Acolyte burst onto the Australian Music scene with the release of Shades of Black (August 2016), and have brought their unique and powerful musical soundscape to venues across the country. The release of their debut record was highly anticipated after two national headline tours supporting the singles Perceptions and The Message, as well as supporting Bellusira (AUS/USA) at their Melbourne show.
Released in August 2016, Shades of Black quickly reached 10th in the iTunes album charts (rock/alternative), after which Acolyte became a featured artist on Melbourne’s Triple M and The Message was added to rotational airplay on national broadcaster Triple J. The album also received a nomination for The Age Victorian Music Awards (Best Heavy Album 2016), with the band also nominated for Australia’s Independent Music Awards (Best Live Performance 2016). The team surrounding the project - including award winning Australian Producer Ben Ehrenberg (Shihad and Calling all Cars) and Tony ‘Jack the Bear’ Mantz (Delux Studios) - agree that the success of this release has set the tone for this emerging band’s career.
“It is of the utmost importance to us that we match the energy captured on Shades of Black and provide a performance to fans which reflects the music they’ve heard and is as visually engaging as the videos they’ve seen. We have been working so hard on our live performance... It’s a big part of who we are. We have seen people’s faces and reactions at our shows and we want to make sure people don’t want to miss a second. We are working to better the experience of every fan time and time again... We feed off it. I feel that this is one of the most important things for us to focus on right now.” – Morgan-Leigh Brown
Following a successful album launch in Melbourne and a series of regional shows, Acolyte have gone on to support Twelve Foot Ninja on their national Outlier album release tour (Aug/Sep 2016), and Melbourne heavyweights Jericco at their farewell show (Nov 2016).
Much of Acolyte’s blend of theatrical, and at times heavy progressive rock has developed due to the vast array of influences and styles brought to the band by each individual member. Lead vocalist Morgan-Leigh Brown has a background in musical theatre and is classically trained, providing distinctive and soaring vocals. This has combined with the rhythmic, and effects-driven bass lines of Jason Grondman, sweeping pads and analogue lead key-boards of David Van Pelt, chunky riffs and ambient layering by guitarist Piotr Borzeta, and dynamic and expressive drumming of Chris Cameron.
“We have always stayed true to our individual influences, which has definitely helped us create our very own sound and style.” – Morgan-Leigh Brown
Acolyte have already begun writing for the follow up release to Shades of Black, with a heavy touring schedule planned for 2017.
AWARDS & REVIEWS
2016 Australian Independent Music Awards: Nomination for 'Best Live Performance'.
2016 The Age Victorian Music Awards: Nomination for 'Best Heavy Album'.
"The crowd was put under a mesmerising spell by Acolyte led by Morgan-Leigh Brown who delivered a set so powerful and atmospheric that I went straight out and hunted down their music… seriously if you have never seen this band live then you simply must check them out." - DAVE GRIFFITHS, HEAVY MUSIC MAG
"This band is now an absolute mainstay of the Melbourne and Australian rock scene." - ROD WHITFIELD, THE MUSIC
"This band is... just about ready to explode. In fact, they sound and perform like they are now in need of stadiums to play in." - ROD WHITFIELD, THE MUSIC
"Acolyte has managed to completely blow my mind with a release that is close to flawless." – MARTIN MICHEL, AMNPLIFY
"(This) prog-rock quintet is impressive and it's easy to see why there is a buzz around them." – MAXINE GATT, THE MUSIC
"The band have an enormous sound… providing great depth, atmosphere and a subtle symphonic feel… In fact, the entire band possesses a fabulous stage presence, all five of them appear to be having a great time, and the interaction and interplay between them was a joy to behold." – ROD WHITFIELD, HEAVY MUSIC MAG
"Acolyte are a one of a kind band, and their energy on stage was epic. I was truly blown away… the next big thing in the magical world of prog…" – MATT BARTOLO, ROGUE INC.
"This certainly stands out… as one of the most intriguing listens I’ve found since doing the show. This is a very rare release and it is so well done. Memorable. All of it." – ANDREW BROWN, THE HARD ROCK SHOW C31
“Acolyte are coming and will provide a whole new avenue to the current rock scene to eagerly awaiting punters. They are set to make a name for themselves, undoubtedly a band on the rise.” – SYN FM
“Merging memorable rock riffs with the theatrics rivalling notorious rooted prog acts, this band creates another world on stage in a live setting. Acolyte is carving out their own corner and it’s not going unnoticed.” – BANDSHIRT ALAN
“Acolyte are a powerful and captivating live band delivering high energy performances each time featuring amazing vocals sitting on top of a tight rhythm section and intricate guitar parts. One of my favourite live acts right now.” – BROKENSCAR SOUND
“I’ve gotta say having seen the teaser and heard a few tracks online, this is gonna be one band I’m looking forward to working with. If you’ve trusted my two bobs worth in the past, then give these guys a like and get yourselves ready.” – CHOWIE
“Such a massive sounding alternative band. Always keeping the listener listening and the show goer watching. Big things expected from Acolyte!” – BLACK HELMET PROMOTIONS
“Amazing up and coming Melbourne band, with vocals to die for and talent that blows your mind.” – LAURA (SYN FM HOST)
Click on the link below to download Acolyte's offical press kit (PDF).