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


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 1344 ratings

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5 stars With GENESIS on hiatus following the departure of PETER GABRIEL, guitarist STEVE HACKETT wasted little time in channeling his energy into an album of his own, "Voyage of the Acolyte". Even with a rhythm section of PHIL COLLINS and MIKE RUTHERFORD, few could have expected a progressive rock gem of this magnitude. Picking up his cue from KING CRIMSON's mellotron-led struggle between good and evil, HACKETT floors the listener within the first fifteen seconds and never releases his grip, flitting between the pastoral and the powerful with equal comfort and confidence.

The opening "Ace of Wands" is one of the most abrupt entrances I've ever heard, but it's fair warning that "Voyage of the Acolyte" has opened the floodgates of a very fertile imagination. This enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of good judgment: "Ace of Wands" is chocked full of good ideas, but it tries to pack ten minutes' worth of music into half that time. Like ROBERT FRIPP or PETER BANKS, HACKETT is no vocalist (despite various attempts to disguise his voice over the years), which gives him a certain freedom to set the mood with different singers. Sally OLDFIELD is an excellent choice for "Shadow of the Hierophant", an eleven-minute masterpiece that features the best arrangements on the album. PHIL COLLINS does passably well on "Star of Sirius", but he would get better with time; Steve's treated voice on "The Hermit" recalls the first King Crimson album, complete with strings and a lovely flute passage from John Hackett.

Although there are moments when Genesis is recalled -- the distinctive lead guitar on "Hands of the Priestess", a followup to "Foxtrot"'s "Horizons" on "The Lovers" -- Voyage of the Acolyte represents a new and different journey for the Genesis guitarist. Still, fans of "classic" Genesis will definitely want to check this out, as it's more likely to please prog rock fans than anything that band recorded after Hackett's departure.

daveconn | 5/5 |


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