Babb, Schendel, Shikoh and Davison return with the much anticipated PERILOUS, the follow up to 2010's IF and 2011's Cor Cordium. PERILOUS liner notes read more like earlier Glass Hammer albums with a list of choral members, The Adonia String Trio and even a new female vocalist. But perhaps the comparisons to previous titles end there.
"We have never done a concept album like PERILOUS," admits GH co-founder Steve Babb. "It is essentially one unified vision; one musical idea in thirteen parts or movements. The emotions and ideas expressed in the lyrics ebb and flow with the music; but they have a definite story to tell with a beginning, middle and climactic end."
And what is that story about?
Babb prefers to allow listeners the chance to interpret the ultimate meaning for themselves, but he did drop some hints. “It should be obvious from the album art and the title PERILOUS that something dire is lurking just beyond that gate. Imagine two children lost in a cemetery at night and the unsavory characters they might meet as they try to find their way home. That is the setting for our allegory."
Fans might think this lyrical direction sounds frightfully uncharacteristic of Glass Hammer. But, as with all things GH, the album's darker themes are tinged with hope and optimism. Musically the band is staying the course as well.
“Because of the art-work, some fans have theorized that we might be moving in another direction, though that isn't the case. We've definitely done some things on PERILOUS that you haven't heard on other Glass Hammer albums, but we're not abandoning our symphonic-prog roots. Not by a long-shot!”
Of course, the big news for Glass Hammer might have been the addition of singer Jon Davison to prog super-group YES. But Jon was using that time with YES to introduce a new legion of fans to the music of Glass Hammer while letting them know something great was on the horizon with PERILOUS.
“There is no denying the 'YES factor' has increased interest in GH world-wide. And that's fine with us,” said Babb. “But our big news for 2012 will still be PERILOUS. We set out to make something epic and something that is distinctly Glass Hammer; never afraid to show our influences, but steadfastly maintaining our independence while developing a sound that is undeniably ours alone. Of course, the fans will be the ultimate judge of whether or not we succeeded. I think our long-time fans will really love this album, and hopefully the new fans that have come on board in 2012 will be equally enthusiastic. PERILOUS is a very ambitous album for Glass Hammer, and here at the end of the production process all of the band members are very excited about the work we've done!”
Featuring audiophile mastering by Bob Katz of Digital Domain and a twelve-page full-color insert with art by R. T. Adolfo, PERILOUS hits the streets October 23rd, 2012.