Ode to Echo

March 11, 2014 | Format: MP3

$7.99
Also available in CD Format
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: March 11, 2014
  • Release Date: March 11, 2014
  • Label: Sound Resources / Arion Records
  • Copyright: 2014 Sound Resources
  • Total Length: 53:46
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00J0EGT7U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,612 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By chaines on March 16, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Glass Hammer’s “Ode to Echo” is brilliant. This is difficult to say due to the excellent music put out before it but this album, as a whole, is one of the best if not THE best albums they’ve ever created. With their other albums it’s easy for me to pick out a stand out track or two (or three) that really shines. “Ode to Echo” has no “stand out” track because every single piece of music is fantastic. For the first time in a long time on an album I’m not skipping a single song because I can’t wait to get the one I really like. This one is solid from beginning to end. It has it’s own unique flavor but yet is pure Glass Hammer that harkens back to works before “IF”. With it’s special guests, old GH vocalists/musicians coming back and the always excellent masterwork of Steve, Fred, Kamran and Aaron, it’s a must buy for any prog fan!

Theme: “Ode to Echo” is not just a cool title slapped onto an album but it encapsulates what you’re about to hear. As depicted on the cover, the mythology of Echo and Narcissus sets the lyrical tone and theme for what’s inside. Both Echo and Narcissus had a similar problem; love for themselves. Echo was in love with her voice and Narcissus was in love with his looks which would lead to them both living lives of futility and ultimate demise. If I read into the title, it’s an ode to Echo specifically. While we all have Narcissus living within us and the temptation to live for ourselves, it’s when we allow the luring voice of Echo to seduce us and continually repeat back to ourselves how important “I am” instead of heeding a higher voice that calls us to look outward that we will find ourselves unfulfilled and empty.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joe Ralias on April 3, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I found Glass Hammer in 2007, not long before their release of Culture of Ascent, which is still one of my favorite albums. With each new release, they have changed and grown. The new album, Ode to Echo is no different. It is hard to say that their sound has matured on this album, since the band has been around since 1992. However, Glass Hammer has continually and meticulously refined its sound, and Ode to Echo is the pinnacle of that sound. The inclusion of several past singers brings some of the flavor of Culture of Ascent to something that sounds much more like their later albums If and Cor Cordium, albeit more refined. The ingredients blend together into a greater whole.

Also, I love the cover art with Narcissus and Echo (and the echo of Echo).

The lyrical contents are fascinating, but dark, dwelling on narcissism and selfishness. Each song takes a new angle on the subject and makes you think--if you can think about the lyrics that interweave with the musical lines around them. Musically, Ode to Echo is wonderful. It retains the elements that make up much of Glass Hammer's sound, the ascending and descending synth and the crunchy bass, but it adds very interesting guitar-work on many of the songs. The melodies are fresh and new and stick on your head long after the song ends, especially Misantrog and I Am I. The vocalists are marvelous. Carl Groves and Susie Bogdanowicz (whose voice is wonderful) bring a lot to Glass Hammer, and I am glad to see them here again. I hope for more collaboration with them in the future.

I think this is Glass Hammer's best piece of work yet and Exhibit A for their position as America's premier progressive rock band. I can't think of anyone I would rather listen to. If you have never given them a try, Ode to Echo is a great place to start.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bradley J. Birzer on March 14, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Glass Hammer never disappoints, but this album is utterly brilliant even by already high and exacting standards. The album is a bit heavier than previous releases, but the prog is prog unapologetic. The bass work and keyboards are especially good, and the three main vocalists give the whole album a mysterious aura. ODE TO ECHO is a thing of beauty, a true delight, and a must own.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M J Hutchinson on March 31, 2014
Format: Audio CD
A continuation of the mature sound premiered on 'Perilous', this, to me, is a true Prog-lovers album and features every vocalist to ever grace a Glass Hammer studio release. A true sound of the 70's updated for the modern age, it is not an immediate album, it takes a few listens but, when you get it, it is an aural delight, well recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alfredo Giachino on June 30, 2014
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
If you have have followed Glass Hammer career and discography you now know what to expect: musicianship, symphonic rock, quality, a touch of '70s prog, but this time they went well over all that and the resulting product is just a gem, maybe the best prog album of the year. I'm not going to describe it song by song, that's for you to discover,let me just say is a beautiful journey.
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Format: Audio CD
STYLE
Glass Hammer further define their increasingly powerful individuality in a genre rooted deeply among giants. Ode To Echo sees the band musically confident, adventurous and sounding ever more distinct. The delightfully complex arrangements are full of the twists and turns inspired by forms originally developed by seventies forerunners and yet they sound very contemporary in this context. The impressively virtuoso instrumentation is clear and clean yet the band are canny enough to see the need not to over-polish - in fact there are some surprisingly grungy, heavy passages that complement the darkness of the lyrical content most effectively. This inclusion of a bit more grit than on the last few albums works very well, making the harmonious and warm vocal approach all the more uplifting by juxtaposition. It's especially gratifying to hear more of Alan Shikoh's inventive guitar work high in the mix - although all of the band are excellent craftsmen - Shikoh's playing helps to put those necessary cracks and flecks of grit in what might otherwise be quite a clean sound (more please). Guest musicians further expand the sound palette: Rob Reed of Magenta and Randy Jackson of Zebra provide piano, mini-moog and lead guitar whilst David Ragsdale (Kansas) provides some spellbinding violin on the largely acoustic build to Crowbone with its words from novelist Robert Low.

ARTWORK
Ode To Echo is a jewel case release with the insert opening out into a generous twelve pages. The front cover image shows a classically painted narcissus figure with something of a Pre-Raphaelite feel: gazing into a reflective pool he sits draped in angular draperies that swirl off and into the air. A female figure sits apparently ignored slightly behind and in mirror image a little further back again.
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