Glass Hammer - Culture Of Ascent (2007)
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Genre: Rock, Progressive Rock, Symphonic Prog | Label: Arion Records/Sound Resources | Cat.? SR1825
""Culture of Ascent" - It's six epic tracks total over sixty-nine minutes. Glass Hammer's tenth studio album is a must for fans, and sure to be a hit with connoisseurs of modern-progressive rock."
1. South Side Of The Sky (9:25)
2. Sun Song (9:36)
3. Life By Light (7:34)
4. Ember Without Name (16:38)
5. Into Thin Air (19:19)
6. Rest (6:36)
Produced by Steve Babb and Fred Schendel
Co-Produced by Robert Streets
Fred Schendel: Nord Electro 2, NordLead 2, Piano, Bela D Media D-Synth, Organs, Electric Piano, Mellotron, additional synths, loops and programming, acoustic guitar, string arrangements and backing vocals
Steve Babb: Bass guitar, Pipe Organ, Taurus Pedals, the Free Note, assorted percussion, Mellotron, Piano, Harp, loops, programming, Mini-Moog and backing vocals
Carl Groves: Lead and Backing Vocals
Susie Bogdanowicz: Lead and Backing Vocals
Matt Mendians: Drums
David Wallimann: Electric Guitars
Rebecca James: Violin
Susan Whitacre: Viola
Rachel Beckmann: Cello
Sarah Snyder: Backing Vocals
Eric Parker: Acoustic Guitar
Robert Streets: Backing Vocals
Haley McGuire: Backing Vocals
Jon Anderson: Vocalizations
It has been well over two years since the release of their critically acclaimed double CD, "The Inconsolable Secret". At last, Babb, Schendel and company are back with their tenth studio release, "Culture of Ascent".
"South Side of the Sky" by YES opens the door to 慍ulture's' lyrical world of icy landscapes and towering Himalayan summits. The trancy, trip-hop opening arrangement for 慍ulture's' first track soon gives way to full-blown progressive-rock bombast, featuring all the trademarks that have kept Glass Hammer fans loyal and begging for more.
But that's not to say that Culture of Ascent doesn't take Glass Hammer into new territory. The performances of French guitar-virtuoso David "Shreddy" Wallimann prove the perfect marriage for the highly technical, prog-metal drumming of Matt Mendians who returns for his second GH studio album. This, along with cutting-edge technology and an arsenal of new sounds from Babb and Schendel, gives "Culture of Ascent" a modern edginess- something unusual for a band well known for its mastery of analog gear and seventies retro-proginess.