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Jon Davison Will Guest on New Glass Hammer Album

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    Jon Davison Will Guest on New Glass Hammer Album

    Glass Hammer has announced a new album, entitled The Gate, which
    will be released on October 7, 2022.

    The band returns it's full lineup from last year's Skallagrim: Into the Breach, including their new lead singer, but Jon Davison will also be contributing vocals on one or more songs.

    This will mark Davison's first appearance on a new Glass Hammer studio album since 2014's Ode to Echo, which saw him do a limited number of tracks on an album with several lead vocalists, which itself followed 2012's Perilous, where he sang all the songs, and his first two Glass Hammer albums, If (2010) and For Cordium (2011), on which he also sang the entire length of the albums, and which are in my view his two best albums with Glass Hammer.

    Since Davison's full departure from Glass Hammer, they have recorded five albums- The Breaking of the World, Valkyrie, Chronomonaut, Dreaming City, and the aforementioned Skillagram: Into the Beach.

    The Gate is the last of a trilogy of albums that began with Dreaming City .

    Here is a very short (Under 1 minute) instrumental teaser for the upcoming album:

    "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

    #2
    Nice!

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      #3
      fantastic news, If and Cor Cordium were the albums that convinced me that was the right choice instead of Benoit David, I was thrilled when he got the Yes gig!

      Glass hammer have some class albums!
      The Definitive YES Albums

      -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
      -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
      -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

      Comment


        #4
        New trailer:

        "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

        Comment


          #5
          Has anyone heard anything about the extent of Davison's involvement? Is this just some random vocalizations as part of a single track? Full lead vocals on a song? Lead vocals on several songs? Something else?
          "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by downbyariver View Post
            Has anyone heard anything about the extent of Davison's involvement? Is this just some random vocalizations as part of a single track? Full lead vocals on a song? Lead vocals on several songs? Something else?
            He's not the main vocalist, we know that. I haven't been keeping up with them, but the band have released various previews and samples. Can he be heard on those?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by bondegezou View Post

              He's not the main vocalist, we know that. I haven't been keeping up with them, but the band have released various previews and samples. Can he be heard on those?
              I haven't heard his voice in a recognizable way on the promo videos that have been released to this point. That doesn't necessarily mean that he's not deep in the background on one or more of them in a subtle way, but there is not a point at which I went "Ah, there he is!".

              We know he'll be guesting on the final album in some capacity, though, they've announced that much. It's just a question of what he'll be doing and to what extent.
              Last edited by downbyariver; 09-19-2022, 04:01 PM.
              "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

              Comment


                #8
                So, I received the official download of the album a couple days early.

                It was a preorder that was sent ahead without any preconditions, so I'm not under any sort of embargo about talking about it, and I paid for it, so you can trust I'm being honest about the music. . I just thought I'd get all that out of the way before someone asks.

                One of the nice things about dealing with Glass Hammer stuff online is that Steve and Fred (The two core members who've been on every album) actually are very involved on the distribution end of things. A lot of the physical preorders come with signed thank yous, and my digital preorder, sent straight from Steve, came with a bonus song.

                A couple albums ago at the beginning of this trilogy, I remember emailing Steve and asking if I could get a picture of an autograph or something with my MP3s, and he went ahead and sent me one! I know a picture of a handwritten thank you holds no real value, but it was fun and I appreciate him taking time out of his day to send it- I still have it filed in the same folder as the MP3s from that album. Then they came up with the concept of a digital bonus track for the second album of the trilogy- which is of course a much better thing to have in the realm of digital goods- and offered one again this time.

                Anyhow, I've been very busy and stressed for unrelated reasons and don't know if I can offer a very comprehensive review. I haven't even had a chance to "marry" these tracks to my collection yet, add the cover art to the files, etc..

                However, I really like it after 1+ listens (Basically, I listened to the entire album once chronologically and have been flipping through select songs and portions of songs afterwards).

                Jon Davison sings toward the beginning of track #7, "Standing At the Gate", for a minute or two. I think people are going to be very pleasantly surprised at the part they gave him and how it sounds.

                Basically, that song begins with hard charging heavy metal guitar that's louder than anything in the Yes catalog or anything I've heard Davison sing on before, and his voice accompanies it wonderfully. There have been discussions here and on it's predecessor site as to whether or not Juano could handle some potentially more harder charging rock songs than what he's sung on his two Yes studio albums. The answer is yes. His voice absolutely holds up to it, at least in the Glass Hammer studio environment. I don't see Yes actually trying anything that loud even if it were to switch course to match Yes' hardest rocking phases of the last 50+ years, but if Jon's performance on live renditions of some of the rock songs Yes plays from yesteryear didn't convince you, this will. If some future iteration of Yes were to try it and the initial tape didn't sound right, I'd suggest they go ahead and call Steve and Fred, who produced, engineered, and mastered this entire album (Did I mention that these come with PDF liner notes? It's a nice way to mitigate the usual downside of buying downloads, which is that you usually don't have the credits to refer to.).

                So, the rest of the album actually mixes at least three or four types of music very well. That's sort of some of what prog is, but most bands can't pull it off the way Glass Hammer can, and tend to suffer quality wise when they veer from simply doing an album that sounds like it would have done well in the 70s or 80s. At the very least, some of those other bands wind up with a product that might be technically good but often doesn't sound like a cohesive whole. Glass Hammer pulls it off.

                One thing you get is the return of organ type sounds not dissimilar in parts from the classical preludes and such that you might hear ar a high-church Episcopalian parish with a good pipe organ. These are delivered well and sound great, and are a link to the prog bands of the early 70s Glass Hammer has frequently been compared to. The band had been sort of moving away from that sort of thing, but it's back- in limited quantities.

                There's also at times some touching vocal-centered songs segments from Hannah, the band's lead singer returning for her second album in a row, and the two male guest singers who join her and Davison on the album.

                Now imagining mixing that with some prog metal (Which they do). There's still a little bit of a Rush sound, but much less than the last two albums- they seem to have, perhaps in part to balance the softer stuff, gone really hard in the hard parts, moreso than Rush typically did until very late in their career as a band.

                There are also some 21st century parts, like sort of atmospheric EDM/Dubstep type stuff (I may not be describing that entirely accurately as I don't really know some newish modern styles well enough to make distinctions. I get the feeling I'm using the wrong terms.), which we heard hints of in a couple instrumental tracks on the last album, but is a bit more prominent here.

                What's remarkable is that this stuff all blends. A lot of bands try to pull similar stuff off and it sounds horrible. Glass Hammer seems to know what to do, though. Even with just the more modern stuff mixing with metal, only Korn really got that to sound right to my ears (I think the two albums they did that on are the only two Korn albums I found worth buying). To be able to combine that with ballad-like stuff and prog style keyboards is something beyond.

                And, if you want some precedent for organ type keyboards with hard rock guitar, some Deep Purple might be considered a precursor. I hear a little of the late Jon Lord in Fred Schendel.

                Some people who want exactly the same thing all the time (Not that there's anything wrong with that), and for that thing to be 70s style prog, may not like this album. If you just like good music, though, I think you will love this.

                So much could have gone wrong, but it didn't.

                The album even ends (Not counting the bonus track) on what is sort of a 17 minute long epic (It's one file with two songs meant to flow one right to the other, so it's sort of in-between what I'd think of as one song with two parts, and being two songs). There's a little of everything.
                Last edited by downbyariver; 10-05-2022, 10:08 AM.
                "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

                Comment


                  #9
                  The band have done a video for "All Alone" from the album and, while not performing on the song, Davison also appears in said video (briefly):

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