Winnipeg instrumental electric rock band Mahogany Frog has released their ambitious new album “Faust,” an original score set to the eponymous 1926 German silent film. Directed by F. W. Murnau, Faust is widely regarded as being among the greatest films of the silent era. It tells the classic legend of fate and temptation that dates back centuries. On their latest offering, Mahogany Frog brings together their collective experience in composition, experimentation, electronics, intense rock & roll, and searing fuzz guitar. Together they weave a dark and diverse score around Faust’s brooding tale of corruption, devastation, and redemption.
The first single from the album, “A Decision of the Flower” tells the story of the courtship between Faust and Gretchen. Faust has traded his soul for knowledge, youth, and worldly pleasures. When he tires and becomes unfulfilled with this life, he meets Gretchen and tastes true love. This scene is the courtship of this new love.
"Gretchen’s love for Faust is foretold by a child’s game; just as it is steered by the Devil’s gambit," says drummer/electronics wizard Andy Rudolph. "Gently pulsing electric piano interplays with each petal’s fall to the ground. But Beelzebub’s bass and the drums of chaos are close at hand. Multitudes of analogue waves lift the two lovers and carry them to their tragic fate.”
The music for Faust was initially written and rehearsed over the span of three months, culminating in a premiere performance at the Roxy Theatre, a historic atmospheric cinema in Saskatoon. Three more performances in Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg followed. Accompanying the band on this tour was audio engineer Grant Trippel, who later recorded the studio sessions in February 2020.
The mood of Faust is varied and complex. There are many faces of Mahogany Frog. Harsh noise, electronic drones, and pulsing textures flow in and out of dark and heavy guitar-driven riffage. Soothing washes of melodic synth-pop flow through syrupy, languid organs only to be obliterated by the shrieks of the damned and the devil himself.
Graham Epp (guitar/keyboards/electronics/trumpet)
Jesse Warkentin (guitar/keyboards/electronics)
Scott Ellenberger (bass/keyboards/electronics/trumpet)
Andy Rudolph (drums/keyboards/electronics)
Released March 25, 2022
CD, Vinyl, and Digital Download, Also available on Streamings Services.