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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 Hackett's first solo album is an astounding piece of music and shows ample proof of the major role he must have played within Genesis. Ace of Wands is an excellent upbeat instrumental composition with great riffs and more things going on then on other artist's full albums. Play the opening 30 seconds a bit heavier and you're inside an Opeth album. But after 2 minutes of balancing soft acoustic parts against heavy guitars, it goes in all sorts of direction. Folky, classic, moogy, funky, Genesisy. Everything passes on the catwalk and believe me, it works just fine.

Next on is Hands of the Priestess. I don't know what priestess Hackett was thinking of, but given the soft porn leanings of this tune, it's not difficult imagining some of those priestesses and their hands. Yes a dirty mind is a joy forever :-)

A Tower Stuck Down is entirely different matter. Dark, heavy, threatening, brooding, extravagant, stubborn. No way this could have ended up on any Genesis album. The last half minute of it has some slow picking that reminds me strangely enough of both the ending chords of Rush's Cygnus X1 and the intro for A Forest by The Cure. Or how very different styles of music sometimes come up with almost the exact same thing.

The Hermit is another gentle piece. I like Hackett's voice here. Reminds me of that same subdued passion of Andy Latimer. After a reprise of the Priestesses, Phil Collins comes in to spoil the album with a bland performance on Star of Sirius. In the times of vinyl, I used to turn the record and place the needle right after this track to conclude the album with the stunning Hierophant.

Majestic opening bars (that he must have stolen from Opeth again) lead into a nice folksy ditty sung by a woman who reminded me of the siren on Mike Oldfield albums. Hey look, she's named Sally Oldfield. We get 4 and a half minutes of superb sweeping guitars and mellotons, balanced against the acoustic parts. It flows into a moody guitar solo and ends with a 6 minute crescendo that blasts away Ravel's Bolero off the face of the planet. This is the one of the most stunning 6 minutes in rock music for me. It's subtle and colourful yet at the same time immensily dark and heavy. Majestic.

Even disregarding Phil's annoying disruption, this is a true prog masterpiece. 4.5 stars

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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