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Steve Hackett - Wolflight CD (album) cover

WOLFLIGHT

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 385 ratings

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Green Shield Stamp
4 stars 'Wolflight' is definitely one of Hackett's best albums - up there with 'Voyage of the Acolyte' and 'Spectral Mornings'. Hackett has recently immersed himself in the 'Nursery Cryme' to 'Wind and Wuthering' era of Genesis (his era with the band) through the Genesis Revisited II project. This has obviously rubbed off on his own writing and can be heard in the epic, romantic sweep of much of this album. There is a pervading sound of Eastern exoticism with ethnic world music colourings. In several places this is established through the string orchestra which sounds beautifully lush and blends musical embellishments that at times are reminiscent of the Doctor Zhivago film soundtrack and Russian composer, Rimsky Korsakov's Sheherezade (the start of 'Dust and Dreams' for instance). These Russian-tinged orchestrations are most notable on the title track and the amazing 'Love Song To a Vampire' (my favourite track on the album). In other parts of the album the Eastern sound shifts more towards Arabic flavourings with instruments such as an oud and duduk being used. The track 'Corycian Fire' has a Zeppelinesque Kashmir feel. The songs are strong on this album with big choruses. Hackett doesn't have the strongest voice in the world but on many of the songs his voice is multi tracked ala 10cc 'I'm Not in Love' to create a rich harmonic sound. As you would expect Hackett's guitar chops are displayed extensively throughout but not for their own sake. On this album the instrumental passages are there to serve the song (a principle always observed by Genesis). So we get some 'Bay of Kings' classical guitar stylings to evoke mood and atmosphere as well as some soaring electric guitar passages. Melodically this stands as a strong statement for Hackett, but it doesn't quite measure up to Genesis. Many of the melodies have a folky quality and perhaps lack the inventiveness of those created by his former band. Shame about the album cover which looks like a cheap e-book gothic novel cover.
Green Shield Stamp | 4/5 |

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