At The Edge Of Light
***** 5 stars
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Steve Hackett has had many Eureka! moments during his stellar Genesis and solo career and his latest At The Edge Of Light continue his golden roll of inspired releases. The intense recipe of world (and otherworldly) musical sounds on this faultless recording, explode in all directions like a sonic firecracker of wondrous mellifluence.
Cleverly flipping between traditional rock music instrumentation and the more exotic, Hackett re-affirms his maestro status from the off on the subtle Fallen Walls and Pedestals before unleashing a musical monster on Beasts in Our Time.
The gospel-tinged Underground Railway and the melodious Those Golden Wings unfurl an epic adventure of instrumentation throughout their densely textured compositions.
However, it’s the final coup de grace of Descent, Conflict and Peace which finds Hackett unchained and fully let loose, with orchestral backing, bringing this outstanding recording to a fiery finale.
Please Remain Seated
**** 4 Stars
A radical re-working of their most cherished songs, from a peerless back catalogue of UK hard rock classics, has breathed not only new life but, in most cases, produced totally fresh and surprising perspectives.
The hard veneer of the original recordings has been softly polished revealing a surprising depth and texture as the band’s versatility bends these classy tunes to their will. Like musical alchemists, Thunder runs the gamut of musical styles as they turn hard rock faves Girl’s Going Out of Her Head and Fly on the Wall into both woozy jazzy blues and lilting reggae tones respectively.
And these re-imagining revelations find them re-branding the cutting hard edge of Empty City into a laid back bluesy beauty too.
Perversely proving that there is more to the less is more adage with the sharp re-arrangements of these hard rock standards from their vaults, Thunder has re-invented the musical wheel and roll with swaggering style on this first-class release.
Who Do You Trust?
(Eleven Seven Music)
**** 4 Stars
Hard to define, yet Papa Roach has racked up over 20 million sales and counting with their catchy, rhythmic sonic wall of guitar sound.
Big choruses and heavy guitar chords dominate this cracking release as Maniac and the more experimental nuances of Elevate amply demonstrates.
Yet it’s the visceral energy on I Suffer Well and the ambient-tinged Better Than Life which reveals the range and musical vision of a band not afraid to still take risks.