pageTracker._initData(); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {}

Album Review: Delphic – Acolyte

Written by Nick Leitzke

This is where I first heard Delphic…

Shortly before the New Year I saw this clip of “Doubt” and became infatuated. Here was a sound with nothing particularly special about it. Definitely European synth pop, perhaps riding on an undercarriage reminiscent of New Order. It certainly had energy that caught my attention, and for the first time in a long time I became excited. I finally had advance warning. Their album ‘Acolyte’ was slated for release in January 2010, and I could set my sights on a target. I could live in anticipation until I had this piece of musical splendor in hand.

‘Acolyte’ went to the top of my list of music to obtain this year, and as soon as I started hacking my way through the list it went in my Amazon shopping cart. The place I ordered ‘Acolyte’ from was in the United Kingdom, and I knew I had extra time added to my wait as it traveled overseas. This only fueled the desire. The time I spent waiting for Delphic to arrive was an incubation period. Let my excitement spread and thrive throughout every inch of my body. I had a new CD on the way and I couldn’t wait to hear what it had in store.

My other two purchases arrived quickly, spent their time in my CD player, and are now residents in my iTunes library. Two for two on the new year and I hadn’t even heard from my highly coveted Delphic. Every night I came home from work and checked my mailbox, reaching inside, waiting for my hand to rub against the bubbly ripples of a media envelope sheltering my ‘Acolyte.’ I’d gaze into the darkness, sometimes into the eyes of my neighbor’s cat as he said hello from atop the mailbox housing. Nothing. Just the usual bills demanding all of my earnings and the useless coupon books for local businesses nobody goes to. Every night the same thing, until today. I felt it. A media envelope. Pulling it out I read the Royal Mail label and mapped the shape of a CD with my fingers. My Delphic was in there. My ‘Acolyte.’ It was finally here. I was complete.

This had to be a music experience. I spent so much time waiting for this CD to arrive that listening to it had to be more than just a spin in the stereo. This had to be an event. I couldn’t rush the music, and I did have a meatball sub that demanded attention before it became cold. I decided to let the anticipation grow. First I would watch ‘The Dark Crystal’ on my laptop while I ate my meatball sub. Then I would take care of business. Then Delphic would have their say after weeks of suspense.

With a satisfied stomach and a great sense of relief that the Dark Crystal was repaired and truth would shine upon the land, it was time. ‘Acolyte’ went in the player. I popped Resident Evil 4 in my PS2 as I always do for new music. I started a new game. I started the CD. And the music came to me.

And the music went. For all the hope and desire I burned while waiting to hear ‘Acolyte,’ all of it extinguished in a matter of seconds. What I found on ‘Acolyte’ isn’t bad music. It’s just everything I knew it was – European synth pop with nothing particularly special about it. There’s nothing special about it, and that’s what’s wrong. There’s nothing beneath the sound, no foundation, nothing to shake me. Something in the clip of “Doubt” made me think the sound was more raw, more cutting. What I got on ‘Acolyte’ didn’t have the bite I expected. I was hoping it would latch onto me with its jaws and not let go until the last second ticked away, not necessarily the best album I’ve heard in a few months but something that left a lasting impression. I stopped caring less than a minute into “Doubt.”

All I can say is maybe this is a case where the recorded album does no justice to the band’s live performance. Maybe? Because I really like what I see in that clip. There’s strength in that music. There’s urgency. It’s a bite that leaves a scar. ‘Acolyte’ has cardboard jaws and barely leaves a red spot that disappears after a few moments. I should have known something was afoot when I saw one of the songs was called “Halcyon.” Nobody titles a song “Halcyon” unless the music is as tranquil and unobtrusive as the name implies. I was so excited about this album and now that it’s here I’m sorry I got all worked up. All I can do is keep plodding through the list and know that most of it is going to be good music. You can’t win them all. With that in mind, however, that means I’m not placing as incredibly high expectations on what follows this year. So while I’m waiting for my Quasi preorder, my desire isn’t incubating at an exponential rate. Music is much better with reasonable expectations.

But it’s such a let down, waiting so long with such high hopes and getting a product that doesn’t begin to live up. You can’t blame anyone, especially the band. It’s not their fault you don’t care for the music. It’s like a date with the person you have a gigantic crush on, and the date goes absolutely nowhere. How were you supposed to know? There was only one way to find out if anything was there, and this is what you found out. It happens. You just pick yourself up and move on to the next one.

What am I doing now? Now it is time to watch ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and reaffirm my faith in all things British. Later I will listen to New Order and the Smiths. I will watch the Piranha brother sketch on Monty Python, and I will ask myself if this is what we fought for at Dunkirk. Probably not, but I’m very picky with my music. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Posted by admin   @   23 January 2010

Related Posts

Like this post? Share it!


Jan 25, 2010
10:22 am
#1 Nick Leitzke :

I have to make a quick correction. Horrific typo in paragraph six. I meant to say, “What I found on ‘Acolyte’ isn’t bad music.” My fault, and I am shamed.

Author Jan 25, 2010
9:28 pm
#2 admin :

I fixed it. Ha, I read over it and thought you were just being brutally honest.

Mar 10, 2010
12:05 pm
#3 Kelly :

And this is the main rason I like . Killer post.

Trackbacks to this post.
Leave a Comment
Previous Post
« In The Spotlight: Aligning Minds
Next Post
Powered by Wordpress | Lunated designed by ZenVerse