Monument (2001)

Monument, which was recorded during 2000/2001, is a collection of songs charting the band’s history and hopefully represents the many changes that have occurred over the years. Tracks such as The City Gates, East Of Arabia and The Iceman Cometh had become integral parts of our live shows. Another Open Door, a very early track, had only recently received a re-airing after a long absence. It turned out refreshingly well and serves as a reminder of our earlier rockier days. Monument, the title track, was written for the album.Musicians:
Dave Birdsall | Vocals
John Youdale | Electric and Acoustic Guitars & Vocals
Bob Mulvey | Bass, Bass Pedals,  Acoustic Guitars
Graeme Ash | Drums & Percussion
Dave Kidson | Keyboards

Guest Musicians:
Peter Cornforth| Keyboards [Track 10]
Heather Davies | Additional Vocals [Tracks 3, 5 & 8]
Tony Stewart |  Additional Bass [Track 1]
John Rhodes | Additional Guitar [Track 2]
Jack Youdale | Vocal Introduction [Track 10]
Chris Brown | Spoken Word

Produced by Bob Mulvey & Glacier Music
Engineered & Mastering by Tony Stewart @ TSM Audio Productions
Drum tracks recorded at Castlegate Studios
Cover Art by Dale Harbron


Monument Tracks

LULL BEFORE A STORM The mind is a strange thing. One moment you are fine, the next you are attempting to make sense of chaos. Mental well-being is something we all take for granted, but who decides what is rational and what is insane? Written at a time when I felt as though I was losing it … when in truth it was the situation around me, crazy times, crazy people and crazy ideas. The title Lull Before a Storm refers to the complacency we should all be aware of. [JY]

THINK OF ENGLAND Conceived from riffs and ideas written back in 1984, and later constructed as a piece of music on computer in 1990. It took us two years to convert the rather over complex machine driven arrangement into a more playable “live” song. At the time of writing the involvement in European issues filled the news, and the song tries to capture the typical paranoia that was everywhere. The song is a mickey-take, the title, as conceived fully was “Lie Back and Think of England while Europe… shafts you”. [BM]

BRING DOWN THE RAIN Some songs are simple. This one is not. The lyrics were written on three levels. One as a love song, one as an allegory in which tears are rain, and one as a prayer inspired by the “Live Aid” movement of 1985. Probably my favourite track from the Album. [DB]

ANOTHER OPEN DOOR A song now so old, its meaning is lost in the mists of time … well, not quite. It actually predated the Maggie Thatcher era, but said a lot of the garbage that she would eventually go and do. Destroy the strength of unions, make everyone accountable for everything, working class heroes ….[DB]

THE ICEMAN COMETH In the 1970’s, Frederic Hoyle wrote a book entitled “Ice”, which proposed a possible mechanism for the triggering of ice ages. His work was years ahead of its time. This song was written when it became obvious that he was not far out. Possibly all a bit passé now, with global warming and all … however, chaos theory supports Hoyle’s work, and the possibility of another “cold spell” in the next 100 years is still on! [JY]

CON MOLTO NODDUS “Presenting the show of your lives” lends a view of both writing and performing your material, a part of what makes you unique being given away, or passed on. The title, very broadly from the Latin means, with “much head banging”. Sometimes when the music is as anachronistic as ours, it feels like you are banging your head against a brick wall. [DK]

MONUMENT The title track for the album is our tribute to the loss of a true friend. This instrumental tries to put into music how we felt and still do – the subject matter is too close to home to put into lyrics. [JY]

BRING DOWN THE RAIN (REPRISE) A low-key version as an echo of things past. [BM]

EAST OF ARABIA What a wonderful country we live in. The mother of Parliament, the home of the railways, the greatest empire the world has ever seen … or perhaps not. Could it be the evil face of imperialism … a face not unlike a bulldog. Our Colonel is based upon the Colonel Blimp character … all Marquis of Queensberry rules etc. Yes, the trusty shield of British Justice and the honourable sword of fair play strikes yet another blow for Queen and country. [JY]

BEYOND THE WAVE Definitely a true Glacier song in every sense, but written by Pete Cornforth before he joined the band. The song remains almost intact barring an extremely “wacky” middle section which has been omitted due to being almost unplayable. Pete himself denies he ever wrote this section, however, a scribbled piece of manuscript in his own writing disproves this. [GA]

THROUGH THE MIST … This started out as a doodle based on a chord cycle from an unfinished song. The piece, live, set the mood for City Gates. The title derives not from tales of ancient times but from a concert in which slightly too many pyros were used and we could not attract the attention of our Sound Engineer (Steve “Ned” Kennedy) or Lighting Tech (Kevin “KC” Cain) to let them know we were ready! [JY]

… THE CITY GATES Our first attempt at the ‘opus magnum’ and was inspired by King Crimson’s epic classic “In the Court of the Crimson King”. City Gates has for a long time been a favourite of our audiences and is more commonly known as Atlantis … the search continues. The words are an allegory of the biblical story of Lott’s wife. [BM]

WHICH ONE (OUTRO)

Glacier will return with “Ashes for the Monarch” [BM]

 

Reviews

Below are brief summaries of the reviews we have received. If you wish to read the full review then please click on the links for the various sites where available. Suprisingly we have selected the best reviews and you may find that the less complementary reviews do not appear, or have broken links?

Ghostland [USA]

“On this recent thirteen-track release Glacier, a British quintet, establish themseleves as purveyors of the best kind of prog: that which doesn’t become anchored to genre cliches but, instead, delivers music both fresh and dynamic.”

“What’s most surprising about this record is that the band released it on their own. Given the talents displayed in this release, it’s hard to imagine why. John Youdale is as gifted a songwriter as has been seen in many years and Bob Mulvey’s production lends a warmth that is too-often absent on many contemporary records (prog or otherwise). One hopes that some established label will hear this band, realise how good they are, swoop down and sign them. And soon.”

Read the full review HERE

Prog Archives [US]

Pretty good work for all fans of 80’s British Prog, Neo Prog or light Symphonic Prog.Melodic and very intense at moments. Recommended.

Read the full review HERE

Fireworks Magazine [UK]

“.. every song is beautifully written and well crafted and shades of Spock’s Beard, Pallas, Arena, Enya, Karnataka, Mostly Autumn and Marillion can be heard during pieces such as ‘Another Open Door’ and ‘Con Molto Noddus’. One of my fave tracks that is almost like Yngwie Malmsteen and Uli John Roth is the rather grand title track. A gorgeous instrumental that flows with beautiful guitar structures and soothing synth work, emotional and well thought out the song slides in nicely with all the other vocal arrangements which makes guitarist John Youdale one of the most exciting and elegant players that I have heard from the UK in years, the playing is also delicious on ‘East of Arabia’.”

Read the full review HERE

Progressive World [US]

“Along with the beautiful instrumental “Monument” with it’s somewhat Gilmour-esque guitar solo (John Youdale), we get the gentle, acoustic based intro to “The City Gates” – a song ostensibly about Atlantis , the legendary island that was said sunk beneath the waves.”

“Glacier are a terrific find, especially for lovers of this style of music. I hope that Monument is only the tip of the iceberg, and that as we dig deeper there’s more to be found.”

Read the full review HERE

New Horizons [UK]

“The keyboard work, the guitar work and vocal harmonies are astonishingly rich and for me this is one of the highlights.”

“From the outset though the music comes across as being well put together with immediate melodies and strong harmonies. There were moments on the way through that put me in mind of IQ (‘Lull before the Storm’ and ‘Beyond the Wave’), Twelfth Night (‘East of Arabia’) and Pallas (‘The City Gates’), but interestingly in every instance the Glacier track actually predates the very music I thought it was reminiscent of.”

Read the full review HERE

Progressive Newsletter [Germany]

“Finally there seems to be hope for the british neo-prog empire. Glacier combines symphonic elements with catchy melodies, without sounding dated or just like ordinary pop-music. A nice little gem with the ‘best of both worlds’.”

Read the full review HERE (in Germany only)

Background Magazine [Netherlands]

“Glacier’s music is well set in the neo-progressive mould although they have a certain uniqueness to their sound. There are touches of Pallas, IQ and even Kansas, mainly because of Dave’s strong vocals incorporated in their sound and although diverse and complex at times they never lose their sense of melody.”

CRS – The Classic Rock Society [UK]

“One of the band’s main assets is vocalist Dave Birdsall, who has one of the clearest voices that I’ve heard for some time. The keyboards of Dave Kidson and guitar work of John Youdale take it in turn to dominate the overall sound, which reminded me most of ‘No Earthly Connection’ by Rick Wakeman.”

Strutter Magazine [Netherlands]

“Then comes another favourite track of mine “Con Molto Noddus”, a great neo-prog/pomp song with again a lovely melodic chorus and keyboards all over the place! This last mentioned track and “Another Open Door” are both the best songs of GLACIER and belong to the top of neo-progressive rock.”

DME [Israel]

“Think CAMEL, think YES – and add GLACIER to your list.”

DPRP – Dutch Progressive Rock Page [Netherlands]

“I do not know how close the band stayed to the original arrangements of the songs, but I must say that musically seen they sound remarkably much like a mixture of two well-known neo progressive bands, namely Jadis and IQ.”

“Some more references are both early and later Genesis (Bring Down The Rain, Con Molto Noddus, East Of Arabia, Hackett-like guitars all over the album), Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell (first three tracks), Arena’s instrumentals on The Visitor (Monument), IQ’s early albums (beginning of The Iceman Cometh, East Of Arabia) and melodic jazz/fusion (Bring Down The Rain and The Iceman Cometh).”

Keep it Live Magazine [UK]

“There’s character in all the performances, a magnitude of body and contrasts, well thought out arrangements that doesn’t allow the listener to rest on their laurels. With the talent encompassed in Glacier and the nature of their tracks, it would be so easy for them to really indulge, but they have balanced the performances just right.”

Radio Pons [France]

“Got it, enjoyed it, aired it, I’ll continue to air it – CD of the week last week.”

Xymphonia [Netherlands]

“I am listening to the album for the first time – just heard ‘Bring Down the Rain’ – marvellous song.”

ProgressoR [Uzbekistan]

“The band showed their good potential to play cohesively together, and thus, a good musicianship of each member separately stands out already in the beginning.”

Read the full review HERE

Axiom of Choice [Netherlands]

Typical progressive. Not too inaccessible and not too simple either. On the whole the mellow parts were often a bit too mellow and the music could have been a bit more dynamic: the drumming was too often laid back and lacking in drive. In songs like The City Gates and Monument, a bit of bite shines through without giving up on melody. In other places the band surprises with melodramatic melodies, but without becoming trite (Bring Down The Rain), in most songs of this type however, the band still falls short of my rather high demands. Specific references are hard to give, but think Pendragon, Cyan and many of the more obscure English prog bands from the eighties and you should have some idea.

Read the full review HERE

Independent Review [USA]

“Glacier’s strength lies in their music and on Monument all the tracks have strong melodies, thoughtful lyrics and brilliant instrumentation – all the tracks are exciting and dynamic from start to finish. Unlike many of the current neo-proggers who write “epics” merely by using over lengthy keyboard textures to belie the lack of any strong song-writing ability, these guys just put the lot into the melting pot. As is with all strengths lies a possible weakness for Glacier in that the purist prog lover will find the material too commercial.”