Accomplice - Accomplice

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Adrenaline
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:11:00

Accomplice are a five piece based in Southern California whose style is mostly drawn from the Queensryche well, but you can hear bits of other influences in their sound as well, many of them bands who were "big in the 80's." The flyer that Adrenaline sent with this promotional copy makes reference to their having opened for the likes of Rush, Van Halen, and Rainbow among others. While this promotional version didn't come packaged that way, the actual version is a "top class De-Luxe Digipack Set and its 16 page booklet filled with complete lyrics..." or so the flyer says. This is the European re-release of their 1998 self-titled and self-released debut album. The band are working on their follow up, set for Spring 2001.

Although the rockers pack a lot of punch - guitars crunching (Sean Clegg), drums pounding (Richard Arbuckle), bass booming (Scott Snyder), vocals soaring (Stephen Green) - it is the balladic "Nightingale" that grabbed my attention almost immediately, this coming well into the album at track 9. "Nightingale" is one of three balladic tunes here, all of which feature some beautiful keyboard work, but unfortunately the keyboardist remains unnamed on the sleeve (Mike Ross joined as keyboardist after the album's initial release). The keys also take a prominent role in "Fallin'", which serves as the "power ballad" on the album. In fact, it slots into Accomplice's sound as "Silent Lucidity" does for Queensryche. There are times where Green truly sounds like Tate on this track, though for the most part, and for most of this album, he doesn't. The other other ballad is "Welcome," which has a beautiful piano intro that sounds out of place here. If it were an all-instrumental track, you'd find it along side the best from the Narada or Windham Hill labels; with the addition of vocals...well, it would be a departure for those labels and seem out of place there. Quite nice, though, and is another power ballad.

In addition to the keys, the highlight of Accomplice's sound is Green, in whose voice you can detect a bit of a James LaBrie influence in his style, along with the Tate-ism. Surprisingly though, I think his tone is most like Peter Nicholls of IQ, if not quite as nasally.

And, speaking of Nichols, it is "For All The World" that seems more like something IQ would do, or maybe Pallas. And yet, the guitar solo is not unlike an Allman Brothers riff. The overall feel is more of 80's arena rock rather than 90's prog metal, which I don't think could be said of IQ. It's also rather short for the genre it's in, which means it seems to angled at the radio market - if there were a radio market left playing hard rock other than classic rock stations. "State Of The Nation" is all wild guitars and keys, frenetic drumming and bass work - again one part 80's metal, one part 90's... I guess if Dream Theater or, given the harmonies, Shadow Gallery were covering an 80's classic. But for that truly nostalgic feeling, you need listen no further than "Let The Show Begin"- At various times I thought of .38 Special, Bon Jovi, Loverboy, Survivor... "Centurion" is a strange, blended mix of both Iron Maiden and Dream Theater - it demands to have that loping rhythm that Maiden have on their classics, yet also that impossible fretwork of Petrucci. It doesn't quite reach that synthesis, though it has enough energy to make it engaging.

All in all, it's a very strong debut and far from being dependent upon it's influences. Probably more of interest to the hard rock fans than the prog metal fans, but if you fall somewhere in between and like your rock melodic, then Accomplice are right up your alley.

Courageous (6:05) / Reactor (6:14) / Fallin' (4:50) / For All The World (3:25) / State Of The Nation (3:30) / Welcome (4:40) / Let The Show Begin (3:33) / Centurion (4:30) / Nightingale (2:54) / Fight On (5:30) / Crusader Soul (4:11)

Stephen Green - lead vocals
Sean Clegg - guitars, vocals
Scott Snyder - bass, vocals
Richard Arbuckle - drums
Recently added :
Michael T. Ross - keyboards

Accomplice (1998/2000)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 27th 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1491
Language: english


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