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:28 am

so anything I need to change in my review before I post it?!?! :idea:
Brian Nielsen
GH Merch '09 - GH Roadie '05 - GH NEARFest Choir '03
Image

Berg
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:46 am
Location: Holmestrand, Vestfold, Norway

Post by Berg » Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:34 am

Bnielsen wrote:so anything I need to change in my review before I post it?!?! :idea:


As far as I can see; no. It's really great.
Maybe you should add the "It progs!"-part?? :lol: :wink:
I have always dreamed that somewhere in your heart
There's a guiding light still shines
For our lives and times we should have spent together
But we passed each other by... like seasons out of time..

User avatar
Bnielsen
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:26 am
Location: Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Post by Bnielsen » Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:28 am

:twisted: for the record, it wasn't pink- it was violet.
Brian Nielsen
GH Merch '09 - GH Roadie '05 - GH NEARFest Choir '03
Image

User avatar
Bnielsen
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:26 am
Location: Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Post by Bnielsen » Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:57 am

=) =)

I just posted it to about 5 sites I could easily find, including amazon.

I also think we nned to spend some time editing the Glass Hammer wikipedia.org page.

I edited it a little, adding a reviews section and putting mine up there
Brian Nielsen
GH Merch '09 - GH Roadie '05 - GH NEARFest Choir '03
Image

User avatar
Bnielsen
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:26 am
Location: Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Post by Bnielsen » Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:51 am

incidently, TIS is VERRRRRY close to craking the top 1,000 in music sales on amazon.com- a fairly big deal!
Brian Nielsen
GH Merch '09 - GH Roadie '05 - GH NEARFest Choir '03
Image

User avatar
Rumpska
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 1723
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:44 am
Location: 5:43 PM
Contact:

Post by Rumpska » Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:17 pm

That is so pink... maybe you have one of those monitors and it's tilted down so it looks violet. It's so pink.
[color=darkred][i][b]Do a barrel roll![/b][/i][/color]

User avatar
Bnielsen
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:26 am
Location: Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Post by Bnielsen » Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:42 pm

Rumpska wrote:It's so pink.

You being the expert on all things pink? :lol:

Anywho, steve/fred- besides internet reveiws, where else you hearing about the reception (maybe you should post something bout nearfest)
Brian Nielsen
GH Merch '09 - GH Roadie '05 - GH NEARFest Choir '03
Image

User avatar
Sam Gamgee
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 5:27 pm
Location: The World of Ideas
Contact:

Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:57 pm

Agreed with Rumpksa. I've seen it from at least 4 different computers, and it is pink. Not that violet is any proggier. :roll:
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

[url]http://www.ghfan.net[/url]

User avatar
Rumpska
Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Posts: 1723
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:44 am
Location: 5:43 PM
Contact:

Post by Rumpska » Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:48 pm

Pink is the new Black, I know it well. I have a sweet pink tie, too. 100% Italian Silk.
[color=darkred][i][b]Do a barrel roll![/b][/i][/color]

Post Reply