10 years ago, Glass Hammer released a masterpiece of an album called Chronometree. Since then, it gets a mixture of positive and negative comments, primarily in the vocals. I really don’t understand why, because the vocals on the album are so unique of anything else released in back in 2,000 and beyond. I think another reason for the mix reactions is the subject matter. It’s a concept album about nothing and does so in a humorous way, at least to me it is.
The line-up for Chronometree was Steve Babb & Fred Schendel on various instruments and backing vocals. Walter Moore on electric and acoustic guitars plus drums on “Chronos Deliverer”. Brad Marler on lead vocals and acoustic guitar. This album was the only album that featured Brad in the lead vocal department. It’s a shame because he had a unique voice.
Susie Bogdanowicz, Jamie Watkins & Sarah Snyder on backing vocals. Terry Clouse (of Somnambulist) on lead guitars. The guest player on the album was in the form of Arjen Lucassen. He contributed additional lead guitar parts.
The album is divided into two parts, called “All In Good Time“. Part one starts off with “Empty Space - Revealer” (6:45) which opens the album in grand fashion with an array of keyboards including a wall of Hammond organ. There’s an influence of ELP here unlike other Glass Hammer album where they show a yes influence. The lead guitar has a spacey quality to them and fits smoothly within the song.
“An Eldritch Wind” (3:26) slows things down with acoustic guitars and spacey keyboards. Bringing back the urgent ELP influence again is an partial instrumental piece called “Revelation- Chronometry” (8:07). The lead guitars weaves in with the Hammond organ to create a very cool sounding instrumental intro (Revelation). The vocal part (Chronometry) has some distorted alien-like vocals. “Chronotheme” (4:41) is an instrumental piece that ends part one.
“A Perfect Carousel” (5:17) is an acoustic guitar/vocal piece with some Hammond organ & Mellotron parts weaved in. “Chronos Deliverer” (5:49) is an instrumental piece with a grandiose spacey vibe. These two songs, to me, serve as an intermission in between part one and two of “All In Good Time”.
Part two opens with a short intro ELP-esque piece called “Shapes Of The Morning” (1:55) which then segues into “Chronoverture” (5:59). “Chronoverture” continues the ELP influence mixed in with a Yes-ish vibe. In the last minute of the song has some vocals.
“The Waiting” (5:43) contains re-occurring themes that span the entire album. It closes off the ‘concept’ part of the album in a spacey ELP fashion. The end section closes much in the way as the beginning of the album started off. The last track, an instrumental called “Watching The Sky” (0:59) is an epilogue of sorts, done in an medieval fashion. Both of these two songs end part two and the album.
When I looked back at my Glass Hammer collection, I have such a fondness for Chronometree that I feel is one of the high points in the catalog. If you’re new to the band or have an incomplete Glass Hammer collection then please do yourself a great favor and get this album. Also for those that dismiss this album for whatever reason, please give it another try, maybe with some fresh ears and an open-mind.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 19th, 2010