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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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3 stars On the local FM station back in 1975, perhaps 1976, they announced that they would be playing the solo album by the guitarist for GENESIS. My reaction as a naive 16 year old was, "What, Genesis has a guitarist?" The instrumental aspects of the group's sound were so dominated by Tony Banks that even some of Hackett's delicate work could have been accidentally construed as keyed rather than fretted. But, no matter, yes indeed Genesis had a guitarist, a fine one at that, but a composer and songwriter he was not, especially in 1975.

As if to accentuate his strengths and shortcomings simultaneously, "Ace of Wands" busts out of the gate like a bull in heat. It is shortly tamed, but the major impression of incompleteness is thus established early and reinforced throughout. It's ALL enjoyable enough, whether delicate ("Hands of the Priestess") or harder edged ("Tower Struck Down") but none of it outstanding. The best of the lot is "Star of Sirius", which suggests future tracks like "Entangled", but lacking that piece's cohesion. "Shadow of the Hierophant" is an even better/worse example - the mellotron theme is simplistically lovely and hypnotic, but how many times do we need to hear it? Worse, even SALLY OLDFIELD cannot impart much distinction to the vocal parts in between. While I enjoy it well enough,, it is neither valid as a song nor as an epic, a sonic Amazon hand in hand with a compositional dwarf. Already twice as long as it has any right to be, the bonus material includes an extended playout version! Nuff said.

"Voyage of the Acolyte" was released at a time when the members of GENESIS were still nurturing each others' powers while holding weaknesses in check. Hackett was still writing and producing better material within the tightening shackles of the band. Nostalgia aside, modern bands like HOSTSONATEN and ERIS PLUVIA improved upon the pastoral images herein, while Hackett himself refined his writing, composing and even vocal skills over his lengthy voyage. Nonetheless, this is a good effort from a man deserving of his many acolytes and accolades.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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