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Steve Hackett - Darktown CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 309 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Steve will rise again

Released in between two of Steve Hackett's best studio albums, Guitar Noir and To Watch The Storms, Darktown pales in comparison. The opener Omega Metallicus has awful drum loops and it sounds like a bad remix of a 'proper' Hackett song, rather than an original piece in its own right. And there is some truth to that last statement because this track includes samples from an older Hackett song, Cassandra. Cassandra is available on the Feedback '86 album and in my opinion it is very much better than Omega Metallicus.

Several other songs here, including the title track, are also drenched in those drum loops. Personally, I have an aversion to that sort of thing. Rise Again has a strong melody and it starts out fine. But then enter the horrid programmed drum patterns again, making it sound like a remix. This song is still good, but it could have been so much better.

Man Overboard and The Golden Age Of Steam are fully acceptable Hackett songs, but they do not stand out. Days Of Long Ago is horrible and completely out of place here. I don't know who the vocalist is but it surely is not Steve. You could not have guessed that this is a Hackett song if you didn't know it. Reminds me a lot of those failed guest appearances on the Please Don't Touch album. It is not Hackett's style at all.

My biggest problem with this album, apart from the programmed drums and some weak material, is that the band-feeling is totally absent due to there being too many people involved and the drum duties largly being handed over to computers. Darktown is a solo project in the real sense of the term. For his next album, Steve would surround himself with a real band again. And what a difference that would make!

In Memorian is clearly the best song here, reminding me of King Crimson in their softer, more symphonic moments. This song, together with the good title track are both included on the excellent live DVD Somewhere In South America. And if you already have this excellent DVD, this studio album offers little of interest for people other than Steve's hard core fans - like me!

Only for fans/collectors.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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