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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 Well, there are hardly ratings below the 4-star rating for this album. That shows something: anyone could easily get used to Steve Hackett; yes, the dorky shy guy with beard and lenses sitting lonely on a corner at Genesis' concerts (as a musician, of course, not to be confused with another roadie) now has broken loose, or well, just a little bit; he's still mostly drown in the mix of mellotron layers and synthetizers, like in the old Genesis' days; but he's in charge of the compositions now, and great compositions they are, taking you into a world of romantic fairy tales and stories of ancient religions.

Yes, it's still in the vein of Genesis (and it's not a complaint); however, he could slap Banks' face with this album, demonstrating that he could live without Genesis' pity.

There are two familiar names on the band's credits: Collins and Rutherford (of the same Genesis fame); though they are under Hackett's command this time.

So I'll get to the actual review: it starts on a fast beat with "Ace Of Wands"; with fantastic interludes and amazing ending, even though they're split together by an annoying and dated sound effect, a low point but it doesn't even last 2 seconds, so there's no point in skipping it. Then we get transported into the suite "Hands Of The Priestess Pt.1/A Tower Struck Down/Hands Of The Priestess Pt.2": the prelude is highly atmospheric with haunting chords of 4th's, 7th's and 2nd's, both in acoustic guitar and mellotron; the flute work is superb; "A Tower Struck Down" is more electric and bombastic, and you could hear chants and the tower being struck down at the end in a crashing sound, the mellotron laments again with strange chords and then, fading in, the epilogue reprises the prologue with good effect. The Hermit is based in a single guitar riff, but there's beauty in it's simplicity and the oboes bring a sense of nostalgia with emotive notes. "Star Of Sirius" is also acoustic-based but a bit lighter in mood and some up-beat moments (Collins fills the vocal spot in this one). I think the weakest song here is "Shadow Of The Hierophant"; it has a great melody and is beautifully crafted with Sally Oldfield's vocals, but it tends to be too repetitive and overlong for that matter.

In this album there's also the tendency to reprise a main melody in all of it's songs: the melody that is first found at the 2nd half of "Ace Of Wands"; evoking the idea of a concept in the same manner as Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon"; Gentle Giant's self-titled album and Jethro Tull's "Thick As A Brick".

It's a great addition to any collection of symphonic rock music, and I would recommend it highly to any Genesis' fan before Wind And Wuthering. 4 stars.

Chus | 4/5 |


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