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Glass Hammer performing at the Rites of Spring festival in 2015
|Origin||Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States|
|Genres||Progressive rock, symphonic rock|
|Labels||Arion Records/Audio Resources|
Kamran Alan Shikoh
|Past members||Michelle Young
Glass Hammer is an American progressive rock band from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They formed in 1992 when multi-instrumentalists Steve Babb (then known as "Stephen DeArqe") and Fred Schendel began to write and record Journey of the Dunadan, a concept album based on the story of Aragorn from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. To their surprise, the album sold several thousand units via the Internet, TV home shopping, and phone orders, and Babb and Schendel were convinced that the band was a project worth continuing.
Babb and Schendel were at this time also members of a band called Wyzards, which Babb formed in 1980. One album was released called The Final Catastrophe in 1997. Wyzards disbanded in 1998.
While many musicians have appeared on Glass Hammer albums over the years, Babb and Schendel have remained the core of the band. Both men play a variety of instruments, but Babb mainly concentrates on bass guitar and keyboards while Schendel also plays keyboards as well as various guitars and drums (until the addition of live drummer Matt Mendians to the studio recording band in 2004). They also sing, although a number of other vocalists (most notably Michelle Young, Walter Moore, Susie Bogdanowicz, Carl Groves, and Jon Davison) have also handled lead vocal duties.
Lyrically, Glass Hammer is inspired mostly by their love of fantasy literature (most notably Tolkien and C. S. Lewis) and by their Christian faith. Although by their own admission they have tried to avoid becoming an overtly Christian band, their 2002 release Lex Rex was a concept album based on a Roman soldier's encounter with Jesus.
Musically, their most apparent influences are Yes, Kansas, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and, to a less noticeable extent, Genesis. While Glass Hammer has, for the most part, combined those influences into a characteristic style of their own, they made much more direct references to the aforementioned bands on their 2000 album Chronometree, which told the story of a drug-addled progressive rock fan who becomes convinced aliens are speaking to him through the music he listens to.
Former session/guest musicians
- Allmusic band description entry
- Glass Hammer Official website
- Glass Hammer Semi-Official fansite
- Glass Hammer Discography on Amazon.com