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Steve Hackett – The Circus and the Nightwhale – Album Review

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Steve Hackett – The Circus and the Nightwhale – Album Review

Steve Hackett – The Circus and the Nightwhale
Origin: UK
Release: 16.02.2024
Label: InsideOut Music
Duration: 44:07
Genre: Progressive Rock

Photo Credit: Tina Korhonen

The master and prog rock veteran Steve Hackett honors us, his fans, with new ear food. A real new album with new songs in which he at least doesn’t directly contribute to his work Genesis pays homage.

The work is called The Circus and the Nightwhale and it is a conceptual work about a young boy Travla, who accompanies the thirteen tracks throughout his life.

A progressive rock life cycle

With the additional information that this new album has strong autobiographical features, one might get the idea that Mr. Hackett is now at the point where he is looking back on his career, which has spanned over five decades, and drawing conclusions. The line up is constant. Next to Roger King Hackett’s usual names can be read on the keyboards, such as Jonas Reingold on bass, or Above Sylvan on the microphone. Music is also on The Circus and the Nightwhale Don’t expect any major changes compared to previous rock albums.

Nevertheless, the listener gets the pleasant feeling of not having heard everything in variation before. The master’s guitar has always been majestic and at the center of the action, but on the new album the pace picks up and the excellent rhythm section gets sweaty. That will be the opener People of the Smoke clear what you are talking about HERE can convince.

Old gentlemen’s program at its best

Also, some of the songs on the Vorwerk were suspiciously close to hits. All of this is largely avoided on the current work and they play a high-class form of their own subgenre of progressive rock. Except on Ghost Moon And Living Love maybe, that varies between sweet and pandering. But also on The Circus and the Nightwhale Hackett’s prog squadron undertakes stylistic excursions into distant regions, such as the Middle Eastern touch Circus Hell.

Into The Nightwhale is a very typical song with pounding beats and jubilant guitars. The obligatory blues rock breakdown is included Found and Lost pleasingly short.

Conclusion
Who knows how many albums there are? Steve Hackett will still exist. At least the old master and his companions have each other The Circus and the Nightwhale put a lot of effort into it again. We’re welcome to continue at this level. 9 / 10

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Line Up
Steve Hackett – guitars, vocals
Roger King – keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements
Rob Townsend – Saxophon
Jonas Reingold – Bass
Nad Sylvan – Gesang
Craig Blundell – drums
Amanda Lehmann – Gesang
John Hackett – flute
Guest musician
Nick D’Virgilio – drums
Hugo Degenhardt – drums
Benedict Fenner – Keyboards
Malik Mansurov – Guitarre

Tracklist
01. People Of The Smoke
02. These Passing Clouds
03. Taking You Down
04. Found And Lost
05. Enter The Ring
06. Get Me Out!
07. Ghost Moon and Living Love
08. Circus Inferno
09. Breakout
10. All At Sea
11. Into The Nightwhale
12. Wherever You Are
13. White Dove

Links
Facebook Steve Hackett
Steve Hackett website

Also on Soundmagnet.eu
Album Review – Steve Hackett – Under A Mediterranean Sky
Editor’s recommendation – Esthesis – Progressive Art Rock from France
Live Album Review – Moonspell – From Down Below – Live 80 Meters Deep

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