As a Wishbone Ash fan of 30+ years I am greatly pleased they are still releasing new and vital music and playing well over 100 dates a year around the globe.
Power of Eternity hooked me on about the second or third listen. It features Andy Powell's arguably best vocal work, his voice has mellowed with age and he has obviously worked at improving.
As always the twin lead guitars are back and better than ever, with Finnish player Muddy Manninen doing the guitar work with Powell laying down brilliant well constructed melodies. Muddy has been with the band for three years now and as he has become more comfortable and confident, he and Andy's styles are really gelling.
It begins with The Power, a pulsing rocker that begs to be heard in a live setting.
Driving a Wedge has a catchy funky beat, showing Wishbone Ash is not afraid to explore new musical ground, even after 37 years.
In Crisis is a driving rocker that at almost 7 minutes could be considered an epic. It is destined to be a Wishbone Ash classic (along the lines of Living Proof) with its soul-baring lyrics, catchy melody and two stunning guitar solos by Andy and Muddy.
Dancing with the Shadows, a Mannimen composition, is a trip into the darker side of the soul. Muddy apparently has spent some time contemplating the world during some long Finnish nights. The song has a unique and enjoyable melody and rhythm structure along with the thoughtful lyrics.
Happiness is my second favorite tune on this disc, with an infectious bouncy guitar riff that is, well, "happy".
Northern Lights is an acoustic guitar instrumental that ranks right there with their other classic songs such as Candlelight and Lullaby.
Your Indulgence is a love song with a very nice chorus.
Growing Up is another favorite of mine with some sweet twin lead guitars, up-tempo pace, nice melody, and great lyrics.
The album ends on a strong note with Hope Springs Eternal, which has a lush rhythm guitar section bringing it in, and then escalating with arguably the best drum work on the album.
With the Power of Eternity, Wishbone Ash hits a harsh blow to any critics of the bands newest line up, it is the first album to feature Joseph Crabtree on drums but he already fits in so well with the rest of the band, most probably due to extensive touring he has done with the band since joining. The twin guitar melodies created by Powell and Manninen are some of the best I've ever heard from Wishbone Ash, and it's done even better live on both old and new songs. And as always, since joining the band Bob Skeat puts down an excellent rhythm throughout the whole album.
This record is a very enjoyable listen from start to finish and a worthy addition to the Wishbone Ash legacy. I gave it four stars.