Solo Piano Works - John Steven Morgan

Artist: John Steven Morgan

Album: Solo Piano Works

Genre: Various (Jazz/Soundtrack/Acoustic Piano)

Review by Tomina Vincent

When I heard that John Steven Morgan is going to be releasing an album comprised of just him playing an acoustic piano, I had to hear it. For those of you wondering why that’s exciting, it’s because Morgan is the man behind black metal band Wreche, and this new release of his is just about the furthest thing from black metal that you can imagine.

The album goes from beautiful to unsettling effortlessly, while retaining a kind of subdued, quiet sadness in its tone. There is lightness to the way the instrument is interacted with, and I can’t help but think of Fabrizio Paterlini, also known as the man who understood exactly how to pull our heart strings with nothing but simplicity. There is a disconnect between the modern world and classical music – it sometimes fails to touch us because of its complexity and boisterousness. And this is where albums like ‘Solo Piano Works’ are the perfect mediators that close the gap. The themes are dark and have a soundtrack-like quality to them in a very Tim Burton way, jumping from soft legato to flamboyant flapper jazz, showcasing a superbly talented musician. You will find beautiful melodic piano, a lot of jazz, and perhaps unsurprisingly, passages that would make the perfect black metal choruses if played on guitar instead.

With its genre-hopping diversity and Gothic undertones, this record offers a stunning an otherworldly experience to the listener. Press play, and you will no longer be on Earth, or in the 21st century.

Best tack: The Scythe Of Time (A Predicament)

9 out of 10.

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