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Steve Hackett - Beyond The Shrouded Horizon CD (album) cover

BEYOND THE SHROUDED HORIZON

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.84 | 335 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Blues with a feeling

Beyond The Shrouded Horizon is another good release from the ever prolific Steve Hackett. This one is not as good as 2009's Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth or 2003's excellent To Watch The Storms, but it is a good example of the kind of music that Steve has been doing pretty much since 1994's Guitar Noir. This means Rock with influences from Blues, Jazz, Folk, World and Classical music. While always eclectic, it is not necessarily progressive. He occasionally manages to fuse the various elements together into something genuinely new and exciting and when he does, Hackett can create really wonderful music. This time around I think that he has been slightly less good at that than on some other of his recent releases. Don't get me wrong though, this is a good album. But within such a vast and prodigious discography, Beyond The Shrouded Horizon does not stand out for me. It's just another good Steve Hackett album. If such great albums as Guitar Noir, To Watch The Storms and Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth did not exist however, who knows how impressed I might have been by this one?

Overall, this is an enjoyable and varied Rock album. I am personally not at all fond of straightforward Blues Rock and sadly Hackett insists on doing several such numbers on this album. There are also a couple of pure Classical guitar pieces. These function very well as pleasant interludes, but they are not very exciting in their own right. Prog fans are bound to get extra interested when they see that the closing track is nearly 12 minutes long. But if someone expects anything like a lost Genesis classic, they are bound to be disappointed by this otherwise decent and moderately progressive piece.

It is impressive that Steve manages to be so productive and release a steady stream of Rock albums, Classical albums, live albums and live DVDs. But there is always the risk that even his most loyal fans will eventually grow tired of even high quality products. I love Steve's music and have enjoyed pretty much every new release of his, but I feel that if he should continue releasing new studio albums at the current rate he ought to let his sound evolve a bit (preferably away from Blues Rock and toward Prog). Anyone familiar with Hackett's back catalogue is unlikely to be taken by surprise by Beyond The Shrouded Horizon despite its many fine qualities.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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