Grape Prophet

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Although he had hinted at such possibility in the past, never had Michael Knott produced a work of such devastating power and white-knuckle terror as The Grape Prophet. Essentially a small-scale rock opera about the cultish practices of a bizarre Christian sect, The Grape Prophet tells of an orange picker named Ellis who is charged with rescuing his fellow pickers from the sinister Grape Prophet. The Grape Prophet was the first record L.S.U ever recorded as a proper band, rather than just Knott and assorted studio musicians, and as a result The Grape Prophet sounds fuller and thicker. Brian Doidge resumes guitar duties after a five year absence, and the record is unthinkable without his singular, tortured style. Knott's voice sounds more phantomlike than ever, howling out from within a haunted forest of sound. Vocals are run backwards, choruses are screamed rather than sung, and the action is suspended by two sinister instrumentals. Ultimately, what makes The Grape Prophet such a success is its singularity of vision – the songs bleed perfectly into one another, and are driven by a relentless black energy. Knott exposes the menacing heart of darkness lurking beneath the veneer of faith. Assuming the role of the Angel of Death, he points the way toward a shadowy end.

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