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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

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Hackett delivers one of those albums where you can just hear the love and painstaking effort put into the composition and recording, but in the end the result does not quite resonate with me. This is primarily a mellow, reflective, and often times--I hate to say it--boring album. You'll find plenty of beautiful melodies and wonderful 12-string and mellotron arrangements, but often not simultaneously. I guess to be succinct, every time I put this album on, I really have to resist simply forwarding to the good parts.

Highlights for me include the opener, Ace of Wands, which features plenty of up-tempo playing and lots of guitar/keyboard interplay. There are also a bunch of different synth tones and guitar sounds, which have the effect of always keeping the song fresh and engaging. Hands of the Priestess (Parts I and II) is also a definite highlight of the album, with a wonderfully gorgeous flute melodies over delicate 12-string and floating mellotron. This combination does it for me every time, and Hackett is truly one of the masters of this format.

Star of Sirius, Shadow of the Heirophant. Based on other reviews and the arrangements of these songs, I know that I SHOULD thoroughly enjoy them. But I don't. I suppose one obvious reason why is that the mellow parts of the songs are a bit too repetitive, but more importantly, the faster sections are too short and lose their impact--basically I always find myself wanting more. That being said, there is plenty to delight any progger with these tracks. Star of Sirius features excellent vocal harmonies, tasteful guitar from Hackett, nice keyboard and mellotron, and a nice (except perhaps the repetitive chorus) melody. Heirophant has some incredible moments as well, such as Hackett's tapping/solo section, and the finale. The problem is that the last six minutes of the song repeat the same chords, and simply add instruments (and volume). It seems to me Hackett overdid the dynamic contrast here.

I have to say that this album seems overrated--I really wonder what rating it would receive if Hackett's name was not attached to it. There's a fair amount of unique and entertaining music, but it's couched in within an equal amount of boring material. Also, this is a tough album to relax to because of the volume contrasts--I CONSTANTLY have to adjust my volume to hear the delicate parts and not subsequently have my eardrums pierced by the louder segments. Solid album, but nothing exceedingly cohesive or groundbreaking. Bonus points for the album art.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |

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