Reviews for Perelandra

"Glass Hammer possesses the clarity and positiveness of YES, and the majesty of ELP. In order to live out a thousand magical experiences put it in your player, press play and let your imagination do the rest!"
Lunar Suite -- Spain

"A strong sense of melody is a Glass Hammer trademark and it's present here in spades. ... This is a virtual demo disc for your sound system. ... one of the best progressive rock albums ever. Alan Parson's should be jealous.
Laser's Edge -- USA

"One that has, and would be my pick as prog's great white hope for genuine widespread success is GLASS HAMMER from the U.S.A. On their latest CD "Perelandra" they have found the perfect mix of memorable melodies, great playing chops and intelligent music and arrangements. ...GLASS HAMMER may just be the group to appease all us nostalgic old-timers who feel the golden age of rock music passed away 20 years ago, as well as introducing intelligent rock to a whole new generation of youth..
Stratos 'The Executive Inflight Magazine' - USA

"Perelandra" (1995)

With their first joint effort, "Journey Of The Dunedan" (1993), Stephen DeArqe and Fred Schendel had attracted a lot of attention. This album somehow paved the way for the recent resurgence of concept-albums, a genre of which Rick Wakeman was the self-proclaimed specialist about twenty years ago.
Maybe you'll remember (if you're a good Big Bang reader, you probably read our old issues again from time to time...), that I'd had certain reservations about "Journey..." in my review, because of its variety of styles and atmospheres, it somewhat failed to retain the listener's attention for the (considerable) duration of the album.
I'm not megalomaniac to the point of thinking Glass Hammer has taken my remarks into account, but two years after, the duo is back and has apparently passed some good resolutions. And "Perelandra" is a major improvement, although still a bit too stylistically diverse and not perfect from a formal point of view.
To simplify, I would say that two antagonistic tendencies (which seem impossible to associate with either of Glass Hammer's leaders) are mixed, with inconsistent results, in their compositions : first, an attempt at accessibility, with frequent vocal parts reminiscent of both "Drama"- and "90125"er a Yes); second, a progressive ambition that is clearly apparent in astonishing instrumental sequences led by lush keyboard arrangements bringing together the best of "Tarkus"/"Trilogy"-era ELP, "Moonmadness"-era Camel, with some "A Triggering Myth" thrown in for the "modern/futuristic" touch.
From a strictly musical point of view, the results are of course mixed (although positive aspects largely outnumber their negative counterparts), but the most important thing here is that "Perelandra" has more or less created a new style within progressive rock. British neo-progressive bands, who in the last few years seem to have no ideas for something new, would be well-advised to listen to this album. Taking inspiration from the 70's greats' most memorable legacy (instrumental excellence that doesn't just show off), Glass Hammer turns a potentially conventional musical substance into an authentically progressive work.
Of course, hardcore progressive fans may think this is still not enough. They'll be happy to learn that Glass Hammer's next album will probably be even more to their satisfaction. "Perelandra" is already a great achievement. Let's hope their message will be heard !

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