And yet history repeats itself. When Steve Howe packed his guitar case for the first time almost exactly 30 years ago, the three remaining Asians didn't let themselves be unsettled and replaced him with a hard rock guitarist. The result was musically very satisfying with "Astra" (1985) including the hit "Go". The new Howe replacement on Gravitas is now Sam Coulson. The mid-twenties already did a complete tour with Asia before he went into the studio. The result isn't necessarily an "Astra II", but due to the gripping way of playing the guitar in connection with the melodic Wetton/ Downes composition it sometimes goes in this direction. And it's good for the Asia sound. Howe's guitar share on the three reunion albums "Phoenix" (2008), "Omega" (2010) and "XXX" (2012) was quantitatively rather poor. Asia are and always have been a keyboard-stressed band, but the new young English guitarist, who has a lot more to offer than metal frills, is much more present than his predecessor. This makes all nine new songs on "Gravitas", six of which really have class, appear rounder and more complete.
Top track: Gravitas