Wishbone Ash - Elegant Stealth (Golden Core Records) ****
Just about every incarnation of Wishbone Ash was able to breathe some new life into the old beast. The last few albums had been spectacular, and this one just continues the path of great records. Apart from the hard core Wishbone Ash followers, very few people hear these albums, and it's a real shame when music this good slips away.
Wishbone Ash are of course one of the prime twin guitar bands, and the Powell-Manninen combination is just truly excellent. The songs are catchy, very technical, but there is a soul in what Wishbone Ash is doing! Andy Powell if of course the only original member at this point, but he is very true to his vision as to what Wishbone Ash should be. And the last few albums can compete with the most significant Wishbone Ash releases.
Much has to be said about the powerful rhythm section combined of Bob Skeat and Joe Crabtree, who provide a very solid base for the guitarist to shine. The beauty of this album is how every sound interplays with other sounds, making the whole a sonic harmony. Wishbone Ash delivers a great rock album.
"Elegant Stealth" is just exactly what the title indicates. The word elegant had been linked with the band for many years, it's no coincidence it finally represents one of its records. This set is meant to be heard as a whole, and as good as each track is, there is magic in hearing the entire album. And this comes from a band who used the albums to make musical statements over the last 40 years.