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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 October 2015
Purchased this to replace a broken & inadequate cassette not played for many years. Man alive, what have I been missing ! Bursting with creative ideas and quality playing, a worthy starting point for Steve's solo career. Highly recommended !
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on 18 June 2017
Hackett's finest. Spectral Mornings was great (the title track especially), but it didn't have Heirophant which gets in your head forever.

The must have Hackett album.
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on 5 August 2017
Good, but I much prefer his work with Genesis.
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on 28 June 2017
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on 5 September 2017
yes yes
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2007
I remember a sunny afternoon over 30 years ago when a customer visited the audio dealers where I worked clutching a couple of LP's that were to become a big part of my listening sessions over the years. One was "Olias Of Sunhillow" by Jon Anderson and the other was this beautiful outing by Steve Hackett.

The music here is very haunting. It draws you in with great textures of light and shade to keep you on your toes. I wasn't a big fan of Genesis then (Trick Of The Tail changed all that!), but I can now see that the music on this recording shows just what a big part of Genesis Steve was. This may be regarded as a "prog" album by many, but it's stood the test of time far better than many prog LP's of the period in my view.

Along with many others I bought the CD as soon as it was available to replace my well played LP and it exhibited many of the failings of the LP, namely distortion in the kick bass and a certain thin-ness of tone typical of CD's made from masters intended for LP production. The re-mastering here has restored much of the "body" of tone, making the acoustic instruments sound much better and more natural. The distortion's still there a bit, but nothing like as noticeable as before.

In a time when I should be putting my money into new music, I can't help but return to some of my favourites and replace them with the latest issues, especially at the prices they can be obtained for. This a supremely rewarding album to listen to and I can't recommend it highly enough.

In closing, I wish some of the great "unwashed" looking newby bands (all beginning with "The *****") would take a listen to Dads old Genesis LP's, together with other great music from this era - the sort John Peel used to play(!)- Maybe then they'd learn just how far they need to go to come anywhere near great artists like this......

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on 16 June 2015
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. In my view it took Tony Banks 2 albums to serve it to Hackett. Anyone who saw the (rather poor) recent BBC documentary - Genesis:Together and apart - will have gathered that Banks is a stubborn and petulant man who likes things his own way (even in his 60's).

Not only did Hackett have the audacity to record a solo album with Rutherford and Collins guesting, but he proved himself to be an astonishingly good writer and showed just how good a band could sound with GUITAR as the primary instrument focus.

To add insult to injury Voyage of the Acolyte could have followed Foxtrot or Selling England by the Pound as a fabulous Genesis album before the (relatively) poorly received Lamb Lies down on Broadway.

There is simply not a bad track on this album.

The mood is obviously Gothic/Victorian/otherworldly and mysterious, and very much follows the atmosphere of the pre-Lamb albums.

I also think its an album that demonstrates just how fabulous Rutherford was as a bass (and oboe!) player and of course just what an amazing drummer Collins was (and should have stayed).

By the time of Wind and Wuthering, Hackett couldn't get anything other than the sublime 'Blood on the Rooftops' on the album as an original composition (if Collins contributed anything to the track as a writer it may have been the odd lyric here and there). They (and I would guess mainly Banks) chucked 'Please don't Touch' out of the running and included 'Wot Gorilla' and 'All in a Mouses Night' - I mean seriously there is no comparison.

Genesis at that time operated (allegedly) as a songwriting democracy - how many tracks on A Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering do NOT have Banks as a writer or co-writer? Well the answer is 4 out of 18 songs - clearly NOT a democracy.

Anyway, Hackett clearly saw the writing on the wall and made the right decision. The songs on 'Please don't Touch' and 'Spectral Mornings' show just how much 'And then there were 3' and 'Duke' blow.

Hackett is far too much of a gentleman to criticise his former band members and to be fair he has largely continued to produce interesting (unlike Genesis), successful (like Genesis) and individualistic (unlike Genesis) music so really he doesn't need to.

Just buy this and have done with it. It is that good.
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on 14 September 2013
Steve's first solo outing and an album that is well worth the time adding to your record collection. A wide variety of material; some very subtle and beautiful. 'Star of Sirius' (featuring sublime vocals from Phil Collins) is, for me, a classic Hackett outing and 'Ace Of Wands' is a dazzling opening track. 'Shadow Of The Hierophant', which is every bit as mysterious as the title suggests, is also a stunning piece of music. Buy this and enjoy.
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on 17 June 2016
Blast from the past, live tracks great.
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VINE VOICEon 26 September 2005
After Peter Gabriel left Genesis, the remaining members took some time out to decide on what to do next. Guitarist Steve Hackett worked on his first solo album and the results were almost a Genesis album in all but name, with both Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford making guest appearances.
It is clear from this album that Steve's contributions within Genesis were very significant indeed. The same autumnal, English, pastoral feel that pervaded albums such as "Foxtrot" and "Selling England By the Pound" is prevalent on "Voyage Of The Acolyte". This album has a dark, haunting feel to it, emphasised by brother John's flute playing and the heavy use of mellotron and acoustic guitar. The album opens with the storming instrumental "Ace Of Wands" which has become a firm live favourite ever since. Hackett is very, very good at writing rock instrumentals. His back catalogue is littered with brilliantly executed pieces like "Clocks", "Sierra Quemada" and "Twice Around The Sun". Next up is the beautifully haunting "Hands Of The Priestess Part 1". This then segues straight into the fuzzy menace of "A Tower Struck Down", another classic instrumental. "Star Of Sirius" is significant in featuring a lead vocal from Phil Collins, a sign of things to come. The album is completed with the mighty "Shadow Of The Hierophant", with beautiful lead vocals by Sally Oldfield and ending with typical instrumental aplomb.
This was an excellent debut for Hackett. A bridge between the Genesis of old and the new and emphatically showcased not just what an excellent instrumentalist Hackett was, but that he had the compositional skills to match. Eventually the success of this album and his frustrations working within the confines of the band would lead to his departure.
This re-release is part of the remastering of Hacketts' first four albums he recorded for Charisma. The remastering was overseen by Hackett and sounds excellent. The sleeve notes and packaging have been put together by the highly esteemed team of Mark Powell and Phil Smee. Included as bonus material is an electrified live version of "Ace Of Wands" and an extended "Shadow Of The Hierophant". So all in all a truly impressive package and at this price you can't go wrong.
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