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


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.85 | 445 ratings

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4 stars I think of Steve Hackett as the Artillery man from 'The War of the Worlds', because when he left Genesis it was so that he could create soundscapes away from the restrictions of being in a band. But has he ever delivered? Personally, I'd say no, although the ride has had its moments...

So here we are more than three decades after the split. The rubbishy 'Out of the tunnel's mouth' commenced yet another new era of fiscal and creative restraint. After that, even I was undecided about buying this new album... Thankfully, I relented, because this is indeed a fine piece of work...

The album 'Guitar Noir' was the start of a new era and sound for SH. The 'Steve Hackett band' was gone, and we were treated to a more restrained, more personal approach. Sorry Steve, but you can't sing, and it'll never be the substitute for a real singer. It compromises the music too much. However this was to be the new SH. There's been the odd song that has scaled the heights, but generally it's been hard work.

What 'Beyond the shrouded horizon' represents to me is an anthology of his work since (but including) 'Guitar Noir.' The negative aspects of this are Steve's own singing, the harmonica and the blues.

Despite this, there are many, many positives in this album. For example, Steve is in cracking form with the guitar, and there's plenty of it! The band back him up supremely too, Then there's the production, which I guess is the work of Roger King. He manages to bring all the complexities together in a very polished offering.

Steve's singing is still a problem, for me at least, When we finally hear someone who can sing (Gary O'toole I think, in 'a place called freedom') it sounds like a 'proper' song,

Regardless, everyone on the project excels themselves, bringing all the ideas on offer here to fruition. There's a great first song, tremendous drumming in it's reprise. A strong middle section to the album too, plus a strong and moody ending as well. It's a complete package. World's music? No, not really. Maybe I've heard too much already for this to make any in roads in that area.

So, it's Steve at his post-nineties best, and this album deserves to sell well, but...

Can Steve ever take us to the place he promised all those years ago? Well, with Roger King onboard, who knows? There are brief examples to be heard in this album, so it IS an avenue that Steve could go down. Then again, with Steve there's no telling where we're heading next. Regardless, this was a very nice stop-over.

sussexbowler | 4/5 |


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