In a dark, North American forest, infested with British bass players, live a people of creatures (could we call that a creatle?) called the Morphlux. Their leaders, Pete Trewavas and Eric Blackwood lead them into haunting you – preferably at night, and even more preferably in a very loud, melodic and muscially layered fashion. Once they get to you, you will never, ever be the same…..
What Morphlux are exactly, and why they are so scary is unclear to me, even after hearing the album The Final Breath Before November of Edison’s Children a million times. What I do know, however, is that their leaders, or at least inventors, mentioned above have created a great musical spell around them, over a period of several years. Pete Trewavas, mainly known as bass player for Marillion and Transatlantic, and guitarist Eric Blackwood both are actually multi-instrumentalists. On this album, they take care of all guitars, keyboards, synths, v-oud and something called paraglider guitar…. on this album they are accompanied by Touchstone and DeeExpus drummer Henry Rogers, and on some tracks backing vocals (haunting backing vocals even!) are provided by Wendy Farrell-Pastore, who is also responsible for all the photography on the artwork for both albums of the band..
The albums 15 tracks actually are only three tracks, one of which is a 67-minute epic – Silhouette. The opening track, Final Breath, starts slowly and builds up to the point where keyboard and bass form a pulsing foundation for a flute, until the vocals come in. On this track, the voice of Eric Blackwood reminds me of David Bowie, one of the many vocal similaraties in his reach. On the second track Light Years, that changes, as Pete takes with a vocal sound that reminds me of some tracks on Fish‘ second album. This track is a somehow catchy tune, based around a repeating pattern, but switches into a more haunting piece at the end (a separate track called Light Years I. the fading). The lyrics of this one introduce Silhouette, the long epic that follows, and consists of 13 tracks on the CD. This epic contains too many different things to go past all the tracks, but after a few listens it becomes clear that at least musically, they form a consistent piece. Some themes return (The Morphlux, Second coming of the Morphlux, The Clock Strikes November) or simply flow over into each other (The Morphlux, I am Haunted). Also, all parts are composed and orchestrated in a similar fashion, making it blend together in a way that is sometimes symphonic, but often also psychedelic in a way that reminds of Pink Floyd, or Eloy. Key elements: the always melodic, but supporting bass of Pete Trewavas, melodic guitar solos by Eric Blackwood, a lot of synths and orchestration, and vocals that range in sound from David Bowie to Fish, but also Wayne Hussey (lead singer of The Mission, for example Eric’s part of Where where You).
It’s hard for me to describe everything on this album in detail, there’s too much to hear to do that. That makes the album not easy to access, but for those into symphonic or psychedelic music, with a soft spot for the backgrounds of the two main members of Edison’s Children, this is an adventure well recommended.