Steve Hackett — Wolflight
(Inside Out Music 07078, 2015, CD+BlueRay)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2015-05-25
Anticipation has been higher than normal for a new Steve Hackett album following his recent, triumphant Genesis Revisited touring. I wondered how being immersed in those genre-defining classics would rub off on new compositions, and for the most part the results are positive. But if you’re expecting a Nursery Cryme Pt 2 — or even Spectral Mornings Pt 2 — prepare to be disappointed. Instead, Wolflight fits comfortably alongside Hackett’s recent solo releases like Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth and Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. Many of the musicians who participated on those albums appear again here, most notably keyboard player, orchestrator, and engineer Roger King, who seems indispensable to Hackett these days. But front and center on each track is Hackett’s guitar, both electric and acoustic. His voice also graces seven of the eight vocal tracks, although the one song he does not sing on — the closer “Midnight Sun” — is unusual in that Hackett is essentially guesting with Icelandic group Todmobile. It’s a more modern and vital sounding song and only hints at what a Hackett album might sound like if he cut the cord to Roger King and let others take over on vocals. But despite a nagging sense that Hackett is stuck in a formulaic trap of his own devising the album mostly succeeds. Even the vocal songs are buoyed by excellent playing, plus the arrangements give plenty of space to instrumental workouts that leave one convinced that touring all those old Genesis songs rubbed off on him after all.
Note that the two-disk Special Edition also includes a Blue-Ray “Mediabook” with a 5.1 mix, interviews, plus two bonus tracks.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more