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Steve Hackett

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Steve Hackett Wolflight album cover
3.74 | 429 ratings | 12 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Out of the Body (2:29)
2. Wolflight (8:00)
3. Love Song to a Vampire (9:18)
4. The Wheel's Turning (7:24)
5. Corycian Fire (5:47)
6. Earthshine (3:20)
7. Loving Sea (3:22)
8. Black Thunder (7:32)
9. Dust and Dreams (5:33)
10. Heart Song (2:51)

Total Time 55:36

Bonus tracks on IOM CD/BD Special edition:
11. Pneuma (2:52)
12. Midnight Sun (4:32)

Video extras on IOM CD/BD Special edition:
13. Steve Hackett Discusses Recording Wolflight (7:00)
14. Steve Hackett Discusses Wolflight Artwork (7:18)
15. Wolflight track-by-track (31:24)

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Hackett / electric, 12-string & acoustic guitars, oud (5,9), tiple (7), banjo (8), harmonica (4,8), percussion (1,4,7), lead, harmony & backing vocals, co-producer

- Amanda Lehmann / vocals (2-4,8)
- Joanna Hackett / vocals (4)
- Eyţór Ingi Gunnlaugsson / vocals (12)
- Ţorvaldur Bjarni Ţorvaldsson / guitar & co-producer (12)
- Roger King / keyboards & programming, co-producer, mixing & mastering
- Kjartan Valdemarsson / keyboards (12)
- Rob Townsend / saxophone (4,8), duduk (5)
- Nick Beggs / bass, Chapman Stick (8)
- Chris Squire / bass (3)
- Eiđur Arnarsson / bass (12)
- Gary O'Toole / drums (1-5,8)
- Hugo Dagenhardt / drums (9,10)
- Benedikt Brynleifsson / drums (12)
- Ólafur Hólm Einarsson / drums (12)
- Christine Townsend / violin & viola (1-4,8)
- Malik Mansurov / tar (2)
- Sara Kováсs / didgeridoo (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Maurizio and Angéla Vicedomini with Harry Pearce (design)

2LP+CD Inside Out Music - 0507071 (2015, Europe)
2LP+CD Inside Out Music - IOMLP 417, 0507071 (2015, Europe) Limited edition white vinyl

CD Inside Out Music -0507072 (2015, Germany)
CD+Blu-ray Inside Out Music - 0507070 (2015, Germany) With 2 bonus tracks and Bonus BD including HiRes Stereo & 5.1 Surround mixes plus video interviews

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy STEVE HACKETT Wolflight Music

STEVE HACKETT Wolflight ratings distribution

(429 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

STEVE HACKETT Wolflight reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars The concept of this album is about the relation between human and the Wolf. Also important is the hours before dawn, because it's the time that the wolf are hunting and that Steve Hackett like to write his songs. It's a unique time to let things comes naturally without any distractions. Steve has met some real wolves and played with them even if the cover could look digitally made. Now for the music, there's enough variations from one song to the other to have a good time listening the whole album all the way through. There is also many variations possible with the guitar that can be used to make percussive sounds. There's some classical sounds, flamenco and naturally some more heavy rock passages. So there is a contrast in the music with some dark ambiances and lighter atmosphere. The use of harmonica gives another color to the music. The world music sounds makes you travel in a foreign country. The choir harmonies are developed and Steve who never was the best vocalist did not push his voice too much here with better results. "Love songs to a Vampire" feature Chris Squire on bass and after a peaceful intro has many mood changes. "The Wheel's turning" put you in the amusement park's ambiance and remind me of music from his first albums. The excellent "Corycian Fire" has a world music atmosphere with world music instruments. "Black Thunder" is another great track with dark atmosphere and some nice drums and bass. There is also some interlude pieces and some less memorable songs that complete the picture of this enjoyable album.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mister Steve Hackett still delivers the goods, obviously not intent to rest on his considerable laurels and releasing another masterful work, showing that he remains predictably unpredictable. He has found new energy on the electric scene, not surprising as he has always come across as a consummate musician and a fan (his list of guest appearances runs in pages). When you have a bass/stick man of Nick Beggs' stature, how can one not be inspired? That was a true find, Stevo!

The greatest attribute I can think of in anointing Hackett with special accolades is that he gives the fans what they want: guitar innovations and solos! He is not a musical dilettante who amuses his ego by playing sloppily (and rarely) just to piss others off! I actually showed some you tube vids to an unsuspecting female music fan (who knew nothing of Hackett but knew of "Abacab") and she was shocked how great control and technique he displayed.

There are a few outright jewels here, from the title track to the exhilarating "Love Song to a Vampire", an archetypical Hackett anthem that blends a fabulous melody, choir work, blistering guitar phrasings, a thunderous beat and a genial structure that keeps things palpitating ! That choir blast amid the Roger King orchestrations is insane BTW! Instant pleasure!

The Brits seem fascinated by the carnival, it's an oft repeated theme in both music and film, a merry go round of seemingly simple social pleasures that are overt on the playful "The Wheel's Turning", mixing in the circus like stylings with some brawny playing (Beggs and drummer O'Toole really flex their muscles here), while Hackett tears off some wah-wah licks to great effect. Slightly bluesy and pure fun!

"Corycian Fire" refers to the Corycian cave in Greece, where the oracle began in ancient times and it depicts the rights of wild women invoking the rebirth of Dionysus. Hackett gives the piece a slight Mediterranean touch, with brash percussives and almost Wagnerian chanting that explodes mightily into the soaring sky.

The acoustic Hackett is equally enthralling, so "Earthshine" fulfills that function brilliantly, showcasing his ridiculous maitrise, his picking is phenomenal, rapid and precise. "Loving Sea" has a highly 70s resonance both musically and lyrically, lead and backing vocals conspiring together to create a very pastoral sound, sort of CSNY with prog tendencies. So as such such, its nice but not memorable.

But "Black Thunder" fixes that in a hurry, a booming and volatile beat with the rhythm section doing some serious heavy damage. The guitar attack is nasty, the choir backing voluptuous and the soloing simply devastating. Lots of stop and start themes, mood swings, hodgepodge of industrial sounds and a wickedly tortured solo, you really see the visceral Hackett at work here, not exactly softening up his old age attitude. He can and does, still rock. The highlight track must assuredly be "Dust and Dreams" , a perfect groove laid down by the Beggs-O'Toole tandem riding on burning coals, hot and smoldering, as Hackett drapes his Siberian toned guitar and unleashes a solo that curdles the blood and gooses the skin. Brrrrrr, bloody magic! The mood is oppressive, symphonic and demented, having a similar feel to his classic tune "In Memoriam" off the Darktown album.

This is not his best ever but a close third after Voyage and Spectral, a solid release by prog's resident strongman and legend. 4 lupo lux

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Wolves and vampires

After the massively successful Genesis Revisited tour, Steve Hackett announced another solo album to be called Wolflight. I had the hope then that it would be an album in the style of Genesis Revisited II but with new, original material and utilizing the touring band including the Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins-like vocals of Nad Sylvan. Instead, Wolflight is an album very much in the same style as Steve's previous half-dozen Rock albums. Not that I mind another album in that style as I like these albums very much with To Watch The Storms, Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth, and Guitar Noir being my favourites from recent decades. Yet, I still feel that Steve's recent handful of albums have followed a rather similar formula. Even some of the song-titles are similar to earlier songs with the title track risking to be confused with the earlier song Wolfwork from 2006's Wild Orchids or the track Love Song To A Vampire with Vampire with a Healthy Appetite from Guitar Noir. Nonetheless, Wolflight is by no means uninspired and is indeed yet another good entry in a long string of good albums that Steve has produced since the 90's.

There is as usual a dark mood and an eclectic mixture of influences ranging from Folk to Classical to Blues (Rock) to (progressive) Rock and beyond. Steve's vocals and guitar work is as strong as ever and the songs are good. The first half of the album is especially strong but I feel that the last few tracks are less memorable. Overall, I think that Wolflight is a bit stronger than the previous Beyond The Shrouded Horizon but not as good as Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth.

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars It's always a little concerning when a veteran band or solo artist (and in Hackett's case, he was a veteran of about 45 years at this point) with a successful career behind them is actively proclaiming their latest album as possibly the best thing they'd ever done. With Hackett, his proclamations concerning Wolflight were at least a little more plausible than corresponding proclamations might have been from others, given the generally high quality of his later-period works, but while I was glad to see that Hackett had gotten back to making new solo material rather than milking Genesis Revisited II for the rest of his life, some nagging concerns took hold in my mind even before I saw that Hackett was hyping this up pretty hard. By this point, it had been a little while since Beyond the Shrouded Horizon and A Life Within a Day, and the thought crossed my mind that Hackett, in the midst of working on new material during his downtime between GR shows, would (a) get it into his head that he somehow needed to prove something with his new album (in order to counter the return of the "Oh he's the old guitarist for Genesis" persona that he'd spent most of his career trying so hard to avoid), and (b) would have had a little too much time to tinker with the material endlessly. I mean, while I'm a big fan of Beyond the Shrouded Horizon, a great deal of what I find charming about it is that it does not feel to me like somebody self-consciously trying to make a great album, and instead just sounds like the best product of Hackett's "hey this could sound neat" era. Well, Wolflight ends up bringing a lot of my fears to fruition, even if it's still a rather good album on the whole. In a weird way, it reminds me of Up by Peter Gabriel; not in how the music actually sounds, of course, but in the way that it sounds endlessly worked on in a way that makes me wonder if an earlier draft of the album might have sounded a bit better.

In terms of how this album actually sounds, it's still basically in the same vein as most typical late-period Hackett, but it also gives me the sense that Hackett listened to Voyage of the Acolyte a lot of times while making this and felt it necessary in some way to get back to his "pure" prog roots a bit more (another good comparison would be the long instrumental breaks in "Emerald and Ash"). The tracks that are meant to be medium-length "epics" tend to take pretty solid core material and pad them out with LOTS of long and complicated instrumental breaks that generally sound great for a little while but end up striking me as completely excessive, even though I'm generally partial to such things. "Wolflight" starts off with some great Mid-Eastern-tinged guitar flourishes (and then bits that sound like they're out of the soundtrack to a Tim Burton movie) before going into a nice anthem/ballad cross that sounds like typical solid late-period Hackett (lots of acoustic guitar, lots of orchestra-ish synths), but the guitar-driven passages, as entertaining as they might be at any given individual moment, are just too much of a good thing. The 9-minute "Love Song to a Vampire" is damned beautiful and atmospheric and decadent in the main song portion, but again, there's too much song and too many instrumental breaks that are too similar in overall effect to hold my attention for the whole length. "Corycian Fire" starts off quiet and mystic, but then it turns into something pretty close to "A Life Within a Day" in terms of trying to milk the vibe of "Kashmir" pretty hard, and while I like the speedy licks that underpin the final passage, I find the bombastic choir pretty ridiculous.

Not all of the longer tracks make me feel this uneasy, fortunately. "The Wheel's Turning" starts off with a goofy dark dose of circus music like something off of To Watch the Storms or Wild Orchids, and it morphs into a surprisingly memorable and cheery song, but instead of trying to wreck the rest of the song, the instrumental passages are varied enough in a fun way (complete with a great and all-too-brief harmonica break) to make me enjoy it a lot. "Black Thunder" alternates between quiet and graceful passages, on the one hand, and pounding hard rock licks (with a really fascinating guitar sound in its best moments), on the other, and while it probably shouldn't last more than seven minutes, it's still a lot of fun. And the closing combination of "Dust and Dreams" and "Heart Song" makes for a rousing conclusion; "Dust and Dreams" is one of Steve's best dalliances with Middle Eastern music, as he creates an intoxicating instrumental that often reminds me of the dance of a coiled cobra before a snake charmer, and the way it so seamlessly connects with the love balladry of "Heart Song" serves as a great example as to why I find his solo work so enjoyable at times.

Of course, as often happens with Hackett solo albums, I find myself drawn most to the material that was probably not front and center in Steve's mind as he was putting together the album. "Earthshine" is a delightful acoustic instrumental on an album that badly needs one of Hackett's delightful acoustic instrumentals, as is the bonus track "Pneuma," which is basically in the same vein but a little more subdued in mood. "Loving Sea" comes within a hair of sounding exactly like Simon and Garfunkel, and it's so cheery and memorable and so unexpected that it perks me up and makes me happy every time I hear it. And finally, the remaining bonus track, "Midnight Sun," might just well be the best track on the entire disc, a song full of terrific intensity that always feels like it's not being fully unleashed, and with Hackett providing light decorative texture in the background until it's unleashed just enough for about 30 seconds in the middle.

In the end, I do like this album, but I ended up having to try a little harder than I've become accustomed to with assimilating late-period Hackett in order to get to that point. For all of its better aspects, this is his weakest "regular" album since Darktown, and the first of his albums in the 21st century that I wouldn't necessarily consider a must listen for anybody who generally likes Hackett. Also, the cover kinda sucks.

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is one of the few modern prog albums in my collection, having picked it up only shortly after its release. And I will say that while I don't typically care for modern prog, this album was a pleasant surprise, though that probably owes to the fact that Steve Hackett isn't exactly a modern prog artist, having been playing for 40+ years. "Wolflight" is a collection of songs that Steve Hackett has written while traveling around the world, as described in the liner notes, and the variety of experiences Steve has had is certainly reflected in the eclectic style of the music.

There's plenty of different stuff on "Wolflight", from dramatic ballads like "Love Song To A Vampire" to rock and blues in "The Wheel's Turning" to the latin-esque "Earthshine". It also ranges from calm and serene in "Heart Song" to upbeat in "Loving Sea" to pseudo-metal in the title track. In terms of the sound of the album, much of the music comes across as sounding a lot more like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai than Hackett's Genesis. The production is smooth and clear and the performances are well-executed; Steve has clearly been in the business long enough to know how to lay down a quality album.

There isn't really any bad material on "Wolflight" and it makes for a good, reliable listening experience. However, there isn't really any memorable content, either. A good but non- essential album and a must-have for Hackett fans.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Steve falling in love? Higher amount of tender longs/ballads is unusual for Steve Hackett's solo albums. This one has a particular place in the discography due to fine melodies, high accessibility and solid guitar playing (as usual). Thankfully, there are also longer tracks that stay in your ... (read more)

Report this review (#2339821) | Posted by sgtpepper | Monday, March 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As a definitve Genesis fan, mainly of the Hackett era, I was always a bit disappointed by his solo efforts. I liked some tracks on the first albums, but that's all. Then, I saw him this year for Genesis Revisited and he did some personal tracks as well, and It was good. So, I'm trying now to l ... (read more)

Report this review (#2050416) | Posted by renaudbb | Thursday, November 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review # 50. Steve Hackett needs no introduction. He is one of the finest guitar players of the last decades. He was present in the first and most important period of Genesis before quitting the band and follow a solo career. I'm not a music critic, so I will try to approach this album fro ... (read more)

Report this review (#1709820) | Posted by The Jester | Monday, April 10, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was my first introduction to the magical world of Steve Hackett.One day early in 2016 I was checking out good albums that I missed in 2015 and the cover of this album caught my attention. I knew who Hackett was so I decided to try it and boy I was surprised. Hackett is clearly a guitar virtuoso ... (read more)

Report this review (#1516604) | Posted by Progkid | Thursday, January 21, 2016 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Steve Hackett has often returned to darker themes, with occasional gothic themes such as the songs "Vampire with a healthy appetite", "Wolfwork", "Transylvanian Express", "The Devil is an Englishman" , songs with a touch of humour. And some albums have had an overall dark or gloomy, melancholic fe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1462198) | Posted by wilmon91 | Thursday, September 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett's 24th solo studio album shows the maturity of a songwriter and musician who hasn't forgotten his roots. All told, Mr. Hackett has released more solo albums than all the other members of Genesis combined. He is the only Genesis alumni to still re-record an ... (read more)

Report this review (#1395299) | Posted by dough1225 | Tuesday, April 7, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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 obv ... (read more)

Report this review (#1392145) | Posted by Green Shield Stamp | Thursday, April 2, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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