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miércoles, 10 de febrero de 2016

Steve Hackett - Voyage of The Acolyte (1975)


Un clásico que había pedido Elián y nos lo trae el Mago Alberto, un disco que no podía faltar en el blog cabezón, con la ventaja de que es una versión remasterizada del 2005, con mejor sonido y con dos bonus track.

Artista: Steve Hackett
Álbum: Voyage of The Acolyte
Año: 1975
Género: Progresivo Sinfónico / Ecléctico
Duración: 64:19
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. Ace Of Wands
2. Hands of the Priestess Part I
3. A Tower Struck Down
4. Hands of the Priestess Part II
5. The Hermit
6. Star of Sirius
7. The Lovers
8. Shadow of the Hierophant
Bonus Tracks Version Remastered 2005
9. Ace of Wands (Live)
10. Shadow of the Hierophant (Extended Playout Version)

Alineación:
- Steve Hackett / guitarra acùstica y elèctrica, Mellotron, harmonio, campanas, autoharp, voces , efectos
- John Hackett / flauta, arpa sintetizada, campanas
- Mike Rutherford / bajo, pedales de bajo, Fuzz 12-cuerdas
- Phil Collins / baterìa, percusiòn, vibrafòno, voces
- John Acock / Elka, Rapsodia, Mellotron, harmonio, piano
- Sally Oldfield / voces
- Robin Miller / oboe, cor Anglais
- Nigel Warren-Green / solo cello
- Percy Jones / bajo extra en "Tower"
- Johnny Gustafson / bajo en "Star"
- Steve Tobin / parrot y cough




Luego del fin de semana largo, vamos con un disco que había pedido Elián y nos comparte el Mago Alberto...


Steve Hackett se unió a Genesis durante su etapa más creativa, cuando iban alcanzando el estrellato con álbumes como Nursery Cryme (1971) o Foxtrot (1972), en el que una pieza instrumental exclusivamente suya, Horizons, es uno de los temas más memorables. Gozó de la fama con la grabación de obras cumbre como Selling England by the Pound y The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, aunque entonces comenzó a picarle el gusanillo creativo y, dándose cuenta de que uno no podía lucirse plenamente en una obra de grupo (menos aun teniendo en cuenta que Genesis hacían poco menos que un reparto equitativo del trabajo en cada álbum) se arriesgó a realizar una obra en solitario, la primera de un componente de Genesis.
Voyage of the Acolyte (1975) es el resultado de aquella experiencia personal, un álbum considerado por algunos como una obra no oficial de la discografía de Genesis, ya que algunos de sus miembros -Phil Collins y Mike Rutherford- colaboran en el mismo en mayor o menor medida.
Sinceramente, Voyage of the Acolyte ("El viaje del acólito") no difiere especialmente del estilo del mítico grupo de rock progresivo, si bien pueden encontrarse ciertas diferencias, como el predominio de la música instrumental y un relativo enriquecimiento de los efectos sonoros, que acercan la obra a otras muy experimentales de aquella década prodigiosa.
El conde


Aquí, el comentario que vale que es el del Mago Alberto:

Hay discos que fueron bisagras en épocas, en géneros, en agrupaciones, y este en particular marcó un antes y un después en la vida de Steve Hackett, luego de su separación de Genesis, nadie podia preveer que Steve se despacharía con un trabajo realmente hermoso, cosa que no ocurre a menudo, y como tampoco ocurrió con otros proyectos solistas de integrantes del mismo grupo, tal el caso de Tony Banks. Cuando todo el mundo pensaba en el arrollador aporte de Banks a Genesis, muy pocos apostaban a Hackett y este buen hombre mostró como nadie todo lo que le daba a la banda, quizás su partida fue tan importante como la de Gabriel pero dejando en claro que su aporte era el clima, las atmósferas celestiales, la dulzura, casi el propio estilo de la banda, con el se fue el SONIDO de Genesis, y Steve se embarcó en su carrera solista que sigue dando sus frutos hasta el día de hoy.
Este disco es tan obvio en el progresivo, que cuando Elian lo pidio por el chat no podía creer que no estuviera publicado en el blog. Así que esta es una joya imposible de dejar de lado, más si les comento que esta es la versión remasterizada del 2005, y que aquel de oído fino se va a encontrar desde el comienzo con un brillo que en la versión original no aparece, los bajos son mucho más profundos, y arreglos de platos y guitarras sobresalen para enriquecer aún más esta brillante obra, así que el que se quedó con la copia anterior dele la bienvenida a esta nueva presentación que además incluye dos bonus tracks.
Como siempre hay algun colgado, como el gordito boludo macrista venderemera del chat, aviso que este trabajo es hermoso de principio a fin, hay todo lo que uno siempre quiere escuchar en materia musical, y son esos discos que nunca te abandonan, pasa el tiempo y suenan cada día mejor. El que no lo conoce que se lo lleve a ciegas.
Alberto

En definitiva, un disco de lujo que no debía quedar afuera del blog cabezón.

Ace of Wands ("El as de las varitas mágicas"), para empezar, es una pieza claramente rockera más cercana seguramente al estilo de King Crimson que al de Genesis, bastante potente y con sus pasajes de guitarra marca de la casa Hackett. Los pequeños momentos de "pausa" en medio de la melodía principal son estupendos. Hands of the Priestess ("Las manos de la sacerdotisa"), en sus dos versiones, es un corte más folk, tranquilo y evocador, de lo mejor del disco con su flauta y sus guitarras. A Tower Struck Down ("Una torre abatida") regresa a la línea del primer tema, aunque es algo más ocuro y siniestro, e incluye una especie de sonido de derrumbe seguido de unos breves momentos de calma. The Hermit ("El ermitaño") es la primera pieza más o menos vocal del disco, también con flautas y guitarras como Hands of the Priestess, en un tono místico propio de aquellos tiempos de advenimiento de la Era de Acuario, y en la línea pseudo-religiosa-bíblica de algún que otro momento de los álbumes de Genesis.
Star of Sirius, con sus efectos cósmicos y su guitarra, arropa la voz característica de Phil Collins en otro tema contemplativo de alta calidad que va creciendo hasta convertirse en un poderoso tema pop-rock. The Lovers ("Los amantes") es un corte a tener en cuenta, ya que la carrera de Steve Hackett parece estar jalonada cada vez más de fabulosas piezas para guitarra acústica, en este caso acompañada de sonidos sintéticos creados con cinta magnetofónica manipulada. Concluye el álbum con Shadow of the Hierophant, un tema largo con varios movimientos, el primero rockero, intercalado con un par de cánticos céltico-místicos a cargo de Sally Oldfield, además de otros momentos de rock instrumental muy inspirados y grandilocuentes, en la senda de los temas más épicos de Nursery Cryme y Foxtrot, antes mencionados. Las reediciones incluyen un par de temas extras.
Voyage of the Acolyte, pese a que ofrece un mosaico bastante surrealista y difícil de abarcar en un solo vistazo, inspirado en los arcanos del tarot (todos los temas los mencionan más o menos lejanamente), es un disco que crece con cada escucha. La primera vez me resbaló, pero mientras redacto esta crítica me va pareciendo cada vez más rico. Pienso que está ligeramente "pasado de moda" respecto a lo que se hacía entonces, ya que, tal como he mencionado, recuerda a las obras de rock progresivo que se realizaban cuatro o cinco años antes, sobre todo por sus pasajes folk y el uso de coros dignos de aquel inconmensurable In the Court of the Crimson King. Pero no debe entenderse esto como una crítica por mi parte, sino como un signo de que Steve Hackett bebía de unas fuentes de enorme calidad artística. Notable alto.
El conde

Para cerrar, unos pocos comentarios en inglés de este disco (pueden encontrar muchos en cualqueir búsqueda):

Pocos se imaginaban que luego de uno de los mejores discos de la historia del rock, nos referimos al impresionante disco de Genesis "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", Hackett saliera al ruedo con esta majestuosa obra. Mucho tendrá que ver esta étapa del músico y de la banda. Eran tiempos de transición, donde nos encontramos con la ida de Peter Gabriel y el resto del grupo enfocándose en ese gran y paradigmático disco que fuè "A Thrick of the Tail".
En "Voyage of The Acolyte" vemos a un Hackett demostrando todo su gran sentido de la experimentación y sofisticación. Lo acompañan sus conpinches de Genesis Mike Rutherford en bajo y Phil Collins en bateía y voces, Sally Oldfield en voz, como asi también los importántisimos aportes en flauta traversa de su hermano John.
En este trabajo se nota la alta informaciòn de las tecnicas de guitarra clàsica que manejaba Steve, un buen ejemplo lo apreciamos en las bellas "The Hermit" y "Hands of the Priestess I y II". En estas ùltimas la amalgama entre la flauta y la guitarra de los hermanos Hackett se trenza de una forma deliciosa para el oyente.
Comandado por el melotròn o el harmonio el tema "Star of Sirius" es uno de los picos del disco. Aquì hay una buena base rìtmica bien Genesiana gracias a la precensia de Collins y Rutherford. Algo muy parecido ocurre con "Ace of Wand"donde apreciamos la potencia de la guitarra de Hackett (muy a lo "Dancing with The Moonlit Knight") y su buen gusto para mixturar con esa violencia de guitarras instrumentos tales como las campanas o las autoharpas.
Por ùltimo la mini suite "Shadows of the Hierophant" nos demuestra claramente lo que significa el rock sinfònico-progresivo. Cuenta con una parte vocal a cargo de Sally Oldfield. Nos lleva de viaje por diferentes sitios irreales a cargo de mellotrones y climas o "capas" de guitarras que nos dan idea de texturas, para terminar con una extensa coda en compàs de tres cuartos.
Y no podemos dejar de nombrar a la artista plàstica Kim Poor, encargada de el arte de tapa de este y de buena parte de los siguientes trabajos en solitario de el maestro Steve Hackett.
Alvaro Beasi

The essence of progressive music is characterized perfectly on Voyage of the Acolyte, Steve Hackett's first solo album. The former Genesis guitarist uses his instrumental mastery to conjure up musical images of sorcerers, magic, and old English castles with the primary use of keyboards and electric guitar. Phil Collins on drums and vibraphone and Mike Rutherford on bass and fuzz 12-string contribute their talents to the churning synthesizers that accompany each passage. The basic instrumental elements of progressive rock are heard loud and clear throughout the album, including Mellotron, harmonium, flute, and bells, and none with a minor role to play. Collins, Hackett, and Sally Oldfield all donate their voices to a few of the songs here, adding a nice touch to the heavy insertion of electronics. Glimpses of oboe and cello can be detected underneath some pleasurable guitar work in "The Lovers and "Hands of the Priestess Part 1." Traces of Yes can be found all the way through the album, but especially on the 11:45 grand finale "Shadow of the Hierophant" that combines all the instruments in a colorful bombardment of musical fury. A true progressive masterpiece, Voyage of the Acolyte is an album firmly stationed in the upper echelon of prog rock.
Mike DeGagne

This wonderful record (Hackett's first solo outing) is absolutely essential listening for fans of classic Genesis. In fact, then Genesis band mates Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford assist on the album, with Phil providing vocals for the standout "Star of Sirius" (the best Genesis song that Genesis never recorded).
The album is loosely organized around the theme of the Tarot (the awesome and frenetic opening track, "Ace of Wands," is named for a Tarot card, as are other tracks), one of Hackett's interests at the time.
The beautiful cover art -- which won an "album cover of the year" award -- also reflects the subjects of the songs, and was provided by Hackett's spouse, the immensely talented artist Kim Poor, who did many of Hackett's subsequent album covers. (It's a pity that the diminutive size of CD covers don't carry the impact of the old LP jackets!)
The songs vary in structure and overall sound much as those on early Genesis albums did, and are all excellent. As Genesis became increasingly commercial-sounding, many of us were heartened by the knowledge that we could always turn to Steve Hackett for complex, uncompromising, beautiful and powerful progressive rock. "Voyage of the Acolyte" is perhaps my favourite Hackett disc, although "Spectral Mornings" could give it a run for its money. Not to be missed!
Peter

This record has been praised time and time again, but let me take my shot at it! Steve actually gets more progressive than GENESIS had at this point in their recording career. "Voyage of the Acolyte" is another superb release containing some absolutley incredible prog moments that will please all fans who like good music. Steve is joined by some of the members of GENESIS during the recording of the album (Collins and Rutherford) who bring a welcome, strong familiar sound into the recording session. This recording is essential in anyones collection and is best interpreted in a dark room lit by perhaps a lava lamp.
James Unger

His best album but I think too much is made of it, as this is a good show that he was a good composer himself. The dithyrambic reviews of the best Genesis album never recorded are overdone. This is a fine album but I find many faults on it. Oh Well! Can't stop enthusiasm without sounding like a party pooper so I will stop here.
Clearly this first album has a lot of Genesis qualities (Phil and Mike help out too), but on the strict songwriting issue, Hackett is clearly lacking his bandmates. The ideas are certainly there, but they need the refining and the other's involvement, to achieve the quality of Genesis' tracks. Tower and Ace Of Wands are my two picks as highlights in a fairly even album.
Oh BTW, Mr. Bonzo?!?! The stuff Collins did with Brand X makes you sad? Also, if you listen to his first solo album there is some fine drumming but the many of the tracks on it are uninspiring to ... us, anyway.
Sean Trane

With GENESIS on hiatus following the departure of PETER GABRIEL, guitarist STEVE HACKETT wasted little time in channeling his energy into an album of his own, "Voyage of the Acolyte". Even with a rhythm section of PHIL COLLINS and MIKE RUTHERFORD, few could have expected a progressive rock gem of this magnitude. Picking up his cue from KING CRIMSON's mellotron-led struggle between good and evil, HACKETT floors the listener within the first fifteen seconds and never releases his grip, flitting between the pastoral and the powerful with equal comfort and confidence.
The opening "Ace of Wands" is one of the most abrupt entrances I've ever heard, but it's fair warning that "Voyage of the Acolyte" has opened the floodgates of a very fertile imagination. This enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of good judgment: "Ace of Wands" is chocked full of good ideas, but it tries to pack ten minutes' worth of music into half that time. Like ROBERT FRIPP or PETER BANKS, HACKETT is no vocalist (despite various attempts to disguise his voice over the years), which gives him a certain freedom to set the mood with different singers. Sally OLDFIELD is an excellent choice for "Shadow of the Hierophant", an eleven-minute masterpiece that features the best arrangements on the album. PHIL COLLINS does passably well on "Star of Sirius", but he would get better with time; Steve's treated voice on "The Hermit" recalls the first King Crimson album, complete with strings and a lovely flute passage from John Hackett.
Although there are moments when Genesis is recalled -- the distinctive lead guitar on "Hands of the Priestess", a followup to "Foxtrot"'s "Horizons" on "The Lovers" -- Voyage of the Acolyte represents a new and different journey for the Genesis guitarist. Still, fans of "classic" Genesis will definitely want to check this out, as it's more likely to please prog rock fans than anything that band recorded after Hackett's departure.
Dave Connolly

Until 1975 STEVE HACKETT was probably the most obscure Genesis member, of course everybody knew he was a virtuoso guitar player, but he was only the bearded man who almost hided himself behind his instrument and the newbie who had replaced Anthony Phillips (a long time friend of Peter, Tony and Mike) without having the charisma of the other newbie Phil Collins.
The release of "The Return of the Acolyte" changed this perspective, this amazing album (the first solo project by a Genesis member) that proved not only his band mates but also the whole world he was a very talented musician and composer.
Some people see "The Return of the Acolyte" as the lost Genesis album because Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins were part of the band formed by Steve, but that's really unfair, it's a 99% Hackett album, with his very characteristic sound and style fully developed and at the same time an advice that he was decided to continue faithful to his beloved progressive rock and creating even more complex and adventurous music than he ever did with Genesis instead of taking the safer and easier commercial path.
But this album also brought him some problems with the rest of the band; they believed he should dedicate 100% of his effort to Genesis instead of pursuing a solo career even when they weren't ready to allow him to take the lead compositional role.
Steve accepted the conditions and didn't released another album until he left Genesis, but his compositionscontinued being ignored by the band, it's true that his contribution to Wind & Wuthering was his biggest as a Genesis member, but that wasn't enough for him, so Steve finally knew what he was able to do and the path he wanted to take.
The album begins with "Ace of Wands", a breathtaking track with the most violent entrance where the extremely complex guitar is the seal, of course greatly supported by Phil Collins with an amazing drum work and his brother John playing the flute in a much more aggressive style than Peter ever did. Radical changes, bells, strong bass and incredible guitar passages are just part of this notable song, the first one of a long and solid career that was about to start in 1975 and still going on in the XXI Century (hope for long).
"Hands of the Priestess Part I" is a beautiful flute (more in Gabriel's style) and guitar track with that mysterious and haunting sound he developed during his career in Genesis but with a totally new approach, simply delightful.
"A Tower Struck Down" is another aggressive and almost violent song where Mike Rutherford makes an absolutely powerful bass structure supported by Percy Jones extra bass, and again Steve's incredible guitars mixed with crowd shouts (not sure if they say Sieg Heil or Steve Hackett), explosions and other sounds announce the final section where a Genesis like mellotron prepares for the end of the song.
"Hands of the Priestess Part II" is even softer than part one, keyboards help to give a bit of light in the melancholic and dark mood of the album but without loosing the mystery and sadness, only 1:34 minutes long but enough to close and complement the song that started two tracks before. A special mention to John Hackett who again plays his flute with singular skills.
"The Hermit" is another soft and melancholic tune, but this time with pretty decent vocals by Steve and his incredible guitar, this track reminds me of the sound that would be preeminent in "A Trick of the Tail" and the atmosphere of sad fairy tales. "Star of Sirius" is probably the "piece of resistance" a very complex track where Phil Collins vocals sound better than ever, probably because he was sounding as himself and not trying to copy Peter Gabriel's style. Starts soft and gentle but suddenly John Acock's keyboard announces a total change into a Jazzy and violent section where the guitar background is simply perfect but about the middle the track changes again to a soft style where keyboards and flute are again perfect and lead to another complex passage plethoric of drums, mellotron, keyboards and Steve's electric guitar played in acoustic style without leaving behind his atmospheric trade mark. This is what the word progressive rock should mean.
"The Lovers" is a short acoustic track that gives some relief after all the complex music played before and to prepare for the closing track.
"Shadow of the Hierophant" an 11:44 minutes epic starts with the characteristic Sally Oldfield clear and well educated vocals (Even when sometimes reaches very high ranges) that makes the listener believe he will be in front of another soft and complex track. A dramatic passage reminiscent of earlier Genesis interrupts Sally's voice for a few seconds announcing that this one would not be another calmed song and then again the soft voice but this time she goes in crescendo as to prepare for an ultra complex instrumental section with an incredible guitar skills demonstration by Steve introducing the listener for the full band section, from this moment to the final it's a sequence of changes and different atmospheres that complement each other and the exquisite and incredibly dramatic finale provided again by Steve playing in his unique style supported by the mellotron, church (or cemetery) bells and the rest of the band. Wonderful way of closing a wonderful album.
I'm usually very careful rating debut albums and prefer to investigate the further career of the artist, but "The Return of the Acolyte" is an extraordinary album, probably one of the higher points in Steve's Hackett amazing catalogue and surely one of the top releases of the middle/late 70's.
While the star of Genesis was slowly starting to fade, Steve Hackett appeared in the firmament as most solid follower of the original Genesis approach to music.
Five stars for a wonderful album.
Iván Melgar

People keep saying this was the one album Genesis never released. what a load of [&*!#]e!!! This was the first album released by Steve Hackett and while we all know he did not get enough creative ' airplay' in Genesis this is a ligitimate solo album by one of the most talented guitarists of our time. Do not forget Genesis were prolific at this time, personeel changes and all. Albums were relentlessley released to standing ovations. However Mr. Hackett started to exert his own individuality and what smacks from the first track is that he went head first into collabotating with his peers as well as other notable artists of that time to help create this genuine masterpiece. Never ever to be surpassed again apart from maybe ' Spectral Morning'. There is no point in mentioning each track laboriously showering praise all over them as each one is unique, continuous play and simly awesome. The mood and emotion is unique as is kim Poor's moving artwork. Star of Sirius though stands up there with the great prog rock creations of all time. Five stars is NOT overkill at all nor if there were is six either.....
Chris S

After being "left out a bit" of the songwriting of "The Lamb..." album (as Banks/Collins/Rutherford said in one interview in 1982) and after the long tour for that album, after Gabriel left, but before "A Trick of the Tail" was recorded by Genesis, Hackett recorded this excellent solo album, which I prefer more than "The Lamb" and even more than some of the solo albums by the other members/former members of Genesis (including Gabriel). Hackett showed with this album a lot of creativity in songwriting, arrangements, guitar sounds, production ideas, etc. He really could have been bored in Genesis by 1974- 75, and after the success this album had in England in 1975 (number 26 in the charts!) he really could have left Genesis in that year.I like all the songs of this album, but the best of all for me is "Shadow of the Hierophant ", a Hackett/Rutherford song, with very good use of mellotrons, guitar sounds, bells, drums. Sally Oldfield`s voice is very good in this song. All the songs have "fantasy" elements which are in the music. Some of the songs show some influence from King Crimson, but Hackett`s guitar style is "very personal". He really knows how to "make" very different sounds from his guitars, and he has a very distinctive "guitar technique". In the "Genesis-A History" video from 1990, Hackett said (more or less as I remember): "I recorded a very successful album in 1975, but the band perceived it as a threat, and they told me to give up my solo career to contribute more to the band`s albums. I say O.K., if every musician contributes equal parts to the songwriting.But I didn`t have the music they claimed from me for the band. It took me two more years to organize the way to leave the band". The band didn`t like many of Hackett`s music ideas and songs, so he finally left the band during the mixing sessions of the "Seconds Out" live album in 1977.But this "Voyage of the Acolyte" really shows Hackett`s influence and sound for the Genesis`s albums "A Trick of the Tail" and "Wind & Wuthering". I consider this first solo album as a "first sight" into the new music style of Genesis between 1975-1977. The cover art by Kim Poor (Hackett`s wife) is very good too. It really works with the sound of the album.
Guillermo Vázquez Malagamba

It's hard to argue with this excellent debut album from the guitar maestro Mr. Stephen Hackett. When I reviewed his live archives album couple months ago, I did mention that for some of you, you might have known Steve only from his tenure with Genesis and probably still label him with something like "ex Genesis guitarist" and you might not know what his work after he left the band. Nothing wrong with that. That's the same case with me when I got the cassettes of his first two albums, I still considered Steve as Genesis guitarist instead of Steve as a solo artist and did not play the cassettes intensely. Until one time when a support band of Uriah Heep Live in Bandung, Indonesia sometime in 1980, there was a local band that played Steve Hackett's "Ace of Wands" excellently. It clicked me to replayed the cassette. That's the first love I got with Hackett music. I was hooked with "Voyage ..", "Please Don't Touch", "Spectral Morning" and "Defector". For me, Steve has produced many great prog tunes that I consider now as a classic, such as: "Every Day", "Star of Sirius", "Ace of Wands", "Narnia", "Clocks", "Shadow Of The Hierophant", and many more great tunes. "Ace Of Wands" is a great track - and has become my favorite track - started with a dazzling drum. The intertwining works of guitar, keyboard and flutes are really good. Oh man . this is a wonderful track and it's so uplifting.
Being a debut album, it's heavily influenced by early Genesis - not that two members of Genesis (Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins) contributed, but musically I can sense the flavors of "Supper's Ready" in "A Tower Struck Down" (track 3). You won't argue that the rhythm section is totally Foxtrot-ized. Nothing wrong with this. I especially like this track during the keyboard solo - it's stunning. Stand-alone, this third track is probably not an attractive one but as this track is positioned in between "Hands of the Priestess Part I (3:28) and Part II (1:31)" with mellow Genesis guitar style, it becomes interesting to enjoy. The Hermit (4:49) continues the same style and nuance with Hands of the Priestess with Hackett on vocal. Phil Collins takes a vocal role in the next track "Star of Sirius" (7:08) that starts mellow with good guitar fills and keyboards. The music turns into faster tempo with drums and other instruments.
The peak of this album, IMO, is "The Lovers" (1:50) - "Shadow of the Hierophant" (11:44) whereby the first part serves similar to Horizon of Genesis' "Supper's Ready": an acoustic guitar work augmented with mellow keyboard. The music continues seamlessly to "Shadow of the Hierophant" with a blues-based rhythm and nice quieter passage where fabulous voice of Sally Oldfield enters the music. Uh . it's really cool man .. In a way, it reminds me to Renaissance's music - not because the lead singer is female but it shares similar nuance. In fact, Sally and Annie Haslam have different timbre - so both cannot be compared. But the song is really great and I now remember that this song was featured in a compilation cassette of "Heavy Slow" sometime in the eighties. It's a great tune.
In summary, this is the kind of classic prog album that you don't want to miss. Excellent composition and musicianship. Highly recommended.
Gatot Widayanto

Hackett's first solo album begins with a bang, and ends with a bang as well. You'll find here a very Genesis-like affair, in fact Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford make appearances. Hackett's performances are the main foray of the album, from his acoustic passages, to his electric runs up and down the fret board, one cannot feel anything but awe as this virtuoso plays his soul out. Most of this album is instrumental, but the vocal passages are very welcome and add even more Genesis sounds to the atmosphere.
From the opening Irish feeling of Ace of Wands, to the ending jam in Shadow of Hierophant, there is one thing clear, Hackett is brilliant. Ace of Wands is a rocking instrumental, which has a Celtic/Irish feel at first, and soon becomes a mellotron/acoustic guitar led tune. Hackett's command over the rest of the musicians is key, for he has a much more involved role than he did in Genesis. Hands of a Priestess Part I begins with a very Firth of Fith sounding intro, the flute sounding very much like Gabriel. Star of Sirius is one of the three songs with vocal, and it features a catchy chorus, and some very calming acoustic passages in the beginning. Shadow of the Hierophant is one of the other vocal- laden songs. It has a very Starless type of feel, in that there is a long jam that proceeds after the vocals have finished. The music in this one is powerful, and ends the album on a high-note.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable album from a very enjoyable guitarist. However, the Genesis feeling is very large, and it would take another album or two for Hackett to stray somewhat away from that sound (he would come back to it occasionally). 4.5/5.
Robert Peña

Of course this is the progrock sound that Genesis should have played from the late Seventies, unfortunately Steve Hackett left in '77 and Genesis became a poppy prog act under the command of Mr. P. Collins. But, as our famous Dutch soccer player Johan Cruijff used to say, "every disadvantage has its advantage" so we could enjoy an inspired and very progrock sounding Steve Hackett solo from '77.
This wonderful album features a Hackett who still was a member from progrock top act Genesis but also lost his battle to maintain his marriage. Music is a perfect way to sublimate this kind of negative emotions and I think that Hackett has done this very well, supported by his new Brasilian girlfriend Kim Poor who designed the beautiful art work. On this album the music carries me away to Progheaven, what a wonderful, captivating and varied progrock sound featuring mindblowing guitarplay by Hackett (distinctive volume-pedal work and lots of sensitive electric guitar), amazing keyboard work by John Acock (what's in a name?!), a fine collaboration from Genesis members Collins and Rutherford, Sally Oldfield and Johnny Gustafson (ex Quatermass and Roxy Music) and, last but not least, a frequent appearance of the unsurpassed Mellotron, EXCELLENT AND ESSENTIAL!!
Erik Neuteboom

Steve Hackett's "Voyage of the Acolyte" is a shinning example of the mixture of band and orchestral instruments into one album. This is probably why Steve Hackett is classified as a symphonic artist. Also the inclusion of synthesizers gives it that final symphonic touch which tops off the album's sound. The album its self is a tremendous success in my eyes, it is an advancement on any Genesis album as it features, in my opinion a more interesting atmosphere. Whether it be the unique sound or just the greater focus on classic guitar I just can't say, but it's just an improvement.
The album contrasts greatly in sound and mood, take the opener "Ace of Wands" and the following track "Hands of the Priestess pt.1." "Ace of Wands" is a louder, more violent song while Hands of the Priestess pt.1." is a beautiful mixture of classical guitar, flute and mellotron with some percussion here and there. These contrasts pop-up throughout the entire album and become very obvious after a while. Steve Hackett's guitar styles on this album range from intricate classic fingering to experimental guitar synthesizers, very interesting guitar work.
The album opens with the fast-paced "Ace of Wands" which features a couple of themes which appear throughout the entire album, played on instruments ranging from guitar to harmonica in a mellower mood. The song its self is excellent and features some very powerful progressive elements including synthesizers, changes in meter and mixture of instruments.
The next song "Hands of the Priestess, Part 1" is a somewhat mellower song with a really great flute melody played by Steve Hackett's brother. The song is more down to earth than "Ace of Wands" but still features little snippets of oddity. The song is a buffer for the upcoming chaos.
"A Tower Struck Down" is a louder, more aggressive piece than its predecessors and it incorporates the use of odd synthesizer effects. The synthesizers and general sounds in the piece are quite monotonous, but this is a minor factor and will eventually be forgotten. The song also breaks the calm of "Hands of the Priestess, Part 1", and it's really does its part well.
"Hands of the Priestess, Part 2" is quite a short song and it echoes the first part of the song. At the beginning of the peice a new tune is introduced which is repeated later in the album. There is also another tune repeated on a harmonica which sounds very. hazy and good. It is a good revival after "A Tower Struck Down."
Next is "The Hermit", which features great acoustic guitar work from Hackett and also great string backing which adds to the mood of the song. The song excels at conjuring the image of a weather-worn hermit who is more that what meets the eye.
Then comes, the masterpiece of the album, "Star Of Sirius believe me this is one amazing song. The contrast of loud and soft parts, as well as the very melodic guitar work and woodwinds (cor angelis I think) is amazing. A few of the tunes are repeated during the climax of the song and blend with the total feel of the song like clockwork. Amazing stuff.
Up next is the short "intermission" song "The Lovers" which is basically just a winding, mellow acoustic solo from Hackett with minimal backing. It acts as a buffer before the climax.
Last is the fantastic "Shadow of the Hierophant" which is another highlight. The piece features the lovely voice of Sally Oldfield who really brings something anyone else could not. The song is very epic and there is a particular tune which is repeated numerous times throughout the song. "Shadow of the Hierophant" is a great way to end a truly unforgettable album.
1. Ace Of Wands (5/5) 2. Hands of the Priestess Part I (5/5) 3. A Tower Struck Down (3.5/5) 4. Hands of the Priestess Part II (4/5) 5. The Hermit (5/5) 6. Star of Sirius (5/5) 7. The Lovers (3.5/5) 8. Shadow of the Hierophant (5/5) Total = 36 divided by 8 = 4.5 = 5 stars!!
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music
"Voyage of the Acolyte" is in my opinion better than any Genesis album, but really what has that got to do with anything? Anyway "Voyage of the Acolyte" really is an amazing album in all regards and it does what Genesis albums could not. I'd recommend this album to everyone, its great.
Matt

No real point in annointing this immense talent and huge guitar innovator any further , I still remember rewiring my jaw (after picking it up off the concert floor) subsequent to Genesis' show in Montreal in 1974. "A flower?" blooming amazing guitar display that was. This debut album is still justly viewed as a glowing icon of melancholia-infused progressive rock. With most of his Genesis bandmates on board, Hackett is in obviously comfortable surroundings and hence, positively shines throughout the tracks , effusively flowing guitar forays searching for new tonal horizons , dazzling atmospheres wonderfully coloured by the ubiquitous mellotron cascades, rivers of liquid flute runs and an occasional stream of vibrant cello. The supporting cast does well to further enhance the fragile delicacy of the arrangements , namely the pulsating Rutherford Rickenbaker combining deftly with the marvelous Collins drumming (they were a very underrated rythm section ), a burping Percy Jones fretless bass cameo and the glimmering voice courtesy of Sally Oldfiled . The tracks have been already dissected by my esteemed colleagues, so I will reserve my comments to the closer, where the disc spirals effortlessly into the upper reaches of nirvana (no, not the band) , an unmitigated classic that easily rivals or even surpasses any prime Genesis tune, proving conclusively that Steve's departure was the final progressive moment in Genesis' existence. The next chapters of their history has only further confirmed the obvious. Tied with Spectral Mornings but a slightly more precious overall package (Beautiful cover to boot). 5 stars, with "no reply at all".
Thomas Szirmay

"...lost in thought in search of vision as the moon eclipsed the sun..."
This album is of a rare beauty. I adore almost every minute of it.
The choice to try something new outside Genesis was a winning decision for Hackett. The atmosphere is warm with strong classical influences (a special mention goes to Sally Oldfield her beatutiful and pure vocals), rich of varied and intelligent compositions. Above all, its freshness, that sense of joy and delicacy flowing from all the notes, from all the synth's chants.
Acoustic and electric guitar softly whispering create pure melodic structures. Many changing moods from baroque (thanks to the use of instruments like oboe, cello and flute) to dramatic: the couple "Hands of the Priestess - part 1" and "A Tower Struck Down" are the most evident proof. The second one, in particular, is great, superb, nervous, exciting with those peculiar and distorted bass parts. Not to speak of the master use of synth whose results have bring the melodies to Olympus mount of prog.
The album is instrumental for the most part, with some exceptions like "The Hermit", "Star of Sirius" (which features excellent vocals thanks to fellow Genesis member Phil Collins) and "Shadow of the Hierophant" (11,45 mns).
The last one, is mainly instrumental and pompous. It reminds me (in its first part), a little, of Barclay James Harvest's memorable tune "For No One", especially for the majestic choir mellotron eruptions. That's one my best "goose bump moments in prog".
Thanks, Steve. 4.5/5 stars.
Andrea Cortese

This is a marvelous musical voyage released by Steve and his acolytes. Only Tony is missing on this one to get the whole of Genesis, while they were four.
Back then, I was an orphan young boy of my most beloved band. Peter had left a few months earlier and when I heard that Steve was releasing a solo album, I rushed out to buy my copy of his work. And what an excellent surprise it was! It starts already with the great cover artwork and lasts till the last and wonderful song.
The whole of this album was (and still is more than thirty years later) a real enchantment. It sounds of course fully as a Genesis album if you would except the crazy lyrics from Peter of course. It is also more instrumental (but this is more than logical).
Several aspects of the band are depicted. Complex and intricate instrumental with Ace Of Wands, fully pastoral and very melodic Hands Of The Priestess (both parts). The most Crimsonesque track A Tower Struck Down is another instrumental winner. Heavy, repetitive and scary. Even if I don't listen to this piece very often, it doesn't spoil the whole. The first part really sounds as an end of the world track (till the Sieg Heil shouts are fading away). The least accessible number from Voyage Of The Acolyte.
The Hermit is plunging into the Trespass-esque mood. Although I like very much the combination acoustic guitar and great keys, I can't say that the vocal part (from Steve) is on par. But this is only the start of his solo work, so I would rather be indulgent.
One of the best song available is Star Of Sirius. You can't imagine a closer song from Wind & Wuthering than this one. Rhythm changes, great synthesizers and a really catchy (even poppy) chorus and tranquil verse part (in the style of One For The Vine). When you listen to this excellent piece of music featuring Phil on the lead vocals, there are no wonder that all the Genesis fans were just thrilled with this great album. Mike is just great in his bass play as well. A highlight of course.
A short Horizons oriented acoustic guitar solo is opening the way for a great closing number : Shadow Of The Hierophant. If you happen to like sumptuous mellotron, this one is for you. Aerial vocals from Sally Oldfield, bombastic instrumental passages, clever guitar breaks. Another truly Genesis number and another highlight. The long, repetitive and crescendo fianle is a fantastic symphonic prog moment.
This is by far the best album ever recorded by any Genesis member in a solo effort. The rating? Five stars of course! I have just ordered the remastered edition while listening again to this marvel, since I read that the two bonus tracks are really worth.
Daniel

STEVE HACKETT is among the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music.Born in London in 1950,he begun his musical journey in 1970 with ''Quiet World'' along with his brother Jon.A year later he joined GENESIS after the departure of original guitarist Anthony Phillips,with whom he spent 5 overcreative years.In 1975 Steve was announced the first GENESIS member to release a solo album,''Voyage of the acolyte''.A fantastic work of high quality,''Voyage of the acolyte'' actually moves GENESIS' sound a step further.Now,the familiar pastoral orchestral GENESIS-like arrangements (featuring strong use of flutes and mellotron) are mixed with some really progressive guitar work based on virtuosic changing tempos and climates.The album doesn't allow you to breathe,as at one moment the acoustic folkish sounds of Hackett's guitar relax you at the maximum,when suddenly the next track offers complicated musicianship with amazing interplays and fast tempos!
Hackett is accompanied for this release by a number of great musicians like his brother Jon,GENESIS' fellows Rutherford and Collins,Sally Oldfield etc...Words are not enough to describe this absolute masterpiece of music,a lost GENESIS album by one of world's best musicians/song-writers.Certainly a must-have!
apps79

In 1975, Steve Hackett became the first Genesis member to release a solo album. Although Anthony Phillips left Genesis in 1970, he did not release his first album until 1977, the same year Peter Gabriel released his debut solo album. Of course later on, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and Phil Collins would all release solo albums. At the moment, I can't think of another band that had so many members release solo efforts, and in mostly large numbers.
Hackett's debut, Voyage of the Acolyte sounded like a missing Genesis recording that never made it into the light of day. And maybe that's because Hackett had some of his Genesis friends help him out with this album, notably Mike Rutherford on bass and Phil Collins on drums. But it wasn't just that. Hackett also played the Mellotron and harmonium, adding lush background drops to these songs. Sure, it wasn't anything like having Tony Banks on board, but the effect was good enough to give it that Genesis feel.
In addition to Rutherford and Collins, other musicians contributing include Steve's younger brother, John Hackett, who performs admirably on the flute and Arp synthesizer. Co-producer John Acock contributed more Mellotron, harmonium, piano, and the Elka Rhapsody, a string synthesizer. Robin Miller, who appeared on some King Crimson albums adds some oboe and English horn, and Nigel Warren-Green contributes some cello. So this is a little more than the usual Genesis affair.
The music is mostly instrumental as only three of the songs contains vocals. Hackett sings on The Hermit, Collins sings on Star of Sirius, and guest vocalist, Sally Oldfield (sister of Mike Oldfield) sings on Shadow of the Hierophant. Some of the songs are quite complex (like the opener Ace of Wands), some are pastorally laid back, and the last track (Shadow of the Hierophant) is a lengthy piece deserving of placement on any of the mid-1970s Genesis releases.
Hackett does a very impressive job on his debut as a songwriter. Genesis had a more democratic approach to writing music and this one really let Hackett open up. In fact, after this album Hackett often felt stifled by the Genesis approach and he often felt that he didn't have a fair share in contributing music. This led him to go solo in 1977. I don't fully understand why the other members of Genesis reacted this way towards Hackett's abilities, especially if they had listened to this album (and Collins and Rutherford played on it!!). I have no doubt that his contributions would have not only been fitting for the Genesis albums of that time, but certainly would have made them even better.
Although Hackett did a great job on this album, this was all new to him. It shows on some of the material. The short pieces often sound unfinished and the cohesiveness of the album as a whole is often lacking. It seems like it jumps around a bit and it gives me a feeling of unevenness.
An enjoyable listen that is highly recommended for Genesis and symphonic prog fans. Not quite a masterpiece, but surely an excellent release considering the circumstances. Four / Five stars.
Ken Robinson

There is lots of mellotron, sadness and beauty throughout Steve Hackett's debut record. In other words... this is my kind of album ! His GENESIS mates help out here except for Banks and Gabriel(who just left that band). Steve's brother John is on board, and he will continue to help out his brother on future releases.
"Ace Of Wands" is surprisingly in your face to open with guitar, bass and drums leading the way. I like the synths that follow before they hit us again. Gentle guitar follows with mellotron before another outburst. Synths and bells before 2 1/2 minutes as themes continue to be repeated. It changes completely 3 1/2 minutes in. Where did that come from ? Guitar and mellotron are so good. "Hands Of The Priestess Part !" is a pastoral track with gently played guitar, flute and mellotron leading the way. "A Tower Struck Down" is a fairly heavy pulsating piece of music. Percy Jones helps out with some extra bass on this one. Synths come at 3 minutes followed by samples of a Hitler rally. The mellotron before 4 minutes is so majestic, the best on the album. "Hands Of The Priestess Part II" features flute, mellotron and some intricate guitar.
"The Hermit" is the first song with vocals. Steve sings on this one as he plays acoustic guitar. Cello a minute in with flute to follow. Aboe 3 1/2 minutes in. I like this melancholic tune a lot. This song and "The Lovers" are the only two tracks without mellotron. "Star Of Sirius" is another vocal track with Phil Collins at the helm. More gentle guitar as aboe then vocals come in. Mellotron rolls in. Synths as well. Very pastoral until the song kicks into gear 2 1/2 minutes in. What a great section ! Aboe 4 minutes in with mellotron as guitar and synths follow. Very GENESIS-like here. It kicks back in around 5 minutes right to the end. "The Lovers" features more acoustic guitar to open until synths take over half way through. "Shadow Of The Hierophant" is such a gorgeous song that contrasts those uplifting sweeping mellotron sections with the higher pitched vocals of Sally Oldfield. Her voice is so moving. We get some vibes from Collins after 6 minutes which signals a change for the rest of the song. It almost becomes dead quiet, then builds with mellotron, drums, synths and more right to the end.
In my opinion this is the best solo effort by a GENESIS member, although "The Geese And The Ghost" by Anthony Phillips is pretty darn close.
John Davie

For some people, GENESIS really disappeared the moment that Steve Hackett left the band. In a way, it is true. Only partially. What died with Hackett's departure was symphonic-GENESIS, and the band still had a few good albums up their sleeves (especially the trio's first). But something good came out of all of that. Finally, the guitar-master was able to explore his art freely, to create whatever he wanted. And the results were truly magnificent. Curiously, one of Hackett's best (if not best) albums was recorded before he left GENESIS, his first masterpiece, the superb "Voyage of the Acolyte"
We have an album made of 8 tracks, all of at least better-than-good quality. As always with Hackett, we have a big array of styles and influences, even though it's safe to say that he still owes a little bit of his sound to his (then)-main band. It's no secret also that probably this record's best tracks are, in my view, those two which feature GENESIS members alongside Hackett. So, hearing the style (still much more prog-rock-oriented and less world-music) and having in mind the collaboration of Collins and Rutherford, both factors would clearly affirm that the guitarist's own project was still not 100% his own. That, of course, is a totally invalid conclusion, and I'd say it's the other way around.
For what we have here is 100% Steve Hackett, exactly because a big part of GENESIS' beautiful music was due to Hackett's wonderful playing. If one ever wonders what was lost in the band's music after "Wind and Wuthering" (I would say after "And then there were three", an album were the trio still managed to pull a prog masterpiece), it was the atmospheric style, that sound that evoked something beyond the music. What GENESIS lacked from "Duke" onwards was, simply put, magic, the kind of magic that their guitarist was able to provide in enormous, immeasurable quantities (and, mostly, quality).
Steve Hackett has never been a guitarist that tries to show off his skills. We will rarely hear him dazzling us with his speed or his mind-defying fingering. His technique is superb, even admired by classical music fans, but it's not in his fingers but in his mind, in his imagination where we will find the true high art. He manages to make the guitar sound like a keyboard, manages to make it cry, to make it laugh, to express things that can't be explained in words. De-wording music is actually making pure music, and Hackett achieves this constantly. He invented (or perfected, actually) techniques later falsely attributed to others, he played music thought impossible for rock musicians, but that's not what his art is about. His art is about sounds, about creating a canvas where his guitar's notes are the brushes and the colors at the same time. His art is about songwriting, for if there's any doubt that Hackett can craft a good track, it only takes a few listens to any of his albums to erase it.
Ace of Wands (8.5/10) The most energetic of the lot, is also probably the less atmospheric but at the same time the more virtuosic. But even in the midst of the convulsion the artist creates magic in a middle section that ascends to the stars. Excellent opener.
Hands of the Priestess - Part I (9.5/10) A beautiful opening reveals a flute that tries to bewitch us like that one that legend found in Hamelin. We will dearly follow its trail. Pure beauty. This is what prog music is all about. Short but memorable.
A tower Struck Down (8/10) A very haunting, menacing opening sends shivers down our spines. Terror lurks in the dark it would seem. Peace eludes us as the second section fills us with even more doubts and uncertainty. The scene has flames, little figures dancing around it, mental-illness, eyes like tornadoes. Very good track.
Hand of the Priestess - Part II (9/10) The amazing melody of Part I returns but this time it sounds more pastoral, with an oboe singing the tune in a joyous celebration of nature and prog-rock. Even shorter, but still outstanding.
The Hermit (9/10) The beginning is very sad, with vocals appearing for the first time, buried under three feet of reverb, coming from a distant place. It's Hackett, who never was a singer but always was (and is) an artist who knows where and how to use his voice. The flute appears again, with a little melancholic melody. The end of the track is pure instrumental bliss. Excellent.
Star of Sirius (9.5/10) My love for GENESIS shines through when, at the mere appearance of Phil Collins' voice, I smile. Of course, the majestic music underneath it is what really captures my emotions. Everything is pensive, atmospheric, surreal; a figure in keys appears which announces the arrival of the fast section, full of the same glorious relaxed-energy that only GENESIS or its guitarist could create. We get a repetition of both sections, and we long for more minutes when the track's 7 are finally over. Superb.
The Lovers (8/10) A quick interlude in acoustic guitar, this is very soft and acts as the perfect introduction for the magic that is about to unfold.
Shadow of the Hierophant (10/10) Mike Rutherford collaborates with Hackett in this track, and one can't deny the importance of his input. But in the end, it's the music that absolutely overwhelms us. When the female voice rises over the acoustic arpeggio, it's like an angel singing to us tales that we can't yet grasp because we've never been told to truly understand beauty. The tragic melody that strikes when the bass and drums come back feels like a dagger in our weakened hearts. The celestial creature sings again, but then we're brought back to our senses immediately before we can get lost in so much light. She appears once again, but for the third time she's stricken off the canvas. Suddenly Hackett starts playing around with his instrument, he taps the strings creating a whirlwind that ascends to a much brighter place. The music is happier now. Percussive vibes start announcing the arrival of the final part of the epic. First we get it at very low intensity. It grows until it explodes tenderly in our ears. And a superb song has ended, one of the best in all rock. The album fades.
There are no weak tracks and no boring moments. Maybe a couple songs could've been even better, but rarely do we get albums like that. This is a towering masterpiece that grows with me every time I hear it, like the legend that created it, arguably the greatest guitarist in all progressive-rock, and for my taste, in all that is rock.
TGTR

The "Missing" Genesis Album
Sub-genre: Symphonic Progressive Rock (Holds true to form)
For Fans of: Genesis, Bands that bridge the gap between Symphonic Progressive and New Age
Vocal Style: Clean male mid-range to operatic female
Guitar Style: Very lightly distorted rock sound to warm vintage classical guitar.
Keyboard Style: Everything from Mellotron to Moog/ARP shaped synth to natural piano sounds.
Percussion Style: Standard rock set.
Bass Style: Standard rock.
Other Instruments: Bells, Harps, Cello, Flute
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: You have an aversion to medieval, renaissance and sylvan themes.
Summary: This reviewer is not much of a historian when it comes to the split up of Genesis. It is my understanding the music in Voyage of the Acolyte was written as material for Genesis. That being said, it is hard to find a way this music would have fit in the Genesis library. At times, especially when you hear the vocals of Phil Collins, or the very familiar rock guitar work of Hackett himself, the pieces seem to fit together. But the overriding fantasy theme was a split from the direction that Genesis itself was going. Additionally, Voyage of the Acolyte stands out from Hackett's subsequent work; where his next few albums tend to be more piecemeal work, Voyage of the Acolyte holds together cohesively as a single concept. As a matter of fact, it sticks out as one of the most important concept albums in Symphonic Progressive Rock history.
From start to finish, the word that most immediately springs to mind when thinking about this album is 'beautiful'. It is difficult to maintain the level of contrast exemplified in this album without sacrificing any sense of flow. Oftentimes attempts are made to adapt medieval themes to rock music, with results that turn out 'campy' to say the least. This album avoids the pitfalls of its less attractive stepsisters. Hackett not only brought the material to make this happen, but also assembled just the right carpenters to shape the material into the construct that he wanted.
Final Score: Voyage of the Acolyte is a top 10 album in my collection and an essential piece to any Symphonic Progressive Rock collection. Everything about this problem is attractive. The writing, the playing, the recording quality, even the cover and sleeve art are attractive. There's no question that this masterpiece album deserves five out of five stars.
Ian

One of the best and most characteristic progressive rock albums ever made, and Steve Hackett's finest moment as a composer. At it's best it surpasses Genesis, and at it's worst it's still around the same level as them. The music is very adventurous and imaginative with excellent use of contrasting moods and themes, Steve was (and still is) a brilliant writer and somewhat underused in Genesis so this album really made my day on first listen. The CD didn't leave the player for a month and the music is still as fresh now as it was back then. The musicianship have to be mentioned as well with bandmates Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins doing the rhythm section and brother John Hackett and John Acock on flute and keyboards respectively. Returning to a more song-oriented format on further releases, this is one of Hackett's most unique and rewarding albums, and absolutely essential for any starving proghead, preferably with a crush on Genesis. Highlights include the brilliant "Ace of Wands" and "Star of Sirius", the latter being sung by Phil Collins, two rollercoaster rides with splendid music. Essential.
Björnar Lunde

No doubt, Hackett's solo debut was and still is a wonderful record capturing all the instrumental and composing ideas Steve had accumulated during his GENESIS tenure but was prevented to "sell" them to the band-mates. So he decided to go solo. But this is very much GENESIS-sounding album, and if you are a fan of Gabriel-era GENESIS you should definitely get "The Voyage of the Acolyte"!
There are lots of beautiful instrumental passages, pastoral feel of guitar solo, acoustic strings, mellotrons and flutes, symphonic arrangements, and above all, diversity. "Hand of the Priestess" carries the fine melodic snippets of what was probably left from the material Hackett composed for GENESIS album "Selling England..", while "Tower Struck Down" is an abrasive heavy guitar attack resembling some dark KING CRIMSON aspects. The highlight is perhaps "The Star of Sirius" with Phil Collins handling the lead vocals and is a typical multi-part progressive track of the GENESIS canon. Being an exceptional guitar player Hackett is much less of a vocalist, so "The Hermit" although nice ballad is probably the least strong track on the album. Another magnum opus is the closing "Shadow of a Hierophant" with female lead vocals by Sally Oldfield and some really wonderful weeping sound of Hackett's guitar and his brother John's flute. Of course, the opener "Ace of Wands" is a memorable instrumental composition and a furious starter to this lovely record.
Absolutely essential to all listeners of "symphonic" type of classic prog.
PERSONAL RATING: 4,75/5
Sead S. Fetahagic

Y hay muchos otros comentarios pero todos dicen más o menos lo mismo, no joda, llevense el disco...



5 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac + CUE + m3u - No log + Scans)
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  2. Maravilhoso post MoeBios!!!!
    Como sempre, de olho vivo no seu belo trabalho.
    Abração.

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  3. Discazo!, gracias por este enorme aporte!

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  4. excelente aporte, muchisimas gracias!

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