The ultimate prog-rock fan is back! Tom from Glass Hammer’s 2000 release Chronometree has returned and so have the voices. The Glass Hammer release Chronometree documented Tom’s 1979 time travel experiments. What happened after that just got stranger and stranger. Chronomonaut will tell the rest of the story.
Chronomanaut is Glass Hammer`s 18 release, and contains 70,32 minutes of symphonic prog. The lineup is Steve Babb – keyboards, bass, vocals,Fred Schendel – keyboards, guitars, vocals, Aaron Raulston – drums, Susie Bogdanowicz – vocals. The guest artist is Matthew Parmenter (Discipline) – vocals, Chris Herin (Tiles, Discipline) – guitars, Jamison Smeltz – sax.
Glass Hammer was formed in 1992 when multi-instrumentalists Steve Babb and Fred Schendel began to write and record Journey Of The Dunadan, a concept album based on the story of Aragorn from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. To their surprise, the album sold several thousand units via the Internet, The QVC Shop-At-Home Network and phone orders, leaving Babb and Schendel convinced that the band was a project worth continuing.
While many musicians have appeared on Glass Hammer albums over the years, Babb and Schendel have remained the core of the band. Both play a variety of instruments, but Babb mainly concentrates on bass guitar and keyboards while Schendel plays keyboards, various guitars and drums.They also sing, although a number of other vocalists have also handled lead vocal duties including Michelle Young, Walter Moore, Carl Groves, Susie Bogdanowicz and Jon Davison. Worthy of mention, Yes vocalist Jon Anderson provided backup vocals on two songs from 2007’s Culture of Ascent.
Lyrically, Glass Hammer is inspired mostly by their love of literature (most notably Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and John Krakauer) and Babb’s love of Victorian prose and medieval mythology. Musically, they lean towards 70’s driven symphonic rock, with strong keyboard orientation; specifically Hammond organs in the tradition of ELP. They have a superb melodic flow to the music they make, encapsulating real power and dynamics without ever becoming overpowering.
Their most apparent influences are Yes, ELP, Genesis, and, to a less noticeable extent, Camel. While Glass Hammer have, for the most part, combined those influences into a characteristic style of their own, they made much more direct references to the aforementioned bands on their 2000 album Chronometree and the 2010 release If. Without a doubt, Glass Hammer remain one of the most popular groups in the progressive rock genre. All the albums are very conceptual, and there is great musicianship overall.