Virgil & Steve Howe

1. Nexus
2. Hidden Planet
3. Leaving Aurura
4. Nick's Star
5. Night Hawk
6. Moon Rising
7. Passing Titan
8. Dawn Mission
9. Astral Plane
10. Infinite Space
11. Freefall

Virgil - Keyboards, piano, synths, bass & drums
Steve - Acoustic, electric, & steel guitars



Cover drawing by Zuni Howe

Released 2017-11-17
Reviewed 2018-01-06


It is always difficult to write about albums that is sort of a legacy for someone who recently passed, like Virgil Howe who unexpectedly passed away in September last year. He and his father Steve had recently finished this album; their first collaboration and news of Virgil’s passing had Yes cancelling their Yestival tour. Virgil passed at the age of 41 and eventually Steve decided that the album was to be released as scheduled. And Hallowed’s thoughts are of course with the Howe family, it is always sad when someone passes away too early. But what about the album then?

It is an instrumental creation with eleven songs and a playing time of about forty minutes. Many of the songs have a spacey titles and the sound can be described to be rather diverse. It is dreamy and spacey; it has some groove, some neoclassical elements and even a cinematic feel. It feels almost like a soundtrack to a space adventure for the screen. The production is good, the sound is excellent and the compositions that start from Virgil’s piano and then being added onto by Steve’s guitars and then more stuff shows good variety and musical knowledge.

Good album; is my prevailing thought. The first time I listened it struck me as a very strong album with a very captivating list of songs. But after a while it struck me that several of the songs felt as though they had long moments of empty stuff, making the album seem a bit stale and uneventful. A bit more energy and tempo at times would have been quite beneficial to this as a musical experience. Leaving Aurura is a strong example of this, it has an excellent melody but nothing really comes of the song and there are a few more such instances. I like Hidden Planet, it is an exciting song and I also like Nick’s Star as a highlight of the album.

Overall it is a solid album and not a bad legacy for Virgil to leave behind, but it feels like there was potential for a lot more than we really are given. The impressive soundscapes isn’t enough to keep my attention throughout the album. I think this could have been quite great as a soundtrack for a visual space adventure, I could almost see that in front of me when closing my eyes. I can almost see it, rest in peace Virgil Howe.




Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: Steve Howe/Yes/Steve Hackett
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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