STEVE HACKETT - Surrender of Silence (release date: 10th September 2021)


  • Quite frankly, I'm surprised by the lack of comments. Together with the preceding acoustic album it's the best thing he has done since Shrouded, IMO.


    It's full of quotes, too. Apart from quoting himself - "Imagining" (or is it "Achilles Last Stand"?) creeps up in "Cathedral", "Please Don't Touch" in "Sharks" - there's also Prokofieff's "Dance of the Knights" ("Natalia") and Ferrante & Teicher's "Exodus" ("Scorched Earth"). The first ten seconds of "Esperanza" even sound like a slowed down version of a certain extinct national anthem.


    Anyway, I quite like all of that madness. A good year for Steve.

  • Well, not quite ALL of the tracks -- The video that should be "Relaxation Music for Sharks" is actually "Held in the Shadows," which is thus included twice.


    Overall, this is fairly typical of recent Hackett -- plenty of good moments, but too often they just come one after another and are not arranged in such a way as to add up to actual, compelling songs.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • Arrived back from a few days away and gave it the first spin this morning. I’m very pleasantly surprised. I’d feared another album that sounded like the last two but this seems to have a lot more light and shade and some decent melodies. Needs a good few more listens but I think it is a very strong album. I’m looking forward to seeing the two tracks live in Birmingham tomorrow.

  • I heard the album twice and need some time, can’t say good or average right now but obviously Steve plays some wonderful guitar parts. Scorched Earth is a great song

    ... make tomorrow today!

  • Is the 5.1 Mix worth to buy?

    I've given the surround mix a few listens now. It's okay but it's not fantastic, in my view, because there is just so much going on that it is difficult to pick out the nuances.

    SH/Roger King's production style for the last few albums has been to overlay dozens of tracks for every song which makes everything sound so bloody complicated!

    For me, the best 5.1 mixes are for music that is a bit more stripped back and has more 'space' for the main instruments to stand out. Consequently, I find this 5.1 mix quite tiring to listen to.


    Just my personal thoughts though. Other interpretations are allowed :-)

  • Enjoyable album because almost all the songs are in line with the adventure-romantic lyrics and the music that Steve Hackett has accustomed us to.


    Shanghai to Samarkand stands out above all, which would be the envy of Peter Gabriel's world music!


    Leave Natalia and The Devil's Cathedral a bit confused, because they go on the rock opera genre, but on the other hand it was right to explore this path too.


    If I promote Fox's Tango, Wingbeats couldn't leave it for last as a bonus track!?

  • Well, not quite ALL of the tracks -- The video that should be "Relaxation Music for Sharks" is actually "Held in the Shadows," which is thus included twice.

    I note that the "Sharks" goof has now been corrected, so I've been able to listen to the whole album now.


    Miscellaneous, updated thoughts:

    I've decided that it's a good album overall, somewhat better than other recent works.

    Unlike other recent albums there's not just one or two songs making it worthwhile for me; the quality is spread more evenly throughout the album.

    In places where Steve seems to be making a "statement" I'm not entirely sure I'm with him, but that can be overlooked.

    I find "Natalia" far more enjoyable when not watching the video.

    The subtitle of "Sharks" ("featuring Feeding Frenzy") sounds like it could be a humorous nod to the subtitles from IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING.

    There are not as many meandering pieces as I originally thought.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • I've now had a lil' listen.


    Once you get past the wall of sound (which can be a little too much at times), there are some really good tracks that reveal themselves after a few listens: Relaxation Music for Sharks, Held in the Shadows and Shanghai to Samarkand, in particular.


    Hackett's guitar work is phenomenal as ever and Fox's Tango sounds better within the album than as a standalone single.


    As ever, the music just needs to breathe a bit. I'm exhausted after listening!

  • I’ve played it a bit more now and Christian’s review is very fair and says pretty much everything I’ve been thinking. The album is another missed opportunity which has a lot of potential smothered by too many layers of sound and guest appearances. To the point where Wingbeats is almost a relief because it has a recognisable chorus you can sing along to. Yet in terms of ideas, Wingbeats is overshadowed by most other tracks. Cathedral is probably best overall and Nad cuts through what is well described above as a wall of sound. Held in the Shadows also works well. I think Roger King is too integral to the whole set up now to change and he must be credited with helping Steve to be so confident and prolific, but I wonder if he cannot help himself and can’t resist overloading the production. It would be interesting to hear these tracks in some sort of demo form, I bet quite a few would sound better. I fear that if Steve came up with another Everyday, Virgin and the Gypsy, or indeed anything from the first three albums today, they would be lost in labyrinthine twists and turns and travel-by-numbers exotic instrumentation. Yet these albums are close to being very good indeed, just need more - as described by others here- space, room to breathe, a little more attention to melody and less to production. I think he still has at least one more classic album in him but I’m not sure we will get to hear it. I should say his voice sounds great and his playing is exceptional,

    so still much to enjoy, but hard to listen to a lot of it in one go!

  • I have added my own review to this site

    "The Devil's Cathedral stands out because Nad Sylvan and not Steve sings the track - apart from the Genesis Revisited II album, this is a first on a Steve Hackett solo album."


    Actually, Nad also sings "Inca Terra" from The Night Siren. But on that track it's much less obvious that it's not Steve.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • "The Devil's Cathedral stands out because Nad Sylvan and not Steve sings the track - apart from the Genesis Revisited II album, this is a first on a Steve Hackett solo album."


    Actually, Nad also sings "Inca Terra" from The Night Siren. But on that track it's much less obvious that it's not Steve.

    oh, thanks for the heads up! Will adjust this passage