If any of you are looking for profundity in rock, look no further than the new Glass Hammer album, PERILOUS. I finally had the chance to read through the entire story and lyrics last night. What a moment. Indeed, I really doubt that I’ll ever forget that reading.
From the opening line, I fully entered into the story, an immersion that only T.S. Eliot and Big Big Train (Greg Spawton!) have offered me before.
Steve Babb has explained that the lyrics are an allegory, meant to be discovered by each listener. I must admit, I’m still not sure I’ve figured out the allegory despite having this CD in rotation almost constantly since it arrived in late October. But, the imagery of the lyrics–or, more properly, the “Imagism”–is more than a bit boggling to the mind.
The best way to describe the obvious meaning of the text is of a man (whether alive or dead; or perhaps on a journey through the purgatory in a Dantesque or Bradburyesque fashion) is of a man crossing through a grave yard, meeting many souls (redeemed, damned, and otherwise) and being offered distractions and temptations the entire way.
Babb is somewhat famous in the prog community for being a master storyteller as well as for being a satirist. But, these lyrics are even something special for the already brilliant Babb. This is the kind of album that reminds me progressive rock is not just “rock plus” but true art.
Even if you’re not a prog fan, you will almost certainly find the lyrics stunning. I’ll offer a full review of the album very soon, but I had to post this now–such is my state of euphoria regarding this album.