CD Reviews

Steve Hackett - 'Wolflight' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 21, 2015    
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Just superb.

Steve Hackett's star is in the ascendant; his last two albums ('Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth' and 'Beyond The Shrouded Horizon') being amongst the best of his twenty plus solo album career and his 'Genesis Revisited' enterprise has been a revelation with hundreds of sold out shows in Europe and the Americas over the past two years.

In between these extensive bouts of touring he was still creative, writing and recording 'Wolflight' and once again he's delivered the goods, in spades. I felt immensely privileged to be invited to an intimate playback of the album in October and along with the other attendees; I was blown away by what I heard.

For me, one of the many things that draws me to Hackett's music is the sheer variety of sounds and flavours; he may be a guitarist but it's not just about him and a guitar, there's way more depth than that, almost a filmic quality. He's a composer, artist and storyteller, painting pictures with sound.

'Out Of The Body' has those archetypal Hackett guitar refrains he's so good at, moving the track forward melodically not just showing guitar prowess. The lengthy title track mixes styles rather nicely; the gentle verses and chorus have a delightful melody (the vocal harmonies are splendid) which are juxtaposed with both heavier and acoustic instrumental passages. The solos are incisive and clean while Roger King's keyboards underpin the theme.

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'Love Song To A Vampire' is the longest track on offer; it starts with classical guitar and multi-layered vocals before a highly addictive, bass heavy chorus ramps up the energy wonderfully. A melodic solo and orchestral stylings are the icing on the cake and there's a twist at the end with a Dream Theater-ish flurry.

Hackett's love of funfairs is evident again on 'The Wheel's Turning', where orchestra features again with another terrific guitar refrain. It's a track where Hackett pushes the boundaries, as is his want and he is known to do. 'Corycian Fire' has a Middle Eastern feel and a lovely driving beat; a Gothic choir is an inspired addition to the piece. 'Earthshine' is a beautiful acoustic track, of which Hackett is a master while 'Loving Sea' is a departure for him being a strummed song in the style of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; it's delightful.

'Black Thunder' evokes the Deep South; it's Blues with a great arrangement which brings added depth and interest, not least the wonderful backing vocals. 'Dust And Dreams' has a Funky bass motif courtesy of Nick Beggs and more terrific, quintessential Hackett guitar themes which move seamlessly into the closing 'Heart Song'.

I wish space allowed me to tell you more... just superb!

Gary Marshall

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