Delphic
Acolyte


2.5
average

Review

by Fugue USER (58 Reviews)
February 20th, 2010 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hype; It's a bitch isn't it.

“Anticipation has a habit to set you up for disappointment” Alex Turner

If you haven’t heard of Delphic yet, then by the end of 2010 you will have. The three-piece, hailing from Manchester, England, are yet the next in a line of bands to fuse indie and electronica and, like all up-and-comers in this genre, have already been subject to the inevitable hype train. In case you hadn’t noticed, the British music press has a tendency to hyperbole. For years, the biggest challenge for up and coming bands is that of overcoming the huge tabloid pressure by turning a few catchy singles into a well-structured, consistent album. Big hitting publications such as the NME and Q can decide the popularity and success of a record weeks before its official release date and in the case of Delphic their message comes through loud and clear. Delphic are the next big thing.

This by itself is no big deal, as the tabloids often know what the public want in regards to musical style. Mainstream appeal is a key component for any wannabe superstars and from lead single Counterpoint it would seem Delphic have this in bucket loads. When this quality is combined with the stylish image and musical style echoing that of The Killers 6 years ago then it would seem Acolyte was literally built for success. Unfortunately for Delphic they forgot to address a minor detail before releasing Acolyte, namely that the music itself is little more than average. Despite this obvious flaw, the album actually starts out extremely promisingly. Intro Clarion Call does everything one would expect of an opening track. The incremental increase of intensity as layer upon layer build on top of each other culminates in a hysterical urgency with the cumulative energy begging for a climax. The climax never comes. Worse news still is that by the end of the three minute opener the album has already peaked and Acolyte has run its course.

What follows is a sequence of somewhat enjoyable, yet overly repetitive tracks that too often get bogged down into mediocrity via a lack of inspiration or, in the case of the microcosmic title track, due to a single idea being stretched beyond its limitations. In the case of Acolyte the song, an ‘epic’ centrepiece, a promising initial idea is hindered by its slow development. As the longest song on the album, approaching nine minutes in length, a key attribute to its success is variety, and while Delphic understand this they do not expand enough upon the initial premise to hold attention throughout the span of the song. This theme is common among many of the admittedly shorter tracks. Doubt sees Delphic try in vain to increase the albums intensity while on the heavily New Order styled Sympathy the band even goes as far as to induce nostalgia, but the underlying formula remains the same and consequentially most tracks simply lose momentum well before their end.

Thankfully there are a few choice cuts that prevent Acolyte from being a complete disaster. Aptly titled third single Halcyon at least DOES SOMETHING amidst its tranquil rhythm while aforementioned opener Clarion Call is the only song on the album that is truly exceptional. Lead single Counterpoint also has unquestionable assets, none more so than a killer hook and possibly the best chorus on the album. All these positives seem to have a common factor and occur when the band stop trying too hard. When the trio forget the overbearing synths and auto-tuned vocals and instead play to complement each other then the music resembles that of a more mature band. Quite whether the band see it this way is another matter, but the majority of the material throughout Acolyte would benefit vastly from a more relaxed custom and the crisp production will do the rest.

Acolyte was indisputably created on the back other band’s successes, and while the style and image of the band is perfect from a marketing perspective, the material on their debut album comes short from a musical one. A formulaic song structure with few modifications and an over reliance on repetitive synth lines makes for a largely uninspired listening experience. However there are glimmers of hope for the band, and when they get the formula right the results are much improved. While no song on Acolyte is good enough to stick in the memory, there is promise of better material in the future, and a more diverse blueprint would lead to a more consistent album. All this, however, won’t worry the record label, the producer of even the band themselves, because Acolyte will sell in its thousands. If you haven’t heard of Delphic yet, by the end of 2010 you will have. Trust me, this year Delphic will explode.

Recommended Tracks
Clarion Call
Halcyon
Counterpoint

Overall 2.5 Average



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user ratings (62)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Ali CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
An underwhelming debut that could see Delphic become the hype machines first victims of 2010....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
February 20th 2010


7353 Comments


Been two months so be nice.

TheWayfarerElectric
February 20th 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Couple of typos here and there, but otherwise, fantastic review.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 21st 2010


6001 Comments


this is soooo boring, NME just need to chill the fuck out every once in a while

Fugue
February 21st 2010


7353 Comments


TheWayfarerElectric: Thanks a lot man, I'll go over the review again later and try to fix the typos.

Kirgasm: I agree completely.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2010


7357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good, and totally accurate review

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2010


8371 Comments


Been two months so be nice.
lol you're funny Ross, because this might be your best review along with that Julian Casablancas one. Excellent stuff.

Fugue
February 21st 2010


7353 Comments


Shoulda fixed most of the grammatical errors in the review now. Couldn't find any typo's myself so if anyone sees anything could they let me know? Thanks.

Thanks Ali, yours was good and accurate too, we agree on the rating if not the best song.

Haha I wouldn't go that far Magnus, but I'm pretty pleased with it considering it's my first since before Christmas. I haven't really been keeping up with new reviews recently so the last one of yours I saw was the Rob Zombie one. I heard you may be reviewing the new Finntroll, is it any good?



Gyromania
February 21st 2010


15941 Comments


Exceptional review, Ross. I don't even think I'll bother checking this out.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

bloc
February 21st 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Counterpoint is an awesome song

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2010


8371 Comments


@ Ross
haha I already did that one on thursday. Feel free to look it up if it's of interest to you.


Fugue
February 21st 2010


7353 Comments


Matt, thanks for the comment, glad you liked the review. When will we be seeing another Gyromania review?

bloc: Yeah its pretty good. If you ever hear the album tell me what you think.

Magnus: Cool stuff, I'll go check it out.

bloc
February 21st 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

These guys really seem to be a Cut Copy rip, that was the first band I though off when I started listening.

To be honest, this isn't bad at all, but I am extremely picky with this type of music which is why I have it at a 2.5. If I can't find a catchy chorus or hook in a song, then I get rid of it.

Fugue
February 21st 2010


7353 Comments


Hmm, I've never heard of Cut Copy, which explains why I didn't make the comparison. And I agree that its not a bad album per say, just nothing special. I think the singles in general have pretty good hooks, but the rest of it would be hard to like if thats what you look for.

bloc
February 21st 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That's the problem with this genre; songs are very "hit or miss" like that, especially when they rely on hooks and choruses to be good.

Fugue
February 21st 2010


7353 Comments


Yeah I agree, still when its done right it's very, very satisfying.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2010


20857 Comments


First Ali & now you... It's unanimous. Good review Rosco.

2 questions:

- Is it at all possible that people are marking this album harsher because of the hype?

- In amongst all that synth, are there also significant guitars?

Fugue
February 22nd 2010


7353 Comments


1) Yes, of course there is a possibility that it has been underrated due to the hype surrounding it. It would be naive to say that hype doesn't sometimes affect opinions in a negative way, or just raise the expectation bar a little higher. However I think 2.5 is the right rating for this. Long periods of it are dull and uninteresting and often when there is a good moment it is ruined by what follows it.
In all honesty I couldd see someone rating this a 3 or even a 3.5, but any higher than that would needa good explanation I think.

2) Yes, there are portions of heavily distorted guitar, and occasionally less distorted guitar.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2010


20857 Comments


Ahhh, it's guitar of the distorted type. I have a cleare picture in my head now.

Gyromania
February 24th 2010


15941 Comments


Matt, thanks for the comment, glad you liked the review. When will we be seeing another Gyromania review?

Any day now, surely.

Fugue
February 24th 2010


7353 Comments


Good to hear that Matt. Any chance it'll be the elusive Daisy review?



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