Known ForArtist/Band, Sound, Writing
Also Known AsJohn Beckmann
Mortal Prophets are John Beckmann and his evolving band of genre-bending roustabouts who dig deep into America’s primal scream. Beckmann channels an apocalyptic vision fueled by the flames of pre-war blues legends such as Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, and Charley Patton, which are transmuted via the experimental ethos of German Electronica, groups as diverse as Neu!, Cluster, Harmonia, Eno, Bowie, and Suicide.
Beckmann doesn’t waste any time setting the scene in the opening salvo of his Mortal Prophets debut, Stomp the Devil. As the sky turns black, a sinister rainstorm slides across the horizon, and lightning cuts through its inky canvas like Death’s scythe — a not-so-subtle warning to step away from your speakers or succumb to Beckmann’s raw, ominous sound. Hammering that point home is a haunting character that may or may not be rooted in reality: a “born again carnival barker – repentant preacher” that starts by delivering a warning to “all the demons in hell,” as if he alone can drive away from the darkness. Or at the very least, all the apocalyptic thunder rattles the windows around us and makes this whole thing feel like a tent revival that’s gone straight off the rails.
The Mortal Prophets takes that template into an alternate universe ruled by fractured riffs, laser-guided synth lines, and the sort of songs you want to hear when it’s the last call and the night refuses to end. Judging by the songs that Beckmann already has waiting in the wings, it’s just the beginning.