Mortal Prophets – ‘GUITARWORKS’


GUITARWORKS presents a gorgeous array of soundscapes from Mortal Prophets, the NYC-based project of John Beckmann. Warming soundscapes emanate throughout, from the Americana-touched twangs of “Topanga Canyon” to the spacey, blissful synth caressing of finale “Numinous.”

A textured, subdued album opener, “Ascension” is propelled by serene guitar tones that escalate gradually into a glistening charm — then falling back down into a caressingly spacious ambience. “Topanga Canyon” succeeds with twangier, upfront guitars — reminiscent of a smoky, desert-set locale that rustles up dust as one rides along on a motorcycle. The patient unveiling of the subsequent “All Around Us” stretches its legs with enjoyable precision, with guitar-laden rumination complementing blissful ambient hazes.

A palpably atmospheric grip holds strongly throughout, well beyond these fantastic three opening tracks. “Luminescent” infuses electric guitar feedback with sporadic guitar trickles for a compellingly climactic unfolding, while “Volk Folk” immerses with twangy guitar tones and galloping percussive deepness; a slight touch of wordless vocals adds to the captivating mystique. GUITARWORKS is a stirring showcase in guitar-led ambient gorgeousness from Mortal Prophets.

“Volk Folk” is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Obscure Ambient.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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