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April 2013
Released: 2013, Vagrant Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Acolyte have arrived! After years in the darkness, The United Kingdom has recently produced some top notch black metal and melodic black metal, and Acolyte seem like a fitting outfit to join this exclusive club.

Their upcoming release entitled Alta, released May 6th, is a long blackened story of torment. The production of the release is good, but not amazing, however this may perhaps lend to the black metal label they are under. The lads from Manchester seem to have taken some impressive influences into making the album, including the likes of Opeth, Virus, Enslaved and .

JT’s vocals are piercing, an almost amplified underwater gargle, accompanied by the echoing sounds of Chris’ guitar. The song that jumps out at you first is track 2, Leng. Instantly reminiscent of The Drapery Falls, especially when it comes to Paul’s bass playing ability, very much like that of Martin Mendez. I could make comparisons between this song and Opeth all day, but that is for you to decide.

With some hooks blacker than a moonless night accompanied with sudden changes to the most ambient music, sections of this album show the imagination and creativity of a Steven Wilson project. The Opeth comparisons seem to keep on coming, with long repetitive sequences that remind you of a funeral march in a thunder storm.

Having heaped endless amounts of praise unto this release, there appears to be something missing, something that puts a giant wall up in front of the line a band needs to cross to become a world beater. Pin pointing this certain aspect is easier said than done. Whilst there is a lot to enjoy on Alta, this type of music is very hard to perfect and often leaves the listener with something to be desired. That said, what we are looking at here is a very promising release and hopefully a platform for which the band can build on and hopefully achieve great things and put The UK on the map for this genre of metal.

I can only hope and imagine the band’s live performance is something to savor.

A good live performance to match the material provided on Alta would make the band stand out with up and coming UK black metal outfits such as Winterfylleth and Primitive Graven Image.

The album definitely showcases some of the most melodic black metal I’ve heard in a while, along with some lyrics that you can mishear to your pleasure.

Musicianship is simple, yet affective with some impressive time signatures, along with the occasional jazz influence and even a rather satisfying guitar solo towards the end of the album.

Would I buy this album? Yes, I feel The UK needs more of this, lots more. For fans of Opeth (the heavy stuff), Enslaved and , Acolyte have produced a solid release which should propel them into the scene.

Overall a promising debut from the black metal Mancs. I definitely look forward to future releases; I’m sure all fans of Melodic Black Metal will also.

Review by Andrew May
Track Listing

1. Alta (Intro)
2. Charybdis
3. Leng
4. The Nameless Expanse
5. Sunrise
6. Formidine
7. Vultures
8. The Ashenground
9. Epistle


Malekh - Composer/Rhythm Guitar
JT - Vocals/Lyrics
Brady - Drums
Chris - Lead Guitar
Paul - Bass

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» Alta
by UK Team

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