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Steve Rothery - The Ghosts of Pripyat CD (album) cover

THE GHOSTS OF PRIPYAT

Steve Rothery

 

Neo-Prog

3.88 | 181 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Replayer
5 stars Steve Rothery's first solo album, The Ghosts of Pripyat, is a masterful showcase of guitar virtuosity. Accompanied by a cadre of excellent musicians, Rothers delivers almost an hour of instrumental progressive rock. Steve Hackett makes guest appearances on Morpheus and Old Man of the Sea, which also features Steven Wilson (interesting fact: Wilson played with Pride of Passion where he replaced ex-Marillion keyboard played Brian Jelliman; ex-Marillion bassist Diz Minnitt was also a member). The three Steves blend guitar licks seamlessly on the track, which escalates in intensity as it progresses.

Of the backing band, I want to single out Riccardo Romano for his understated keyboard work, with many sustained ethereal chords that act as a perfect counterpoint to Rothers' mellifluous playing. Actually, I should also acknowledge Rothers' friend and fellow guitarist Dave Foster, but I don't know which parts he was responsible for.

In spite of the bleak title and cover art (Pripyat is a ghost town near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant), the music is not as moody as I was led to believe. Rather, almost all tracks start off in a subdued and melancholy manner, but evolve into rockier affairs. With the exception of the title track, all compositions are longer than six minutes, which allows time for the themes to develop properly.

Compared to many newer albums no longer constrained by the 45 minute limit imposed by the LP format, the music does not drag on. A stunning, stunning album that I wholeheartedly recommend to fans of melodic instrumental prog.

Replayer | 5/5 |

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