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

VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 1389 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 322

"Voyage Of The Acolyte" is the debut solo studio album of Steve Hackett and was released in 1975. "Voyage Of The Acolyte" is also the first solo album to be released by any member or ex-member of Genesis. "Voyage Of The Acolyte" was releasead before "The Geese And The Ghost" and "Peter Gabriel (1 ? "Car")" of Anthony Phillips and Peter Gabriel, respectively, both released in 1977, "A Curious Feeling" of Tony Banks which was released in 1979, "Smallcreep's Day" of Mike Rutherford which was released in 1980 and "Face Value" of Phil Collins which was released in 1981.

Steve Hackett invited to participate on his debut solo studio album two of his fellow members of Genesis, in those times, Rutherford and Collins, and some other fine musicians too. So, the line up on the album is Steve Hackett (electric and acoustic guitars, mellotron, harmonium, bells, autoharp and effects), Mike Rutherford (bass guitar, bass pedals and 12 string fuzz-bass), Phil Collins (vocals, drums, vibes and percussion), John Hackett (flute, ARP synthesizer and bells), John Acock (Elka synthesizer, mellotron, harmonium and piano), Sally Oldfield (vocals), Robin Miller (oboe and English horn), Nigel Warren-Green (cello), Percy Jones (bass guitar) and Johnny Gustafson (bass guitar).

"Voyage Of The Acolyte" has eight tracks. All tracks were written by Steve, except track three written by Steve and John and track eight written by Steve and Rutherford. The first track "Ace Of Wands" is a great opener for the album. It has a violent entrance with a very complex Steve's guitar work, and it has also great individual performances by Collins on drums and by his brother John with a very aggressive flute work. The result is a promising track with great some parts. This is one of the best tracks on the album. The second track "Hands Of The Priestess I" is a short, very calm and beautiful acoustic piece of music with the unmistakable Steve's guitar style, very well accompanied by his brother's flute work. The third track "A Tower Struck Down" is the most unusual song on the album. It has a very dark style, and is somewhat unexpected. It's a less melodic song, more experimental and that reminds me King Crimson, especially due to the way how the mellotron was used. It remains another great track but it's the least accessible number from the album. The fourth track "Hands Of The Priestess II" is the smallest song on the album and is a kind of a remake of the first part of "Hands Of The Priestess I". It's a very beautiful and melancholic song with some nice keyboards, and one more time, we have a beautiful John's flute work. The fifth track "The Hermit" is another calm, soft, beautiful and melancholic song on the album, but this time with Steve's vocals. Who knows Steve well, knows he isn't a vocalist and that he hasn't properly a great voice. However, on this song, his voice is very decent and pretty and is very well accompanied by a great guitar work. I particularly like very much the combination of the acoustic guitar work and great keyboards. The sixth track "Star Of Sirius" is the second lengthiest song on the album and is also one of the best, most diverse and complex tracks on the album. This is the track that many say it's a Genesis' song. It has Collins singing and practically everything on the song sounds like Genesis. It's extremely atmospheric, but also goes though a few upbeat sections. The seventh track "The Lovers" is the other smallest song on the album and is also another classic mellow acoustic nice track. It's a track perfectly in the same vein of "Horizon" of "Foxtrot". The eighth track "Shadow Of The Hierophant" is, in my humble opinion, the great epic, the highest point on the album. This is really a majestic closer to it. Some of you wrote that think this track is too long and that makes of it a boring song. I completely disagree with that opinion. This is, for me, a fantastic, memorable and beautiful piece of music, a real masterpiece, with the beautiful and superb voice of Sally. I think this musical piece is strongly influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach, the German classical Baroque composer. That isn't surprising, because many of we know the Steve's passion by this classical composer.

Conclusion: "Voyage Of The Acolyte" marks an extraordinary beginning of an ongoing career. Many fans consider this his finest work. I remember this release has shocked many fans in those times. Genesis had lost their front man and supposedly their music mastermind too. So, the future of the group seemed uncertain. Was Steve's solo debut another indication that the band was breaking up? Being the first one to release a solo work surprised many people because on Genesis, he always seemed to be the most unobtrusive of all. "Voyage Of The Acolyte" is the best debut solo album released by any member or ex-member of Genesis. It's, in many ways, almost a lost Genesis' album, because it features Collins and Rutherford, because it comes out in the wake of Gabriel's departure from the group and also because there are many similarities with the music sound of Genesis. In my humble opinion, "Voyage Of The Acolyte" is at the same level of "A Trick Of The Tail" and "Wind And Wuthering", and is also something more progressive and innovative than these two albums. So, "Voyage Of The Acolyte" is a wonderful masterpiece that doesn't deserves less than 5 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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