15th Anniversary of Glass Hammer’s CHRONOMETREE

Glass Hammer's Fourth studio album, CHRONOMETREE (2000).
Glass Hammer’s fourth studio album, CHRONOMETREE (2000).

As I look back on the last seventeen years of my life, there are a number of things that amaze me and humble me: marriage; children; career. . . and, well just plain life.

I’m also shocked that an art form I’ve loved for the vast majority of my life–progressive rock–has grown so successful and diverse over the past two decades.

And, the year 2000: SPACE REVOLVER by the Flower Kings; SMPTe by Transatlantic; V by Spock’s Beard.  I’ve had the privilege of writing about each of these albums at some length.  Then, there was also LIGHTBULB SUN by Porcupine Tree and UNIVERSAL MIGRATOR by Ayreon as well.  Really, just pause and think about the year 2000 for a moment.  What a vital year.

One I’ve not noticed yet, however, is another favorite from that rather delightful year of prog, Glass Hammer’s CHRONOMETREE.  I didn’t come to Glass Hammer until 2001, but I quickly went backward in their catalogue.

August 22, 2015, will be the fifteenth anniversary of this astounding work of art.  As some point in the next week or so, I’ll examine it at length.  For now, though, I reached out to my good friend and hero, Steve Babb.  Here’s what he kindly wrote back to me.

I remember my wife and I left town for a week’s vacation and when we returned a lot of Chronometree’s music had already been written by Fred [Schendel]. He wanted it to be an instrumental solo project, but the sound of that Hammond organ and the retro style of the music was such that I insisted we make it a full blown Glass Hammer project with a storyline. We never imagined it would be such a turning point for us. That’s the moment we embraced our roots and we have never truly repented of it. Prog fans couldn’t resist the storyline, as everyone could relate to our character “Tom” and his slacker friends. Chronometree was a prog album about taking prog albums too seriously. We’re all guilty of it. Leave it to Glass Hammer to call attention to that.

I was going to wait and incorporate Steve’s quote into the larger article, but it seems simply too good for me to hold back from our progarchy audience!  So, enjoy.

And, much more to come.


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