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


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 1362 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It makes sense that VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE is dubbed ''the album that Genesis never recorded''. Obvious to most prog fans is that it is Steve Hackett's album (many point to him as a key figure in the 70's Genesis sound, as do I), but also that Rutherford and (Phil) Collins help out. I can draw a few comparisons to this album and THE GEESE AND THE GHOST, Ant Phillips's first solo record, in that both had held the guitar position in Genesis and Mike and Phil contribute on both records. Their solo albums will appeal to fans of different eras of Genesis; if Phillips's spoke more to the TRESPASS junkies, the ones who like albums like FOXTROT might find this more rewarding.

I can hear some of the Genesis sound in this, but VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE has its own sound in a way (I guess THE GEESE AND THE GHOST does as well, something I failed to mention in that review). Steve Hackett's guitar sound is the defining characteristic here; it always had something unique about, most notably heard on the wacky opener ''Ace of Wands''. Much of the album is guitar-centric; many of the tracks are either entirely based around acoustic melodies or they have sections pulsated by gentle, acoustic passages (think ''Star of Sirius'').

The singing is at best okay; Hackett himself has the best vocal performance on the album on ''The Hermit'' (why does Camel come to my mind when I hear that song?), not that Phil or Sally Oldfield are horrible, but their performances come off as dry to me. The opening third of ''Shadow of the Heirophant'' levels the actual beauty of the piece as a whole; the mellotron- drenched ending really defines symphonic music without an actual symphony much like King Crimson's ''Epitaph''.

I got this album and Ant Phillips's debut at the same time, so I find myself comparing the two rather often. I rate VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE higher because this has more appeal to the symphonic prog fans as well as having more rocking sections. Other than the beginning third of ''Heirophant'' and ''The Lovers'' to an extent, VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE is quite solid. Definitely will appeal to the fans of classic Genesis.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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