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

VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

4.21 | 921 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a classic prog album, well beloved of fans of Hackett and those who came to his solo work through Genesis. Yes, it launched a great solo career. Yes, it is a welcome breath of fresh air. But no, it isn't Steve's seminal album. Neither is it the mythical "Lost Genesis Album." It's a good debut that promises much better in the future. Three stars (alhough it is only with a great effort of restraint that I can resist awarding 4..)

Anyhow, track by track.

Ace of Wands is a frenetic but unimaginative introduction into Steve's worlds of guitar composition and virtuosity. It's ok, but if this were all he had to offer, this would be a forgettable album, just as this is a forgettable track.

Hands of the Priestess pt. 1 shows us what is in store for us lucky fans. Steve's brother John is an accomplished flautist, and tracks like this one and it's reprise prepare us for some of the truly great things that they will accomplish later.

A Tower Struck Down is track that I find most interesting. This one lands firmly in progdom, but not in Genesis style progdom. Steve reaches out on his own and finds a most interesting mix of unusual time signature, weird sounds and effects, and nice composition. This foreshadows that we will hear later on Spectral Mornings in Clocks and Tigermoth.

Hands of the Priestess pt. 2 has the virtues of the first part.

The Hermit is an interesting and well-composed song. No more, no less. Nothing stellar here, and certainly nothing that raises the quality of the album.

Star of Sirius is a song that is so hard to evaluate. One of the difficulties is Phil's vocals. Phil is still in his earliest vocal mode. This is before his aping of PG and belongs to the period when he was thought of as the angelic voice backing Mr. Gabriel. But here he is featured. I find that this style fits the song, but I also find it mildly annoying. Another difficulty is that this song is basically simplistic, except for the tempo changes. Brother John (an unintentional Lamb reference, I promise you) shows up in an interesting way on instruments other than the flute. Sharp tempo changes add a lot of interest, as does Hackett's bright and interesting performances. I like this track, but I sure can see where some people would be far less enthusiastic about it.

The Lovers is mellow guitar for the first part and then mellow synth and guitar for the rest of it. It's a short and pleasing track, but hardly exceptional.

Shadow of the Hierophant is obviously intended as the piece de resistance. It falls short. If there is one track on this album that reminds me of Genesis, this is it,, but it sure doesn't remind me of Genesis at their best. Still this does fit into the post-Gabriel style,. Sally Oldfield is an interesting choice of vocalist, and brother John is enthusiastically present once again. It's mediocre.

Anyhow, what we are left with here is an album where about half of the time listening is mediocre and the other half foreshadows things much better. I suppose that if one considered what this album meant to prog in a historical sense, one could bump this up to four stars. But I'm giving it three.

ghost_of_morphy | 3/5 |

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