Acolyte are a band from Manchester, U.K., formed in 2008 by Malekh (guitars, music) and JT (vocals and lyrics). They debut with Alta on renewed label Mordgrimm with a renewed line-up (from the recording line-up, two of the three members did leave in mean time). Before this first full album, there wasn’t but one official release, the Leng EP (2011). The three tracks from that mini have been remastered for this full length. The material differed a little from what the band had in mind initially, i.e. the whole was less progressive than before.
Alta lasts for almost one hour and was recorded and mixed by Tom Dring, whom you might know from his assistance with bands like Dragged Into Sunlight, Iron Witch, Magpyes and Corrupt Moral Altar. And like many bands from the U.K., Acolyte too come with an own approach. The eclectic mixture of a couple of Black-oriented sub-genres is both melodic and Nordic, with lots of differentiation in tempo and song structures. Sometimes it sounds little epic, then again rather Post-Black oriented, traditional versus modern, experimental and obscure, groovy and rocking, experimental interacted with catchy, energetic against doomish. The bio refers to the likes of Enslaved, Virus, Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Code, Primordial and Ved Buens Ende, and I think that’s a rather accurate description. However, I also think earlier Opeth, Altar Of Plagues and Dragged Into Sunlight might be modest references. And on top of it, Acolyte add elements from Progressive Ambient and semi-acoustic Post-Rock, Sludge and Groove. The whole is specifically modern in concretisation, yet with a timeless atmosphere (also because of the clean yet not over-polished production).