By Jim Rowland

Morlock is the brainchild and solo project of one Andrew Prestidge, a prog/doom drummer currently with prog bands Zoltan, Osiris Club and Suns Of The Tundra, and has a history that boasts the likes of Mint 400, doom legends Warning and even NWOBHM titans Angel Witch. But don’t expect anything as heavy as those bands with Morlock. With Morlock, Prestidge indulges his passion for synth music, and for ‘Ancient Paths’, he sat down with an array of Korgs, Moogs and Rolands, a four-track recorder and a selection of sonic screwdrivers to create a new kind of music.

The spacey synth sounds contained on the album draw from a wide range of influences, from the softer side of Krautrock acts like Kraftwerk, Harmonia and Tangerine Dream, to early 80’s British synth merchants like Tubeway Army and OMD to the spooky sci-fi soundtracks of John Carpenter. In places it’s not a million miles away from the ambient electronic albums of Burzum either. ‘Ancient Paths’ is a melancholic, all-instrumental affair, with many of the thirteen tracks’ song titles referencing occult literature and cinema. With that in mind Cineploit Records, a label based in Austria specialising in obscure film soundtracks, many of them horror, seems a fitting home for Morlock.

The synths and sequencing are augmented in places with splashes of acoustic guitar and electronic percussion and the tunes veer from the more melodic and catchy vibe of ‘Be Golden and Light’ to more abstract soundscapes like the brilliantly named ‘Martian Church’. At various points this is dreamy, dark, spooky, ambient and mellow stuff that would serve you well relaxing in your easy chair, perhaps feeling the effects of some mind altering substances, or lying in a dark room, or even drifting off to sleep to – and I mean that in a positive way, sometimes we need a nice dark and demonic lullaby to drift off to!

‘Ancient Paths’ does just what it set out to do – and does it extremely well.

‘Ancient Paths’ is released today (Friday 25 October). You can get your copy HERE.

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