When we last heard new music from Steve Hackett it was 2011 with the album “Beyond the Shrouded Horizon.” Since then, Steve has been VERY busy with the “Genesis Revisited II” double album and the multiple world tours to support that release. Finally, we get to hear some new material and “Wolflight” is well worth the wait!
The album is unmistakably Steve Hackett, since no one plays quite like the man himself. Stylistically, the album adds some elements not heard before in his music, more orchestration and world music. While songs like “Love Song to a Vampire” and “The Wheel’s Turning” sound like classic Steve Hackett songs, with sweeping melodies and soaring guitars, songs like “Corycian Fire,” “Dust and Dreams” and the title track find Steve exploring exotic, world music. The result is very diverse sounding and multi-cultured album.
The album reflects lyrically on the fight for freedom which, when supported by the global scale of the music, feels like a journey around the world. Who better to take us on a voyage with each song than Steve Hackett? And I have to mention his playing, especially his often overlooked acoustic playing. There is no mistaking his sound and tone. Sure Genesis fans recall “Horizons,” but “Wolflight” has its own acoustic masterpiece in “Earthshine” which leads into the beautiful (also acoustic) “Loving Sea.” This is followed by the stomp of “Black Thunder” and eventually the two part closers: “Dust and Dreams” and “Heart Song.” “Heart Song” is a very memorable and incredibly sweet song. “Love will find a way.”
Good things come to those who wait and “Wolflight” is no exception. The album ranks with albums like “Spectral Mornings,” “Voyage of the Acolyte” or the newer “Out of the Tunnel's Mouth” which is one of my personal favorites. Steve has had quite a renaissance over the last 5-10 years and he has yet another masterpiece in “Wolflight.”