Acolyte - Leng EP
Self Release
Progressive Black Metal
3 songs (21:53)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Jaime
Hailing from sunny, sunny Manchester are Acolyte, and to put it in blunt terms they're Enslaved's slightly deranged younger cousin that they abandoned during a raid and was left to go a wee bit nuts on its lonesome. First track The Ashenground goes a fair way to proving this, melding their Norse counterparts frosty riffing and vocal style with some of the more eclectic sounds from certain avant-garde grim battalions like Code and a less creepy The Axis of Perdition. It's very well done, maintaining a wonderful atmosphere throughout which adding little nuances that just add to the whole experience. Title track Leng walks down the path first forged by Blackwater Park era Opeth, but drops the melancholy for something a bit more biting. The first half of the song has a really nice pseudo 70's style riff that resurfaces during a clean section further down the line, but it's interspersed with little pockets of tremolo picking that builds up to a really nice little solo before the proggy outro sweeps away to the end. Finally there's Sunrise that reintroduces the Enslaved influences, and sort of sits between the other two tracks sound wise. There's a really nice prog sort of vibe going on but there are a few little strange leads and riffs that dive around that may catch you out unexpectedly. The slow section is really nicely done, it sounds almost happy, and gradually builds upon its self leading to a crescendo that half the post rock bands in existence wish they could pull off.

A very nice little EP that doesn't have many faults. In the second and third tracks I was expecting some keyboards to jump out at me but that may just be down to the fact that I happen to play keys or the fact that they really nailed the Opeth/Enslaved sound down to a tee while not completely ripping them off. A minor complaint would be that vocalist JT seems to have a one note snarl. It works, but there are points where I was sitting wanting him to go up or down a few steps and make the vocals seem a bit less samey. Otherwise, it's all good! It's nice to see another quality English black metal band popping up and maintaining that high standard that's been set over the past few years.

The band's EP can be streamed and downloaded here.
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