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Glass Hammer has a long history of making musically complex albums based on literary sources from Tolkien to C.S. Lewis. Their latest offering, Ode to Echo, takes on the myth of Narcissus and Echo and reflects on the damage that not caring about others can do.

Steve Babb and Fred Schendel, the pair that makes up the core of Glass Hammer, have brought back nearly all of the lead singers from their 20-year journey as a band to lend their voices to this album. Despite the variety of lead singers, the album has a continuity that works well.

Song titles like “Garden of Hedon” and “Ozymandias” remind us that this is not lightweight pop fare—but the melodies are strong, the playing is excellent, and the arrangements are interesting. That they also manage to make a cover of The Monkees’ “The Porpoise Song” fit into the flow of the album speaks to Glass Hammer’s skill and creativity. Lovers of fantasy literature or progressive rock will find much to like in this album. (Sound Resources)

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