Story driven synth concept albums are usually futuristic in nature, synth sounds are near ubiquitous in sci-fi movies and TV series. It didn’t always have to be so, however, with some deft sound design the synthesizer can be turned away from laser beams and futuristic noir detectives. Rupert Lally’s new album, The Prospect, available now from Spun Out Of Control, is one of those instances.
The album stands as the soundtrack to a short story also by Lally included inside the beautifully designed cover. The story of the Delaney Gang’s failed robbery of a stage coach in the Rocky Mountain wilderness during the winter of 1882 pairs very nicely with the music, the electronic sounds mixing with more organic instrumentation crafts a great sense of the harsh unforgiving emptiness of the 19th century frontier, painting images in your mind of a scene that is at once both beautiful and deadly.
The Prospect is a beautifully written score that follows the twists and turns of the plot tightly, from the opener ‘Edge of the Union’ which starts beautifully measured and controlled, as the gang wait for the stage coach but that defiance gives way to horror and tension in latter tracks, with brief respite, before returning finally at the end of the album to the sounds of the frozen wilderness where we started.
Rupert Lally’s sound design on display here is exquisite, and while the main sounds are fantastic, the often overlooked incidental noises in the background are what elevate this composition to the heights of the mountainous terrain the story takes place in.