The twin-guitar warriors go back to their roots to return triumphantly and rejuvenated.
It's been a steady rise to the erstwhile glories for these veterans who deliver their best album in years with "Elegant Stealth" which was to be called "Searching For Satellites", yet the choice was made for a more arresting option. The former title cut is there, though, a transparent ballad with a bow to the faithful fans and a universal appeal, while most of the other songs have a different kind of the band's trademark openness to them - accelerated, perhaps, by the fresh air of France where the record was created, as documented on the "This Is Wishbone Ash" DVD.
The familiar sound catches ear from the off, once "Reason To Believe" states the quartet's agenda in fine, streamlined style with a catchy chorus that haunts the listener as a "club mix" hidden track, while Bob Skeat's bass propels forward another dancefloor-friendly composition, "Big Issues", that sprawls to the rockier terrain as it progresses. The texture gets even richer on instrumental mini-epic "Mud-slick", which weaves DEEP PURPLE's Don Airey's heavy organ into the hard grind, and on the dramatic, dynamic "Can't Go It Alone", written by Pat McManus who runs his folky fiddle parallel to the double six-string sharp riffing, casting memories back to the "Argus" days. Here, and in the similar Celtic flow of "Warm Tears", the group impressively reclaim their twin-guitar blueprint from THIN LIZZY, as Andy Powell trades catchy licks with Muddy Manninen whose acoustic strum adds lace to many a moment like on the twangy love song "Give It Up".
Giving up isn't what WISHBONE ASH do, as proved by "Invisible Line" which picks up where "Persephone" left off to join the quartet's best moments' pantheon - and the album as a whole. Elegant, indeed.