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DeadSet Records 12/05

ACOLYTE: A Disciple Left In Darkness

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Words by Michael Naidos

You’d be forgiven to expect a black metal band from Lismore to come with an umlaut, but in Acolyte’s case, they do indeed reign from the Northeastern region of New South Wales. A side project summoned by two thirds of doom metal band Usurper, Luxul, and Axeon have just released their first album under the Acolyte moniker entitled A Disciple Left in Darkness.

Beheaded introduces the duo as a force of pure brutality before unleashing intensity in the brilliant Skull Risen. The track showcases the tight musicianship of Luxul and Axeon with the execution of many precise changes throughout its layers. The production sets the mood so well that it feels like the vocals are sung by the Reaper himself.

Enter Acolyte creeps along like a soundtrack to an 80s horror film. The tension building tones and anguish of distant screams flaunts the band’s skills impressively.

The finely composed The Shadow Spiral is a highlight on the album, with its accessible structure paced along by up-tempo guitars and a beat filled with more than enough stomps and crashes to fulfil the temptation to bang your head for a few minutes.

Visions Within sets a darkness that ferociously switches with a schizophrenic thrash near the end, while The Tower’s fast clean riffs and bouncing tempo bring a subtle reminder of 80’s-era Sepultura.

Strangely enough, the next track Around the Fire feels right out of another Max Cavalera project in Soulfly with its tribal influences. The possessed like chant of the vocals are ominous enough to bring the always fun phrase from your housemates, “what the fuck are you listening to?”

Acolyte write great black metal songs with a knack for effective transitions, emotional atmosphere and companionship that allows the musicians to feed off each other to elevate the songwriting well. I’m not too aware of many local black metal bands, but I think it’s safe to say that Acolyte holds the throne for the genre in Lismore respectfully.

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