Review of Wolflight by Rok Podgrajsek

Oh dear. Has it really been 4 years since the last Steve Hackett release? Both Out of the Tunnel's Mouth and Beyond the Shrouded Horizon are still thoroughly resonating inside my head, with a combination of melodic-romantic charm and progressive goodness that only Steve Hackett can conjure up. He has set the bar really high with his last few releases and I was hoping he would continue in this rich vein of inspiration that he's been on lately.

I was certainly keeping my fingers crossed, not only for Mr Hackett but also for myself and all music fans, who would be able to listen to another musical journey through the mind of one of the most influential and inspired guitarists and composers.

My hopes were fortunately justified as Steve Hackett delivers on all fronts yet again. While he spent a lot of time touring with Genesis material, his song-writing skills have obviously not become rusty. He continues pretty much where he left off with Beyond the Shrouded Horizon, masterfully balancing acoustic parts with blistering electric guitar, world music with classical influences and his rock pedigree, vocal beauty and instrumental bliss. The songs are beautifully constructed and engaging in their apparent simplicity. When you delve deeper, Hackett's song-writing skills shine through and you are able to peel back the many layers of music Hackett builds. The end result is majestic and impressive, a real experience for the ears and all you can do is sit back again and enjoy the ride.

The only (minor) criticism is that stylistically and sonically the album is very close to its two predecessors. Some might wish Steve to explore a bit more and while I agree with that to an extent, I also think that Steve has found a unique blend and sound and it appears to be working well. His music is recognisable from a mile off and he doesn't need to prove himself to anyone. I believe Wolflight will remain in favour with fans for a long time to come, just like the two previous studio albums. The maestro has struck again! Be careful the music doesn't knock you out!

9 out of 10