[Review] Steve Hackett – At the edge of light

That Steve Hackett is a legend of the Prog this is certain, over the course of his long career, besides having written memorable pages in the history of music with Genesis, he had an equally important solo career. Stephen Richard Hackett, born February 12, 1950 in Pimlico, London, joined Genesis in 1971, with whom he played throughout the 1970s. In his solo career he has recorded 26 studio albums, the last of which was “At the edge of light”, published January 25, 2019 via InsideOut Music. Contains 10 tracks, the album is available on LP, CD and Digital and, in the special edition also contains a DVD with the documentary on the album. Start with “Fallen Walls And Pedestals” with an overture with dark orchestrations, on which Hackett’s guitar stands out. “Beasts In Our Time” opens with a symphonic sound that incorporates the intro’s notes, enters the expressive and passionate voice of Steve. The excellent compositional skills are put on display, after a vocal acoustic both Townsend’s sax and John Hackett’s flute come into play. The song changes dramatically and increases the power, a great solo on an orchestral rug, and is a crescendo until the end. “Under The Eye Of The Sun” begins with a faster melody and an urgent rhythm, with a penetrating bass line, thus enters a choral vocal. It’s a compelling track, the keyboards and the guitar take the situation in the instrumental pause in hand, where even a digeridoo comes into play. This break has a mystical touch, a sudden acceleration brings us back to the main theme and after a good guitar solo the song closes. “Underground Railroad” has a more American character, it seems to be in the far west, even the oval is in style. In the middle of the song it changes rapidly, turning into a harder sound, with another great detachment of guitarists and choral voices with screams from Tina Turner, and a good solo the track closes. “Those Golden Wings” is the longest track on the record, opening with an orchestral intro of classical music and an acoustic guitar arpeggio, so a melodic vocal enters. After a quick bridge, the song takes on the operatic orchestral connotations, which are transformed again giving space to a long solo modeled to perfection by Hackett. He manages to make everything seem very simple, thanks to his skills as a master on guitar and this song is one of the best moments of the album. “Shadow And Flame” after an oriental intro, with the passing of the minutes the song comes to life. The sitar also enters, reinforcing the oriental and mysterious atmosphere of the track, a short but interesting piece. “Hungry Years” is instead a lighter and easy listening passage, a well-made Pop-Rock, with more voices that are interchanged, acoustic guitar and a relaxed rhythm. In the end there is still space for a good guitar solo. “Descent” begins with the snare drum ready for battle, backed up by an orchestration that reinforces the effect. Some electric guitar insert and the song keeps the same air until the end. “Conflict” is characterized by symphonic orchestrations and the electric guitar that seems to scream, is a brief passage of almost three minutes. “Peace” begins with piano and voice, increasing in intensity as the minutes pass. In the central part a choral section opens the way for an exciting and passionate guitar solo, supported by melancholic orchestrations. An intense album, well-built from beginning to end, highlighting beyond the qualities of musician, even the excellent vocal abilities. A symphonic work at times energetic with different styles and influences to compose a variegated and airy sound. Another excellent chapter in the vast discography of this artist that never ceases to amaze. At the age of 69 he brings into play the experience of a veteran and the energy of a boy. A recommended listening for all Prog music lovers, many well-developed ideas in a high quality record.


1. Fallen Walls And Pedestals (2:17)
2. Beasts In Our Time (6:20)
3. Under The Eye Of The Sun (7:07)
4. Underground Railroad (6:22)
5. Those Golden Wings (11:19)
6. Shadow And Flame (4:24)
7. Hungry Years (4:34)
8. Descent (4:20)
9. Conflict (2:36)
10. Peace (5:03)


Steve Hackett / Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Oud, Charango, Sitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Co-Producer

Durga / Vocals
Loreley / Vocals
Amanda Lehmann / Vocals (3-5,7,10)
Roger King / Keyboards & Programming, Co-Producer, Mixing & Mastering
Ben Fenner / Keyboards
Sheema / Sitar
Malik Mansurov / Tar
Paul Stillwell / Didgeridoo
Rob Townsend / Sax, Bass Clarinet, Duduk
John Hackett / Flute (2,3,5,9)
Christine Townsend / Violin & Viola (5)
Jonas Reingold / Bass (2,3,7)
Dick Driver / Double Bass (3,5)
Nick D’Virgilio / Drums (5)
Simon Phillips / Drums (7)
Gary O’Toole / Drums (1)
Gulli Briem / Drums & Percussion (3)

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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