Steve Hackett, “In the Skeleton Gallery” from The Night Siren (2017): One Track Mind

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Steve Hackett has had a long and illustrious career, first with Genesis then with GTR and as a solo artist. Even 25 or so albums in, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer seems to be just getting started.

Hackett’s most recent tours have merged many of his Genesis classics with new material. Indeed, his last tour for the stellar Wolflight album not only reaffirmed Steve Hackett as a guitarist’s guitarist, but cemented him as a premier songwriter and vocalist.

On Hackett’s upcoming release The Night Siren (due March 24, 2017 via InsideOut), he expands his chest of musical tools infusing a rainbow of musical colors. “In the Skeleton Gallery,” the first song from the album, is a perfect hint of things to come.

With its plodding and deliberate progressive-rock rhythms, “In the Skeleton Gallery” hints at the familiar – at least at first. Steve Hackett’s matter-of-fact vocal delivery is sublime and understated, yet totally fitting. However, a third of the way into the song, progressive and world music are fused, creating the extraordinary.

Rob Townsend’s woodwinds weave a spell with Hackett’s acoustic guitar, then Hackett’s electric Gibson bursts out of nowhere just after the band moves into a jaunty time signature. Hackett’s end solo has the passion of the deranged, and the accuracy of a journeyman. Townsend returns with a passionate soprano solo before the frenzy of “In the Skeleton Gallery” concludes with a satisfying and stately end.

Given this first listen, Steve Hackett appears to be reaching an even higher high in an already stellar career with The Night Siren.

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