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Acolyte - Alta

by Vasilis Odontidis at 03 June 2013, 11:28 AM

Even the Metal universe is bound to rules. Rules that are meant not to be broken. The United Kingdom is that infamous breeding ground for a bunch of legendary Heavy Metal bands (and quite a few other genres) but concerning Black Metal and especially of the Progressive genre, it has not been doing that well. ACOLYTE with their brand new debut “Alta” are here to change the rules of the game.

“Alta” is approximately one hour long with eight compositions (and a small intro), “Epistle” being the longest one and the closing track of the record clocking approximately twelve minutes. The record includes three compositions, “The Ashenground”, “Leng” and “Sunrise” that are from the band’s first EP “Leng” released in 2011. The band is using Black Metal as the basis of its musical architecture and adds a variety of other sounds that range from Death Metal till Black N’ Roll. There are a few times that the band reminds of early OPETH and others like SATYRICON but the influences are carefully filtered and presented as something very unique. Tracks like “Leng” or “Vultures” are very representative of that style and there are also among the best of the album.

The production of the record is quite balanced, keeping a raw feeling while not exaggerating in the dynamics of the instruments. The guitar playing is quite variant focusing the classical Black Metal disharmonies, either as chords or on building chaotic riffs plus occasional galloping or eerie acoustic parts. There are few leads and solos in the album that are well played and cleverly structured. The bass is not very present but adds an amount of heaviness to the sound. The drums are what one expect from that kind of stuff, but I find them more interesting at the Black N’ Roll parts. The growling dry vocals add the final touch to the interesting music of ACOLYTE. As most of the times the term Progressive doesn’t describe an insane amount of technical playing but music with lots of variations through the evolution of the song. ACOLYTE’s music orientation is heading towards this direction and it is undeniable that they have created a fine debut album of Progressive Black Metal.

3 Star Rating

1. Alta (Intro)
2. Charybdis
3. Leng
4. The Nameless Expanse
5. Sunrise
6. Formidine
7. Vultures
8. The Ashenground
9. Epistle
Chris - Guitars
Malekh - Guitars
JT - Vocals
Paul - Bass
Brady – Drums
Record Label: Mordgrimm


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