Hackett, Steve - Voyage Of The Acolyte

Year of Release: 1991
Label: Blue Plate/Caroline
Catalog Number: CAROL-1863-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:52:00

It's a rainy Saturday afternoon, and as I was going through my collection, an old gem crossed my eyes and went straight into the player - Steve Hackett's Voyage Of The Acolyte (Charisma/Chrysalis 1975 (1176/1112)). As I looked through Hackett's extensive catalogue on my shelf, this jumped out as the quintessential recording to me. From Kim Poor's haunting cover art, to the amazing eclectic nature of the music, this recording stands up close to 30 years after its initial release.

Hackett's guitar work shines throughout the mostly instrumental recording, yet even at this early stage he shows that he as much a composer as he is a guitarist. The way he shapes his songs, the use of the keyboards, the variety to sounds and arrangements are spectacular. Lovers of the mellotron must drool while listening.

The highly complex and energetic "Ace of Wands" opens the CD with some great guitar work, and is immediately followed with the beautiful melodies of "Hands of the Priestess Part I" (part II is equally stellar) with brother John featured on the flute. "A Tower Struck Down" is almost clumsy and schizophrenic in its presentation, but somehow seems to work.

Hackett brings out the acoustic guitar for "The Hermit," a mystical track with minimal instrumentation in comparison to the other tracks, but is strong in its sparse arrangement. The melodies are mesmerizing, and though I have not listened to this CD in awhile, everything immediately comes back. Hackett's many acoustic recordings are a treasure, but there is something about the atmosphere of this CD that is not contained on the other recordings. It is also interesting that Hackett chose to use Collins and Rutherford on this record, yet felt stifled by the band due to what he felt was a lack of his material appearing on the bands recordings. "Star Of Sirius" features Collins on vocals (he also plays drums on the disc), and the song is for the most part a quiet track, but builds at the end to a frantic finish.

"Shadow Of The Hierophant" is an amazing ending to this disc. If you listen closely to this in the middle, you might think Eddie Van Halen made a guest appearance. Not only is Hackett using the tapping technique (prior to Van Halen's debut), the melody at times is strangely similar to Van Halen's signature "Eruption." Regardless, this track is a moving piece of music that sends shivers up my spine. It does not get better than this for Hackett fans.

Hackett has achieved many musical triumphs in his career, and is still recording strong original music to this day. But, if my back were against the wall, and a favorite must be chosen, Voyage Of The Acolyte wins hands down.

Ace Of Wands 5:23 / Hands Of The Priestess Part I 3:28 / A Tower Struck Down 4:53 / Hands Of The Priestess Part II 1:31 / The Hermit 4:49 / Star Of Sirius 7:08 / The Lovers 1:50 / Shadow Of The Hierophant 11:44

Steve Hackett - guitars, Mellotron, harmonium, bells, autoharp, vocals, effects
John Hackett - flute, ARP synthesizer, bells
Mike Rutherford - bass, bass pedals, 12 string guitar
Phil Collins - drums, vibes, percussion, vocals
John Acock - Mellotron, harmonium, piano, Elka Rhapsody
Sally Oldfield - vocals
Robin Miller - oboe, cor anglais
Nigel Warren-Green - cello
Percy Jones - bass
Johnny Gustafson - bass

Genesis - Nursery Crime (1971)
Genesis - Foxtrot (1972)
Genesis - Live (1973)
Genesis - Selling England By The Pound (1973)
Genesis - Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974)
Voyage Of The Acolyte (1975)
Genesis - Wind And Wuthering (1976)
Genesis - Trick Of The Tail (1976)
Genesis - Seconds Out (1977)
Please Don't Touch (1978)
Spectral Mornings (1979)
Defector (1980)
Cured (1981)
Highly Strung (1983)
Bay Of Kings (1983)
Til We Have Faces (1983)
GTR - GTR (1986)
Momentum (1988)
Genesis - Three Sides Live (1982)
Genesis - Genesis Archive 1967-75 (1988)
Time Lapse (1992)
The Unauthorised Biography (1992)
Guitar Noir (1994)
Blues With A Feeling (1994)
There Are Many Sides To The Night (1994)
A Midsummer's Night Dream (1997)
Watcher Of The Skies: Genesis Revisited (1997)
The Tokyo Tapes (1997)
Darktown (1999)
Genesis - Genesis - Turn It On Again (1999)
Sketches Of Satie (2000) (w/John Hackett)
Feedback '86 (2000)
Genesis - Genesis Archive #2 (2000)
Live Archive 70s 80s 90s (2001)
Live Archive - Newcastle (2001)
To Watch The Storms (2003)
Live Archive NEARfest (2003)
Live Archive 03 (2004)
Live Archive 04 (2004)
Genesis - The Platinum Collection (2004)
Metamorpheus (2005) (w/The Underworld Orchestra)
Live Archive 05 (2005)
Live Archive 83 (2006)
Wild Orchids (2006)
Tribute (2008)
Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth (2010)
Beyond The Shrouded Horizon (2011)
Genesis Revisited II (2012)

Steve Hackett Live (VHS) (1981)
The Tokyo Tapes (DVD) (1998)
Hungarian Horizons - Live In Budapest (DVD) (2003)
Somewhere In South America - Live In Buenos Aires (DVD) (2003)
Once Upon A Time (DVD) (2004)
Spectral Mornings (DVD) (rec 1978; rel 2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 3rd 2004
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website: www.hackettsongs.com
Hits: 947
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]