We were most impressed with the Entropy album (our review), which earned Acolyte a deserved Album Of The Week status. Now we get to experience the songs in a live setting.
In the ongoing absence of live shows, Acolyte set themselves up to perform tracks from their new album Entropy that debuted at #4 in the 100% Independent Album charts in their home of Australia. A similar picture with a wave of and the support and encouragement the band has continued around the globe, not least here in the UK.
We took up the invitation to experience the album exactly as it is meant to be – a no brainer really.
The impressive setting was Chapel Off Chapel, the prestigious Melbourne church that dates back to 1853. Now it’s a space that’s hosted many MTV Unplugged sessions as well as an abundance of arts, theatre, cabaret and musical events since its official opening as a venue in 1995. Quite apt to be honest after reading drummer Chris Cameron’s admiration for Neal Morse (also on the site here).
Awaiting the show to begin, we’re treated to a still image of Morgan-Leigh Brown silhouetted against the backdrop of a stained glass window. It looks pretty atmospheric with light streaming through, illuminating the colours and giving a backlit atmosphere to the event.
Resentment kicks off proceedings; the lyric “Nothing’s more powerful than an idea” never more relevant and instrumental in bringing to life the power of the album. Running uninterrupted and connected into one flowing piece with atmospheric links, they go big early doors. Idiosyncrasy picks up the thread with the juddering riff, aided and abetted by that six-string bass, punctuated by melodic passages. and a windswept industrial ambience prefaces some fizzing synth and bass work.
It’s all a preface for the other big number from Entropy as Clarity begins a steady and ominous march. Ending in a mass of pink light, it’s a stunning piece that relies on an ambitious restraint on a lengthy journey.
While Acceptance briefly brings the intensity levels down, it doesn’t last long before the pace is picked up again. Once again driven by Jason Grondman who’s becoming a bit of a star of the show, the Kashmir-ish riff takes us soaring beyond the yellow desert sands, guitar getting a rare chance to offer a fizzer of a solo amongst the short sharp solo interjections. Like all quality musicians, the instrumental quartet makes the time signatures and shifts in dynamics look easy, drummer Chris Cameron performing under the cans to keep in touch. They’re a powerful unit that easily handles the delicacies and the heaviness of the arrangements.
The title track brings things to a close. Entropy itself is all thundering rhythms accompanied by stuttering strobe lighting and textural keyboard wash. The peaks and troughs manoeuvred before an intense and machine gun fire vocal climax .
It might only be a fifty-minute window of opportunity but it’s a genuine tease of what we have to look forward to when the chains are finally unlocked.