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Cor Cordium

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Cor Cordium
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Audio CD, October 25, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cor Cordium is Glass Hammer's 2011 follow-up to last year's highly acclaimed IF, an album which found its place in numerous Top 10 and Best of 2010 lists throughout the prog world. To keep the momentum going from last year's success, singer Jon Davison and guitarist Alan Shikoh return with Glass Hammer co-founders Steve Babb and Fred Schendel to create the band's fourteenth studio album. Cor Cordium features six tracks, including the highly addictive Salvation Station, the epic-length To Someone and the climactic She, A Lonely Tower; art work and a 16 page full-color layout by artist Tom Kuhn and audiophile mastering by Bob Katz of Digital Domain. Cor Cordium will be on the wish list of symphonic prog fans worldwide and a must-have for Glass Hammer enthusiasts.


Once again, the production quality is the best you ll hear all year. A must buy and a top 5 album. --Brian Watson, Dutch Progressive Rock Page

Cor Cordium is a real crock of gold in progs 2011 treasure trove irrespective of what influences can be heard in the stunning production. As one friend remarked earlier today, and I shall credit with him this line, It does rather leave other albums stuck on the ground in the hangar. I cannot agree more. --Alison Henderson, Dutch Progressive Rock Page

To sum up Cor Cordium, it is the album that has really won my heart. I would recommend it to any prog rock lover... I do not want to sound pompous here but, as Michael Nolan put it: there are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart...pursue those. --Jonathan Pine, Progressiveears.com
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sound Resources / Arion Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Pollack on October 26, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I've been on the Glass Hammer fan bandwagon for a several years now (since Lex Rex) - I legitimately own the vast majority of their catalog, which is probably rare these days. So when Cor Cordium was released I had an autographed CD in my mailbox on release day.

After the first listen, my reaction was "That's it?" Then I remembered that I had similar reactions to "Culture of Ascent" and "Shadowlands" (which I now love). So I took the time to listen again..........and again. While I still can't say I'm completely enamored by Cor Cordium, it is growing on me. But why is it taking longer this time?

Well, Glass Hammer has always "worn their influences on their sleeves" while carefully crafting their own sound - that's one aspect that draws prog-rock lovers to them. However, with Cor Cordium I can't help but feel they are trying to sound too much like Yes, and lose their Glass Hammer identity in the process. Maybe Jon Davison's vocals are too similar to that other Jon's to avoid direct comparisons, but when the music also mirrors Yes, it makes me feel a bit... weird. Check out the steel guitar/keyboard passage at the end of "She, A Lonely Tower" - think Yes' classic "Awaken". Then listen to parts of "One Heart" - think Yes' "Can You Imagine" from the Magnification album. See what I mean?

When I first listened to Glass Hammer's previous release ("If" - 2010) I thought it was pretty cool that parts sounded a lot like Yes. However, when I listen to "If" in combination with "Cor Cordium" I get the feeling I do when I listen to Jon Anderson's solo work - there's now just a bit too much of a good thing, and not enough balance (in this case, between the Yes and Glass Hammer sounds) for my taste. Glass Hammer have previously thanked their fans who "get it".
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Format: Audio CD
To get this out of the way, if you don't like bands that have strong similarities to other legendary prog bands, in this case Yes, you can probably stop reading now and move on. I'm not going to dwell on this point much in this review.

I am a huge fan of If. I think the addition of Jon Davison (vocals), Alan Shikoh (guitar) and and Randall Williams (drums) rejuvenated the band after 2009's Three Cheers, which many consider their weakest effort, certainly the least in keeping with their ongoing prog stylings. Of course, the addition of Davison took them firmly into the realm of sounding a whole lot like that other aforementioned band, but as you'll see I don't view that as imitation or a negative. If they've taken on the Yes torch, they've certainly carried it further and to other interesting places.

From the opening notes of Nothing Box, it's very clear this is a symphonic prog album of epic proportions. If I had any questions of whether they would continue the trends of If, the first two tracks definitively removed any doubts there. But Cor Cordium isn't simply If, part two. Here we find this group coming together with a stronger band personality. Although Glass Hammer remains anchored by Fred Schendel and Steve Babb, both Davison and Shikoh seem stronger contributors than on If.

The compositions on Cor Cordium are very rooted in the classic symphonic prog style, with the layering of instruments, complex passages, nifty time signatures and epic themes aficionados will love. I find the balance to be more even on Cor Cordium, where If may have favored the keys and bass a bit. Here it seems every instrument and the vocals all contribute equally to the compositions.
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Format: Audio CD
Glass Hammer, with their latest release of Cor Cordium, has defiantly done the impossible.

They created a follow-up to their monster hit album IF from 2010 with perhaps their finest work yet, and will hopefully leave any doubt behind regarding their status as one of the best progressive rock bands, period.

There have been numerous comparisons over the years, likening Glass Hammer to Yes, and there has been some merit to that, in my thinking, but perhaps that now is something inappropriate to use as a measuring stick. I love Yes, and they were my favorite band in High School, some seventy million years ago or so. Yes, in the last ten years, has produced nearly nothing, their latest offering an excellent album, to my tastes, but quite honestly, is nothing in comparison to IF, or now the special Cor Cordium album. I would wink and say, going back through both collections for both bands, Yes never sounded as good as Glass Hammer....

Lets look at what Cor Cordium has in store for you. The opening track is one called Nothingbox, a nice chunky prog number weighing in at just over ten minutes. It lures you in from the opening note, and once you hear those first strums of the guitar, the lazy but insistent tapestry of synth and keyboards weaving in, the commanding crunch of the bass, and Jon singing, the song just takes off. I've only listened five times so far, but it still may be my favorite track from the album... it is oh so difficult to make that distinction, when you have more goodies, like One Heart following right on the heels of the Nothingbox, and changing the rhythm and pace of the evolving landscape of sound that unfolds before you.
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