Album Review: Delphic – Acolyte

By on Monday, 11th January 2010 at 2:00 pm

Last year Manchester-based Delphic topped our “10 for 2010” poll (check out our interview with them last month here). Our voters weren’t the only ones who expected great things from this four-piece: the band scored high similarly in other (non-democratic) polls to determine the ‘sound of 2010’. The band derided the attention, with Richard Boardman claiming the word ‘backlash’ meant more to him than hype. And why shouldn’t it? The expectation and pressure that comes with list-topping media coverage is hard to deal with (just ask 2005 ‘sound of…’ toppers the Bravery).

On to the album then. As opener ‘Clarion Call’ unwinds, it seems hard to imagine where the potential backlash could come from. It invites the listener in, and like all great openers is archetypal of the record as a whole. However as the record progresses, it’s quick to see where they may stumble. Single ‘Doubt’ is catchy but lacks the substance of the opener, and ‘This Momentary’ is the lowest point (as far as songwriting) is concerned on the whole album.

Not the best of starts, but the album quickly recovers with ‘Red Lights’ before reaching the epic ‘Acolyte’, which clocks in at just under 9 minutes. The track steadily progresses in a journey-like fashion and is easily the highlight of the band’s musicianship. The record continues strong with the brilliant hook of ‘Halcyon’, followed by the songwriting peak ‘Submission’, keeps the consistency flowing. Concluding with the mellow ‘Remain’, the album bows out nicely, and the slight slip-ups at the beginning are forgotten if not forgiven.

Overall, the record may not be quite up to scratch with the Mancunian synth-heavyweights New Order, but importantly the record radiates potential. I don’t see Delphic being one of the casualties of the hype. This is not to say it’s a perfect record, but it’s clever without any pretension, making it accessible to both the elitists and the pop music lovers amongst us. One thing is for sure: in a country of new electro-wannabees, Delphic are the cream of the albeit gimmicky crop.


Delphic’s ‘Acolyte’ is out in the UK today.

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