Glass Hammer

Glass Hammer is an American progressive rock band from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They were  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, released in 1993. 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. 

Pelennor fields (Journey of the Dunadan, 1993)

On to evermore (On To Evermore, 1998)

Empty space & revealer (Chronometree, 2000)

Sweet goldberry (The Middle Earth Album, 2001)

While many musicians have appeared on Glass Hammer albums over the years, Steve Babb and Fred Schendel have remained the core of the band. Both men play a variety of instruments, but Babb mainly concentrates on bass 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 and Jon Davison) have also handled lead vocal duties. Yes vocalist Jon Anderson provided backup vocals on two songs from 2007's Culture of Ascent. 

Tales of the great wars (Lex Rex, 2002)

One king (Lex Rex, 2002)

Long and long ago (The Inconsolable Secret, 2005)

The Inconsolable Secret (2005) full album cover by Roger Dean

Lyrically, Glass Hammer is inspired mostly by their love of fantasy literature (most notably Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) and by Babb's love of Victorian prose and medieval mythology. Musically, they lean towards 70's driven symphonic prog, with strong keyboard orientation; specifically Hammond organs. They have a superb melodic flow to the music they make, encapsulating real power and dynamics without ever becoming overpowering. 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. All of their albums are very conceptual, and there is great musicianship overall. 

Hyperbole (Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted, 2009)

The lure of dreams (Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted, 2009)

Behold the ziddle (If, 2010)

In 2012, Jon Davison was selected by Yes as their new lead singer, while remaining a member of Glass Hammer. Current band members include co-founders Steve Babb (bass and keyboards), Fred Schendel (keyboards and guitar) along with Kamran Alan Shikoh (guitar) and lead vocalist Jon Davison

Our foe revealed (Perilous, 2012)

Studio albums

Journey of the Dunadan (1993)
Perelandra (1995)
On to Evermore (1998)
Chronometree (2000)
The Middle Earth Album (2001)
Lex Rex (2002)
Shadowlands (2004)
The Inconsolable Secret (2005, re-recorded in 2013)
Culture of Ascent (2007)
Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted (2009)
If (2010)
One (unreleased recordings by Babb and Schendel from 1991-1992,  2010)
Cor Cordium (2011)
Perilous (2012)