Something Else! sneak peek: Steve Hackett, "Chamber of 32 Doors" (2012)

The opening track from guitarist Steve Hackett’s forthcoming Genesis Revisited II project premiered just moments ago on planetrock.com, giving prog rock fans a sneak peek into this guest-packed tribute project.

The redo of “Chamber of 32 Doors,” originally included on Peter Gabriel’s swan song with Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in 1974, begins with a gorgeous, classically inspired intro — before Hackett lifts off into the track’s familiar soaring guitar signature.

Nad Sylvan from Agents of Mercy then takes over for Gabriel, and his vocal at times bears a striking resemblance to the former Genesis frontman, even as he adds additional emotional timbres by approaching the lyric in a less conversational manner. What’s interesting about this new version, too, is the remarkable control displayed by Hackett, who approaches his instrument with a mature restraint.

[STREAM IT HERE!: You can stream “Chamber of 32 Doors,” the opening track from Steve Hackett’s upcoming ‘Genesis Revisited II,’ through PlanetRock.com. Click here!]

Genesis Revisited II, set for release in October through InsideOut Music, features star turns by Porcupine Tree’s Steve Wilson, Marillion’s Steve Rothery, Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt, Neal Morse, John Wetton and the Flower Kings/Transatlantic’s Roine Stolt. Together, they reexamine two-discs worth of material from Hackett’s 1971-77 stint with the band. That period spanned both the Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins eras, lasting from Nursery Cryme through Wind and Wuthering.

“Chamber of 32 Doors” will be streaming exclusively through Planet Rock for the next seven days. “It’s a cross between rock, gospel, orchestral, country music — it’s all of those things,” Hackett says of the song, in the album-preview video embedded above. “I think it depicts that hybrid that Genesis was — it marks the material out from anything that other bands had done.”

Genesis Revisited II is set for release in the UK, France and Greece on October 22, 2012; then in America, Italy and Spain on October 23, and Australia and New Zealand on October 26. The complete track listing is below.

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Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Steve Hackett, Genesis and Agents of Mercy. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: GUITARIST STEVE HACKETT, FORMERLY OF GENESIS: Hackett, who still nurtures a lasting affinity for classical music, has leapt headlong back into prog rock — putting the finishing touches on a collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire, even as he begins work on an album that will reexamine his celebrated tenure as guitarist with Genesis. Hackett went in depth on the new project with Squire, the guitarist’s celebrated tenure with Genesis, and the sweeping impact of J.S. Bach on his playing style.

AGENTS OF MERCY – THE BLACK FOREST (2011): The Black Forest, perhaps unsurprisingly, features a walk through twilit, spooky woodlands. Thankfully, however, Swedish prog-rockers Agents of Mercy manage to sidestep the typical genre nemesis like, say, a dragon. Instead, this swirling, half-lit landscape is used as a metaphor for life’s mysteries.That’s not the last time that Agents of Mercy’s third studio album surprises, as you’re taken on a journey that is by turns disturbing, scary — oh, and in another left turn, often very loud. There’s more of a heavy-rock feel than previous Agents of Mercy efforts, in particular on “Black Sunday” and “Citadel,” which owe far more inspirationally to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and early King Crimson than to, say, Yes or Genesis. At the same time, the panoramic opening title track streaks impressively from this bucolic serenity over to a billowing symphonic grandeur.

GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE GENESIS, WELL, SUCKED: Here, we sort through the worst of the worst — and that’s all — from the Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Ray Wilson eras of this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band. Certain things within Genesis’ established band narrative went by the wayside, though: We didn’t ding the early albums for their sometimes cloying sense of very-British whimsy, nor their later albums when they settled for by-the-numbers reproductions of Collins’ solo ballad style. We wanted to delve into things far more egregious than those run-of-the-mill annoyances … the times when they didn’t seem to have an invisible touch. Whatever that means.

ONE TRACK MIND: STEVE HACKETT ON “FIRTH OF FIFTH,” “WHEN THE HEART RULES THE MIND,” OTHERS: Hackett, who’s readying a new collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire, talks about how joining Genesis spurred him to a series of memorable inventions on his instrument. And how one of these pioneering moments would one day help create a signature part of Eddie Van Halen’s high-flying solo sound. We also go inside the brief and stormy collaboration with Steve Howe in the mid-1980s called GTR, and Hackett’s genre-busting return to prog rock in 2009.

Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited II track listing:
Disc 1:
1. Chamber Of 32 Doors
2. Horizons
3. Supper’s Ready
4. The Lamia
5.Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
6. Fly On A Windshield
7. Broadway Melody of 1974
8. The Musical Box
9. Can-Utility And The Coastliners
10. Please Don’t Touch
Disc 2:
1.Blood On The Rooftops
2. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed
3. Entangled
4. Eleventh Earl Of Mar
5. Ripples
6. Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers
7.In That Quiet Earth
8. Afterglow
9. A Tower Struck Down
10. Camino Royale
11. Shadow Of The Hierophant

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • http://leedscombinedarts.org.uk Barbara Elaine Kirk

    I’ll definitely have this on my Christmas list!