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Steve Hackett - Darktown CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 304 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I was starting to wonder if i'd find a Hackett album that I would give 4 stars to post "Spectral Mornings". Well here's the first one. "Darktown" really surprised and impressed me.The atmosphere, the dark sections, the samples and loops are all things that I wouldn't associate with a Steve Hackett record.

"Omega Metallicus" is just insane with those monster bass lines digging almost all the way to hell. Steve mentions in the liner notes : "Although guitars were stretched, and frets were rattled, no instruments were injured during this recording". "Darktown" is dark with spoken words.The music comes in and takes over then the spoken words return as these contrasts continue. Ian McDonald adds some sax as this heavy beat comes in before 3 minutes. "Man Overboard" was written by Steve in Bermuda while sitting on a rock overlooking Jobson's Cove and watching a sunset. Atmosphere and gentle guitar to start, vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Love the atmosphere. Cool tune. "The Golden Age Of Steam" opens with flute and drums which are promptly replaced by orchestration and fast paced vocals. I like it ! "Days Of Long Ago" opens with choir sounds then the vocals of Scotland's own Jim Diamond takes over. Great voice ! An emotional track. "Dreaming With Open Eyes" is a song that Steve refers to as a car journey put to music. We get a beat with almost spoken vocals. I like the sound when the vocals stop. It continues thankfully when the vocals return. I'm not sure why I find this so moving.

"Twice Around The Sun" opens with atmosphere as a beat joins in. Some abrasive but slowly played guitar comes in. Steve says the sustained guitar note here might be the longest in history.The guitar stops 3 minutes in as a beat with atmosphere leads the rest of the way. So good. "Rise Again" opens with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals along with atmosphere.Vocals stop then drums and a fuller sound arrive after 1 1/2 minutes. Passionate vocals join in. Aggressive guitar comes and goes. "Jane Austen's Door" is a mellow tune with vocals.The focus is on the lyrics. It's about wishing someone the best. My least favourite track. It seems out of place on this album. "Darktown Riot" has these freaky sounds with a heavy beat.This is great ! A dark and inventive tune. In the liner notes it says Roger King is responsible for mellotron plundering,marcato string stealing and choir hijacking. Haha. "In Memoriam" is one of my favourites. Bass samples from John Wetton as well. We get a relaxed melancholic mood as deep reserved vocals join in. Lots of atmosphere too.

While I don't live in Darktown it's a great place to visit.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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