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Glass Hammer: Skallagrim-Into the Breach

Skallagrim �" Into The Breach, is part two of 2020's Dreaming City, the latest concept epic from Tennessee's progressive rock veterans Glass Hammer. As we saw with Dreaming City, the band have taken a turn into much darker & heavier sounds, leaving behind the Yes influenced style that they were known for in place of a riffier, harder rocking approach, which, seems to fit the nature of this sword & sorcery saga written by the bands bassist Steve Babb. One listen to the crushing guitars of "Sellsword" and you instantly know that Glass Hammer are here to rock your face off, and though there are still plenty of Hammond organ and synth tones on the album courtesy of Fred Schendel and Babb, the meaty guitar & bass riffs throughout Skallagrim really are the star. Hannah Pryor handles the lead vocals here, alongside Bass & Schendel, and does a superb job with her aggressive delivery. "Steel" is another standout track, Alex Lifeson styled riffs colliding with vintage prog keyboards and Pryor's strong vocals, while "The Ogre of Archon" is a lethal heavy prog number (near heavy metal?) that brings to mind Rush as well as Black Sabbath. Black Sabbath being mentioned in a Glass Hammer review? Yes indeed! As on Dreaming City, there are shorter, space rock instrumentals that appear in between the main tracks, and offer some cool Tangerine Dream/Hawkwind styled atmospherics in between the more epic tracks. Other highlights include the intricate & symphonic title cut, "The Forlorn Hope" (Hannah's vocals are superb here), the hook laden "The Writing on the Wall", and the textured "Hyperborea", which is a must hear for fans of Rush's Hemisphere and A Farewell to Kings.

Drums are played on the album by Aaron Raulston, who does a fantastic job, and lead guitars provided by Reese Boyd & Brian Brewer. As with all Glass Hammer releases, this is a stellar production filled with excellent music, vocals, and a storyline that will appeal to any lover of fantasy books, which, Steve Babb plans on releasing this as a novel in the near future.

Track Listing
1. He's Got A Girl 01:02
2. Anthem To Andorath 04:36
3. Sellsword 06:07
4. Steel 07:26
5. A Spell Upon His Mind 04:02
6. Moon Pool 04:00
7. The Dark 02:40
8. The Ogre Of Archon 06:11
9. Into The Breach 07:57
10. The Forlorn Hope 07:56
11. Hyperborea 09:41
12. Bright Sword 01:32

Added: December 5th 2021
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 986
Language: english

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