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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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4 stars Not a lot I can say really that hasn't been said before about this excellent recording. The most Genesis-influenced of Steven's solo ventures, recorded when he was still with the band, it is a superbly constructed album. 'Ace of Wands' is a classic, with lovely guitar work, both 12 string and electric. 'Hands Of The Priestess', both parts 1 & 2, is a wonderfully peaceful and melodic tune, with brother John's instantly recognisable flute playing to the fore. 'A Tower Struck Down', which cuts the two 'Priestess' parts in half, is a louder, more bassy tune, but still effective. Mike Rutherford performs effortlessly throughout the album, as does his colleague Mr Collins. Steve obviously felt, with them driving the rhythm section seamlessly, he could get on with his own work, safe in the presence of his fellow band mates. 'The Hermit' is another slow, moody, melacholic piece, with Steve handling the vocals himself, and not doing a bad job either! 'Star Of Sirius' is Phil's vocal contribution to the record, and a good job he makes of it. Remember, this was recorded just after Peter Gabriel left Genesis, and Phil was not yet established as the band's singer. 'The Lovers' is a very short, acoustic guitar piece, which pre-dates his later classical leanings. And lovely it is, as well. Of course, to finish we have the magificent 'Shadow Of The Hierophant' with the unique, pure, high voice of Mike Oldfield's sister, Sally. I always loved this piece, especially the way it fades away to nothing after the last verse, then builds slowly back up to full volume, with instruments being added one at a time almost. This track also has some nice 12 string guitar on it. I have the remastered version now, which is why I have not reviewed this until today. There are two bonus tracks on it. A live version of 'Ace Of Wands', which is good, but not essential, as it is similar to the live versions on the boxed archive set already owned by many of us. The second track is the original version of 'Shadow Of The Heirophant', which lasts for over 17 minutes. This, likewise, is not essential, as it is basically the same song, until we reach the end, when the instruments start to build up. In this version, it just takes longer to reach the end. The quality on the remaster, however, is superb, far louder, brighter and clearer than the original, with nice packaging. New liner notes inside, whilst the cd itself now sports the original 'Famous Charisma Label' logo, the one the records used to use. It happens to be probably my favourite label of all! A nice touch. All this in a slip case as well. All Hackett fans need this!
chessman | 4/5 |


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