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Steve Hackett - Wild Orchids CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.75 | 314 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars STEVE HACKETT is turning into a terrible problem for a long time fan as me, each time he releases an album, I love it and don't expect him to continue in the same level, but the guy insists and each new album is at least as good as the previous, if he keeps producing masterpieces in this rhythm, I will soon have financial problems..But to be honest, thanks God for musicians like Steve who keep giving us this problems, money comes and goes, but good music stays with us for ever.

The versatility Steve shows in no longer a surprise, he has jumped from Symphonic to Classical, passing by Jazz, some sort of Avant and now seems more oriented towards a dark form of Symphonic - Ethnic Prog, and is really captivating.

Because I got the Special Edition, won't bore the readers with a detailed review of the 17 tracks, so will focus in the ones that have impressed me more.

The album opener "Transylvanian Express" is simply breathtaking, with greats kills he combines his usual mysterious sound with Romanian Ethnic influences almost in Mazurka rhythm, but without forgetting his Prog roots, radical changes and excellent electric guitar work prove that he's as skilled plugged or unplugged. Excellent drumming and bass.

In "Waters on the Wild" now embraces oriental Folk, despite he's not an amazing singer, he manages to modulate his voice to sound pretty acceptable. Simpler than the previous, is still an interesting change of style, the electric sitar is a nice touch.

"Set Your Compass" is a return to his roots, more melodic and mysterious, but still with a touch of Folk, the vocal work is very well elaborate, somehow I feel the spirit of "Voyage of the Acolyte" in this track, but so well developed that sounds absolutely original, as he had never tried something similar.

"Ego and Id" is another surprise, Steve starts to Rock almost in a metallic style he had never used before and....What a surprise.He does it well again. His electric guitar work in the vein of the Metal masters is outstanding and a constant Hammond backups him efficiently, Wonderful track.

"Cedars of Lebanon" starts with a dark intro, while he scratches the guitar chords to create a rough percussive effect, a dark voice makes the perfect balance, then he gets the acoustic instrument and a well elaborate chorus makes a delightful work. The orchestral instrumental break is extremely beautiful and peaceful, but don't get confident, he starts to get wilder as the song goes "in crescendo" ending as it started.

"She Moves in Memories" is more than I expected, now STEVE HACKETT invades the classical territory, not that it's the first time he does this, but in the context of this album is pretty unexpected. A great stress reliever and a chance to listen one of the most versatile musicians ever.

"Howl" makes me think that Steve still has a place in his heart for GENESIS, even though it's different to anything he did with the great band, the atmosphere keeps reminding me of Wind & Wuthering...I can't simply respect more a musician that uses influences in such a way that always sounds absolutely original.

The album is closed with "Until the Last Butterfly", an excellent acoustic track created by Steve and for nobody to play it except him, his style is so peculiar that any other musician doesn't matter how great, would sound unnatural playing this song.

Haven't mentioned several tracks, but not because their quality which is outstanding, but because a very long review would get boring and spoil the effect this album will produce in a listener.

No doubts, 5 stars for Wild Orchids and for STEVE HACKETT'S career.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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