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The Inconsolable Secret
Artist: Glass Hammer
Label: Arion Records
Disc 1, Tracks 2/ 40:03
Disc 2, Tracks 11/ 58:34

How can I go about describing one of the best albums that I have ever heard? It is an almost impossible task. Try describing a sunrise over the ocean or a beautiful woman to a blind man would be easier. Try describing the sense of awe and mystery and wonder after having entered an Orthodox cathedral for the first time, it is a task almost to great to undertake. Everything connected with this album from the artwork by Roger Dean to the music contained within just cries out perfection, listen to me over and over again and again.

The Inconsolable Secret, the new two disc set from Chattanooga based Glass Hammer is a concept album in that it tells a story that runs
throughout the course of the album. Oh, what a story it is, the tale is woven of the great king and his beloved daughter. The story is based upon an epic poem called "The Lay Of Lirazel" written by band member and chief lyricist Steve Babb. The entire lay is contained within the enhanced portion of disc one, a sixty four page masterpiece. If that were all there were to the album it would be well worth the price of admission, but that is only the beginning. The disc also contains a video documentary of the recording of the project as well as a full set of lyrics.

How can I describe the music on this album, well to start off let me say that the songs run from 2:03 to an awesome 24:39. There are times in the course of the album when the music takes me on such a wonder filled journey. I visit a medieval castle in all its glory and splendor, I am taken to a battlefield that would make Mel Gibson or Peter Jackson envious with delight. When the band takes off and really starts cookin' all I can think of is that Emerson, Lake & Palmer at their best wished that they sounded this hot. Fred Schendel's keyboard playing has never been better and Steve Babb is one of the best bass players around.  The rest of the band, Walter Moore, Susie Bogdanowicz and Matt Mendians as well as supporting artists, Sarah Snyder, Bethany Warren, Flo Paris and Eric Parker are all here and are all superb. In the history of the genre called prog-rock it will be a hard task to find an album this good. 

I am listening to the album as I write and am overwhelmed by the sheer power of this project, all we need now is The Inconsolable DVD. Be sure to check out the bands web site at 

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock  7/28/2005

, after all it is a double disc set.


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