Reviews - Morphios
Martin Jones Acid Attack Music
Deep Thought are a 5 piece neo-progressive band from Switzerland which hold within it's ranks drums, vocals, guitar, bass and keys. This young band have been around since 1995, with this current line up from 1998. 9 track demo CD running time is 48 minutes long. What do you get for your money, Deep thought are complex in style, weaving keys, up mixed drums, strong vocals that fit well into the music, and leading guitars. The complex approach to the songs, and how they are played (the band claim to be more of a live band) leaves you looking further into each track the more you listen to them. These 9 tracks are split between shorter tracks like Grave, Anything you want (an aggressively played love song), and Gone, to longer more worked out tracks Silent four and title track Morphios. Silent four, has anything a progressive rock follower would want, starting slowly and building more and more as you get further into the track. This band have taken very much the European approach on progressive rock, never straying very far from the path.
If I had to pick faults with the CD it's very much in the production, you do get the "demo feel" to it, but as the band did this themselves, that's not so much of a crime. As I type this the band are putting the final touches to a new CD which should be ready anyway now (I shall look out for this). If you enjoy the complex sound of modern styled progressive rock then a worthy visit to the bands web site, should see you able to get copy's of both CD's.
File under: Bands to watch and see how they grow.
Renald Mienert DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean
God job so far. Although this is a kind of a "hand made" CD, (concerning the artwork and unfortunately also the sound) from the musically side the guys from Switzerland are acceptable. They mention bands like Marillion as influences, but it would be wrong to call Deep Thought just as an simple copy. To be honest for me such a comparison can only give a very rough direction. Melodic and quiet sounds are mainly present on the album, sometime it becomes a little bit more dynamic and complex. It could be interesting thinking about how this album would sound under an professional production, but this is just hypothetic. So we have an good starting point and should keep the band in mind.
5 out of 10 points
Terry Tucker European Progressive Rock Reviews
Deep Thought come from Switzerland and this is their first CD which is mostly material from their previous tapes re- recorded with vocals. Having listened to Morphios, I believe that they have the potential to become big in the progressive rock field. Patrick Merz's voice is perfectly suited to this type of music and all the other ingredients are there and especially shine through on Grave, Silent Four and Inside The Dune, which are all instrumental. Grave starts off with guitar leading into early Camel/Caravan type keyboards. Silent Four again opens with guitar but this time followed by keyboards which have a hint of Mike Oldfield. This is a great track which builds up into quite a complex progressive/jazz mid section reminiscent of Alquin. Inside the Dune opens with drums and soon the guitar and keyboards take over producing some excellent progressive rock music. The album starts with the track Morphios which has a keyboard mid section which again reminds me of early Camel. The Land of the Never Ending Rain has touches of Final Conflict especially in the vocals and has a very complex progressive keyboard section. When the guitar is let loose on Waiting For the Darkness it is quite impressive. On track 9, Anything You Want, the band crank it up but unfortunately it comes across as a bit cliched and seems out of place on this album.
On two or three of the tracks the backing instruments could do with being a bit more powerful which should surface on their next album along with the added confidence they should gain over the next year or so. Fans of Final Conflict and early Camel should give this band a try.
Stephanie Sollow Progressive World
Morphios begins with the title track, structurally similar to classic Marillion, but the swirling keyboards of Dominik Pfleghaar are much higher in tone, and vocalist Pat Merz sounds nothing like either Fish nor Hogarth. In fact, on this, Deep Thought are closer to French and Italian progressive than UK. I'm brought to mind of Eris Pluvia or Ezra Winston, without the winds. For a few beats we get wah-wah guitar that...well, without meaning to paraphrase Neal Morse (cf Morse interview), it sounds like that used in the "Theme From Shaft."
Do the Hustle!! Hmm, well, maybe not, but that's the rhythm for Grave, which is anything but. Keys parp sprightly, the percussion and bass are jaunty, the guitar lines upbeat. You'd have expected some very dark and sinister playing with a title that - or at least somber with reflective lyrics - something like Thomas Grey's "Elegy Written In A Country Courtyard" perhaps, though I don' t know why that comes to mind here. It's not a bad instrumental, mind you, but does have a strong disco feel about it.
Waiting For Darkness wouldn't seem out of place on an Ilúvatar disk or, looking even further back, mid-to-late 70's Genesis. Except, again here, it is much too bright for what one would expect to be a somber sentiment. Once you get past that, it's an okay tune. The keys are a little muddy, a little too echoey, and Merz' vocal performance here could be stronger.
Gone is a full of dynamic contrasts between gentle, more acoustic-like segments and rockier, angrier sections. Acoustic-like, but not acoustic. Where guitar has the lead in the former, it is percussion that has the lead in the latter. This is more epic as moves beyond this after some time into a lilting guitar passage, accented by tinkling keys, and sinewy bass. Then some dark, epic tones come to the fore (this is what Grave should have sounded like), but only briefly and then just before it ends.
Silent Four is the spotlight track for Martin Altenbach's drums, which intro this track. Dark guitar lines create a sense of foreboding, which is undercut by the bright keys. Throughout, I realize, the keys also take on the role of brass with a somewhat medieval feel. This is a nice instrumental track.
Inside The Dune returns to the disco flavor - open, fat bass and guitar chords. All that's missing is the mirror ball. Okay, that's really just the intro, as the rest is moody prog more in the style of...well, I thought of Egdon Heath. Anything You Want made me think of Live.
Overall this is a nice disk and worth hearing. There are some production quibbles, but as was mentioned to me, this was self-produced without having a large budget. With that taken into consideration, this is a pretty darn good release. The quibble I have is that sometimes the drums sound a little tinny, or the percussion is up in the mix when it needs to be back a little bit, and everything seems a little quite, but really nothing major.