Acolyte: Entropy-2021.

Hailing from Melbourne, Acolyte stand alone in the Australian music
scene as a powerful and exploratory blend of classic and modern progressive rock.
 

To experience an Acolyte live performance is to embark on a mesmerising journey through theatrical melodies, crushing riffs, cavernous soundscapes, soaring leads and exemplary technical musicianship. Following the 2016 release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Shades of Black’ (Best Heavy Album nomination: Victoria Music Awards 2016,Best Live Performance shortlist: Oz Independent Music Awards 2016), Acolyte has become a staple on the Australian live scene – headlining their own national tours as well as supporting Prog-Metal legends 12 Foot Ninja on their national ‘Outlier’ tour, home town kings Jericco at their final show in Melbourne and more recently Voyager, Leprous and a host of others on the main stage at Melbourne’s PROGFEST.

Morgan-Leigh Brown – Vocals
Brandon Valentine – Guitars
David Van Pelt – Keyboards and Synthesisers
Jason Grondman – Bass
Chris Cameron – Drums

One response to “Acolyte: Entropy-2021.”

  1. May 20, 2021 Laura McCarthy Acolyte, Blood Blast Distribution, Entropy, Incendia Music, Wild Thing Records
    ACOLYTE promised big things after the release of their last record Shades of Black. With five years between that release and now, fans and critics have been waiting to see what would be in store on their new record Entropy.

    Considering opener Prelude is only around seventy seconds long, it booms out an expansive introduction like the Big Bang. It sets the scene and brings a nice sense of atmospheric build up for proper front runner and title track Entropy. Morgan Leigh Brown‘s vocals are as strong as ever, bringing a power to the assortment of themes and motifs throughout the music. The breaks and builds that people have come to expect from ACOLYTE are masterfully crafted, bringing in a jazz sensibility through their heavier moments and allowing the symphonic drama to wash over the more tempered sections.

    Resentment has a 70s vibe going on in its synth sounds and the rip-roaring groove of its rock and roll attitude. That old school feeling of psychedelics and anger brimming taps into a modern context and results in a song with weight that feels intergenerational. There are some big themes on this record, and while they’re important, the songs themselves still allow for some bounce and fun.

    Taking things down into a more chilled out tempo is Clarity. This isn’t just a place to relax to the delay and reverb, the strings of the previous tracks emotions tether it to the overall ideas. You can’t help but feel spiritually connected here, as a story of growth and straining desire to find lucidity pushes out of the stupor into a brighter mindset.

    Resilience harks back to the bands fondness for folk, a beautiful melody that has an air of history to it is played though over more acoustic and reed instrumentation. It’s a warm sounding, harmony filled track that is guided by Brown‘s classical vocals. This is one of the shorter songs, but your hairs will be on end from start to finish.

    On the cusp of Idiosyncrasy we move into colder places once again. The rich array of softer, more haunting instruments that draws you in is sharply interjected by some funky bass and keys, as the vocals and groove of the drums tap into the more grounded parts of more traditional sounds. It’s got a lot of heart, heat and power, and it’s not afraid to let the atmosphere gather in its middle section, aethereal wind catching an evocative tune on both reed and voice. Effortlessly it builds back into a swaying, gyrating pulse that before long would have you losing yourself in exotic rhythms and tasty phrasings.

    A final, shorter interlude, Solitude is a good expression for what it feels like in this soundscape. Everything feels far away, echoing, disconnected, harsh and barren. The words whispered are cloudy and inaudible, hard to concentrate on. It’s a disorientating representation of the mental state of exhaustion and frustration that Brown must have felt suffering with CFS through the record.

    Recovery begins as malevolent, droning notes under a slow melody that draws itself up to a hard-earned resolve. It feels like the hard path to self-affirmation. It’s another tune that is exclusively instrumental, and leans towards the more classical expressions that can often encompass contrasting feelings of uncertainty and resilience. In recovery, there is loss, but also rediscovery of everything that was weighted down.

    Final track Acceptance is utterly tranquil, a fair and soft start of echoing keys and string harmonics, more wonderfully crafted lyrics breathe over, carefully caressing the bed of notes below it. The strength and boldness of the attitude swiftly picks up the pace, as a more striking, confident sound emerges. The collaboration feels like one unit, all feeding off each other’s energy and drawing out more passion and grand theatrics. It’s a powerful ending with some sweet riffing from both strings and keys, and held together by consummate vocals.

    Entropy is the pinnacle of what it means to listen to an album. From start to finish, it’s a journey through a very personal space, coloured by technical and dramatic progressive music. In the same way that masters like DREAM THEATER take you on a journey, so do ACOLYTE, proving that as a band, they’re made for great things. All in all, this is a hugely accomplished record with beautifully raw lyrics that weave a narrative that begs for repeat listens.

    Rating: 8/10

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