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Steve Hackett - Metamorpheus CD (album) cover

METAMORPHEUS

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.59 | 168 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
1 stars Sorry Steve, but this is just dull!

I am an enormous fan of Steve Hackett's career, from the incredible albums he did with Genesis in the 70's through his illustrious solo career spanning five different decades. One of the things that I appreciate so much about Hackett is his eclectic approach fusing influences from Classical, Folk, Jazz, Blues and (progressive) Rock into new and interesting forms. When this eclectic aspect is missing and Steve concentrates on a single style only for a whole album, the result is a lot less interesting. This was the case when he did a pure Blues Rock album in the 90's called Blues With A Feeling, and it is the case with his several purely Classical outings. Metamorpheus is an example of the latter. This album is 100% Classical music throughout and it has absolutely nothing to do with progressive Rock or any kind of Rock.

Another thing that I admire and appreciate in Steve Hackett is his unique and distinctive signature guitar sound on both acoustic and electric guitar. I particularly like when he incorporates both his acoustic and his electric sides on the same album or in the same live performance, or even within the same piece of music. Of course, there are no electric guitars whatsoever on this purely Classical album, but the deeper problem is that Steve's acoustic playing here is not recognizably his own. There is nothing here that reminds me of the Steve Hackett I know and love. He has reduced himself here to just a regular Classical guitar player - a very skilled one for sure, but one without a distinctive sound and style all of his own.

Yet another thing a like about Steve Hackett's Rock albums, such as Defector, Guitar Noir, To Watch The Storms and Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth, to name a few of my favourites, is his skills as a creator of memorable instrumental music. This aspect too is missing on the present album, as this seemingly goes on endlessly without making any kind of lasting impression on me. Frankly I find it dull and find it difficult to sit through it all, and believe me I've tried on numerous occasions.

The reader should keep in mind that I am not a fan of Classical music, but a Rock fan through and through. I cannot properly judge this album for what it is, an album of Classical music. I happily concede that I lack the experience and knowledge to judge it as such. Judging it as a Prog album is however impossible as it does not contain a single trace of anything progressive or anything Rock. I can hear that it is not of low quality by any means, but it simply does very little for me.

But why be so harsh as to give only one star to one of my all time favourite artists? The answer is that I've previously given Bay Of Kings (Steve's first Classical guitar album) and Momentum (his second such album) two stars, and these earlier albums are both clearly better and more memorable for me than Metamorpheus even they are too one-dimensional to merit more than two stars and are clearly less interesting than his Rock albums. Also, even the weakest of Steve's many Rock albums (such as Till We Have Faces, for example) that I've given two stars in the past at least contain a few worthwhile moments and are much more enjoyable for me than the present album. Sorry Steve, with all respect, this just isn't my cup of tea I'm afraid.

SouthSideoftheSky | 1/5 |

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