fri 12/08/2022

CD: Steve Rothery - The Ghosts of Pripyat | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Steve Rothery - The Ghosts of Pripyat

CD: Steve Rothery - The Ghosts of Pripyat

Marillion guitar man with an evocative, slow-burning solo

Rothery: icy and mournful

The more I listen to Steve Rothery the more convinced I am he possesses one of the fattest, juiciest guitar tones around. Rothery really should be seen as one of the more interesting stylists of his generation. The reality, however, is that he remains dreadfully underrated: his own Wikipedia page even faint-praises him as once winning an award for Yorkshire and Humberside’s best guitarist. Ghosts of Pripyat, Rothery's first solo album, may not remedy this.

Fans, though, will love it. 

Assembled through crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and now finally on general release, this has been a labour of love: 55 minutes of filmic, instrumental music with cameos from friends like Steve Hackett (formerly of Genesis). Pripyat, in case you're wondering, was the residential town (now deserted) for Chernobyl workers. It's there on the cover art: a place of icy mournfulness – just like much of the album. At its best the music is reminiscent of the Ritchie Blackmore classics "Vielleicht Das Nächster Zeit” and “Weiss Heim”. Elsewhere though, things are not a million miles from Marillion. 

And unfortuantely, it's where the pieces fall back on such phrasing and motifs that they become a little disjointed. Still, the real meat is consistently tasty. The nuggets include the acoustic intro to the title track, the Jeff Buckley-esque riff from "Kendris", and the staccato rhythms of "Yesterday’s Hero". And, over the top, Rothery’s gorgeously lyrical guitar sings in its inimitable thick timbe. Critics can be quick to dismiss old prog rockers with their symphonic pretentions and nerdy emphasis on technique. Albums like this, though, suggest there's still plenty of life left in them.


Rothery should be seen as one of the more interesting stylists of his generation


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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