Valkyrie (24 bit​​/​​44​.​1khz Hi​​-​​Res Edition)

by Glass Hammer

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about

“Valkyrie” tells the story of a soldier trapped in an endless war, and of the girl he left behind. As with most GH albums, deeper meanings abound for those who take the time to digest the lyrics which are, according to the liner notes, “dedicated to those who battle the effects of trauma, and to those who love and support them.”

What may set this 2016 release apart from previous Glass Hammer albums is the way in which the band went about recording it. According to bassist / lyricist Steve Babb, the band “went for a more live approach this time. We rehearsed the material for several months before finally recording all of the rhythm tracks as if we were playing one very big concert, which is to say, that it was mostly live. We concentrated on vocals and overdubs at the studio, but the foundation of ‘Valkyrie’ was done together in a huge , amazing acoustic space.”

Mixed and mastered for dynamic range rather than loudness, the sonic integrity of each mix has been carefully preserved. “We’re trying to tell a story here,” says Babb. “And it should be apparent from the opening lines of the first track that we are tak- ing on you a journey. A lot of care went into these arrangements, the performance, and naturally in the final mixes. It is our hope that listeners will pick up all of the subtleties and nuances we pack into our songs, and be drawn into the album’s story. ‘Valkyrie’ is meant to be heard in one sitting, which is the best way to really enjoy any good concept album!”

credits

released September 27, 2016

Music by Steve Babb and Fred Schendel
Lyrics by Steve Babb

Susie Bogdanowicz: lead and backing vocals
Fred Schendel: keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Steve Babb: bass guitar, bass pedals, keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Kamran Alan Shikoh: electric and acoustic guitars
Aaron Raulston: drums

Produced by Fred Schendel and Steve Babb
All songs: Copyright 2016 Sound Resources / BMI
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Sound Resources, Chattanooga, Tennessee USA (soundresources.net)
Rhythm tracking engineer: Bret Noblitt – Precision Audio
Administration and band photography: Julie Babb
Art direction: Michal Xaay Loranc

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Track Name: The Fields We Know
THE FIELDS WE KNOW

Long years ago I traveled
Upon a road that led me
To fields of battle far from home
And that is where you’ll find me
Though I don’t know why
They say the war is over
They say we are at peace now
They say I should be heading home
But I have lost my way now
Though I try and try

At the end of a winding lane
Where sunlight paints the meadows
Where winter seems a distant memory
There is a safe, familiar home
The table’s set, the bed is turned
And standing there, the girl I long to see
She waits for me

Do not cry for me my friends
I’m not among the fallen
I’ve got some scars as you can see
But I’m alive as any man could be
I won’t complain
I climb down in the trenches still
Or walk the battered roadsides
I search for relics of the war
In craters on the hillsides
Where my friends were slain

At the end of a winding lane
Where sunlight paints the meadows
And every tree is etched in memory
My home is over there you see
And one day I will find it
And see again those smiles that used to be
Only for me

The grass is growing green upon the fields
The sun, a shining glory in the sky
But I went dark, and I’ll be having none of that
And so the days wear on, and so the days wear on
Track Name: Golden Days
GOLDEN DAYS

He debated one idea the morning through
Were his memories of childhood even true?
He believed that good resides in every heart
Now it seems that man’s been rotten from the start
Those were the golden days
The sun shone down on fields of green
Within the heart of summer there is life

He took her love and all that it implied
He sought to pull her close unto his side
Then the sound of singing turned them both around
And it broke the spell that surely held them bound
Those were the golden days
And now they seem so far away
They ran to see whose singing they had heard
There were soldiers on the road
And they sang as they marched to war
For a darkness had fallen ‘pon a bleak
And distant shore

I had thought that there was beauty everywhere
But they told me there were monsters over there
Death and evil was set loose upon the earth
All good men must someday rise and show their worth
He remembers the tears as he left her standing there
He dreams of her now and a love beyond compare
There was sorrow on her face as he marched away to war
Though he lies now in ruins he’ll love her forevermore
Track Name: No Man's Land
NO MAN’S LAND

The orders came at two a.m.
At dawn the first wave would advance
As prayers were said the notions fled
Of honor, glory and romance
By three o’clock their guns were firing hot
Unleashing hell upon their foe
At four fifteen he joined the line
And waited in the snow
At five we checked our gear again
The morning sun was rising then 
I called on God but found no words to say
I felt alone and terrified
Though somehow, somewhere deep inside
I found the strength to face that awful day

At last the call came to advance
So up and over they all climbed
A cry went out from three thousand men
Whose destinies were surely entwined
He should be running down the winding lane
Toward the home he left behind
But now he’s charging toward uncertainty
And all goes dark within his mind
There is a girl who waits for me
Whose smiling face I faintly see
Her hair was all of gold and blue her eyes
If I could find my way back home
I’d swear that never more I’d roam
These fields that roll ‘neath dark and angry skies

The day wears on and yet we fight
The killing goes through the night
And all we gain is a bloody patch of ground
I’m wounded yet somehow I’m alive
I’ve seen such things, I doubt I’ll survive
Now I’m so lost I doubt I’ll ever be found

Dark Angel of Woe comes a’knocking, I foolishly let him in
He gave me a lock for my heart in trade for all the light within
I offered him more if only he’d show me one vision of you
One cannot bargain - with evil
Track Name: Valkyrie
VALKYRIE

I lay down my head and I dreamed of you
I’ve fought to remember the whole day through
The dream that smiles today, then, tomorrow dies
Sets me to longing then away it flies
Angel of Woe standing by my side
I go where you go for to you I’m tied
I’ve tried to go home but you’ve led me astray
Though in my dreaming I may find a way

Backlit by the rising sun
Armor ablaze
Golden hair and eyes of blue
A sword at her side
I can only stand and stare in amazement
So bright is her light

“I’ve come now to tell you of fate and a foe you know
The battles are over and won but you can’t let it go
You’ve clung to a memory of doom and cried out for war
You’ve clung to this murderous fiend to whom you’ve now swore
But know him for this he has served only evil, and evil he is to the core
To the very core”

Angel of Light what brings you here
The deeps of my heart are not for you
The view from here is not all it’s cracked up to be
As you can see

“Always he is ravenous and all his deeds are dire
He’ll use you for a time and then just throw you to the fire
Soldier can you see him now, he’ll be the death of you
You fought the gods of pain and death
Slew all that crossed your path
Your heart was tried and tested true
In battle and in wrath
What came next was never meant to be
Can you not see?”

To the very core
Armor ablaze
Golden hair and eyes of blue
To the very core
For goodness she was to the very core
Track Name: Fog Of War
FOG OF WAR

His mind is shaken
He tries to waken but it’s all in vain, always in vain
So he tends his wounds as best he can
Here within the lingering fog of war
Which hides his weary heart

Is this my eternal state?
No matter the road I’ve taken
I never seem to find my way to you
I’d love to feel the shining sun
I’d love to hear the rushing streams
But I can’t tell which road will lead me true

One road would surely take me home
And never more I’d roam
I’ll seek the lighted way
Yet it won’t let him go
This gloomy relic of the war
We dance in endless circles going ‘round

The adversary is legendary
And his heart is black, deadly and black
How can he face this monstrous foe
He’s killed him over and over
But it’s just not letting go his weary heart

Is this my eternal state?
No matter the road I’ve taken
I never seem to find my way to you
I’d love to feel the shining sun
I’d love to hear the rushing streams
But I can’t tell which road will lead me true
Track Name: Dead And Gone
DEAD AND GONE

Time’s come now at last
Let all that’s passed be past
You’ve been wandering, lost in a dream
Only a dream
I’ll watch over you
I’ll always watch over you
Down that winding lane I stand
Near the sun kissed fields of home
There’s hope and there is joy
There’s love for the soldier-boy
All he has to do is let it go
Turn around and come home

The shadows come and gone
Rise now and greet the dawn
Let the memories of sorrow and fear
Fall away
There’s hope and there is joy
There’s love for the soldier-boy
All he has to do is let it go
Turn around and come home

There's a girl who’s waiting just for you
But you can’t bring the darkness with you
Let it go, just leave it all behind

Oh, the rushing streams and skies of blue
Oh, the fields of summer call to you
Oh, the rushing streams and skies of blue

There are scars
Some heal, some don’t
And people stare but that can’t bring you down
And somedays you’ll be laughing and other times you won’t
But either way the sun’s still shining

I hear distant drums
Rumors of war yet to come
Come back to me, get some rest while you can
And smile, smile again
There’s hope and there’s joy
There’s love for the soldier-boy
All he has to do is let it go
Turn around and come home

I’m staying right here where I am
I’m never gonna leave
Please my love, forget I ever lived
I’m dead
Dead and gone
Track Name: Eucatastrophe
EUCATASTROPHE

I see the shadow in your heart
The chains upon your spirit
And all that’s kept you far away from me
Yet I have come at last my love
And I will share your burdens now
That is what was always meant to be
For you and me
The memory of love won’t die
It is a light that cannot fail
It’s pierced that darkness that surrounded you
I’ve found you now, don’t be afraid
Just take my hand and walk away
Toward the home you loved and you once knew
That waits for you
Track Name: Rapturo
RAPTURO

Don’t turn away, hold onto me
My love, just open your eyes
The long night has passed
The dark one has fled
He’s gone, though his scars will remain
He’s gone, though he may come again
Till at last we find our way home
For there he can’t come
I’m crying for my soldier’s heart
Oh, my brave soldier’s heart
Lies broken in pieces!
War, there’s no war
That can take you from me
Though battles we must fight
Or we forfeit all to darkness
Love will surely win out the day
In the end…