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Steve Hackett - Voyage Of The Acolyte CD (album) cover

VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

4.21 | 880 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Leonardo
3 stars This first album of Steve's is very firmly trenched in the early Genesis era of "Trespass", with the first half of the album being predimoninantly instrumental. It is the second half of the album that really stands out however.

"Star of Sirius" with vocals by Phil Collins is the best track on the album, kicking off the second half in a classic Genesis style, with a chorus and middle piece that illustrates that Steve can swing it with the best of prog rock writers. The next track, the lovers, acts as a short but beautiful dream-like interlude before you are taken on an epic 11 minute journey that is the "Shadow of the Hierophant". This piece includes operatic-like vocals from Sally Oldfield, and a climax that builds from a barely audible series of chimes, to a huge drum lead creshendo from Phil. This particular song more than any other on the album gives glimpses of things to come in future projects, where melodramatic, sweeping music on a grand scale becomes a common trait of Steves music.

Two extra tracks are provided on the remastered version - one is the "Ace of Wands " Live at the Theatre Royal Drury lane, and the other is an extended playout version of "Shadow of the Hierophant" (17 minutes long!). I am all for having live tracks added to remastered studio albums - it gives newcomers to Steve's work a chance to hear how good he is live. The extended playout version of "Shadow..." however doesn't add much to the album - it simply illustrates that Steve was wise to edit the finale by a good 6 minutes (the climax had already reached a plateau in the edited version and had nowhere else to go in the extended version).

The remaster apart, over the years the original album has had praise heaped upon it time and time again. This was a fine solo debut from Steve, but it is worth noting that he has since produced a number of albums on which his creative artistry and writing abilities have been demonstrated to even greater effect than on this album.

Leonardo | 3/5 |

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