Deep Thought

a progressive rock adventure

Reviews - Somewhere in the dark

UNITED Fanzine

Alberik Ceglar

The band's first full-length CD features more than 72 minutes of music. Interestingly enough, the band has remained in the same line-up so, this is actually a perfect opportunity to hear them how they have progressed over the years. The opening track, Clock is the first lengthy piece of music on the album and it is a prime example of how far this band has gone in upgrading their overall sound and their approach to composition. The overwhelming sense of foreboding melody and repetitive melodies that haunt the mind are the more obvious reference to, so called, neo-classic progressive rock mostly performed by such renowned artist as ARENA, IQ, and MARILLION to some extent. If one should choose to judge the album by only listening to the opening track, then one must admit that DEEP THOUGHT have done an enormous leap forward, all in the most positive sense. For example, the instrumental performance of band members is light years beyond what can be heard on their demo CD, the production work is surprisingly good and has obviously been done with attention to detail and overall grandness of sound, plus the vocal performance and lyrical aspect of the music is on a much higher level; in short, sheer progression! Clock is really a very good composition that does extend to more than 10 minutes of time but you'll never get the feeling of boredom. On the contrary, it will grab your attention with the beautiful central melody that is carried by excellent keyboards and intertwined by subtle yet powerful guitars. The whole musical experience is even further bettered by nice vocals (good English, by the way) and last but not least, the rhythm section does an outstanding job, especially the drummer. The next track, Changing the Rules is a more lively musical composition and a bit shorter, but it does include more tempo changes, and some very interesting passages. The band tries really hard and succeeds in creating a sound of their own even though there are some similarities with other band's sounds; fortunately only on the surface level. Waiting for Darkness is the shortest piece of music on the entire album but it convinces with its power (great rhythm section) and beauty (melodic guitars).

Then we come to Simple Man, another lengthy piece of music that immediately bombards the listener with tricky drum patterns, innovative guitars and soft, ambiental keyboards. The music suddenly slows down almost to a halt, after the initial progressive attack, but only for a while as the band once again kicks in high gear. During this track, DEEP THOUGHT show a surprising amount of musical know-how, both performance and composition wise. The composition is a great piece of excellent progressive rock that does not falter for a second. Its intricate pattern boggles the mind yet it is friendly to the ear, which is a feat that can only be accomplished by the best! Probably the best track on the album. By the way, somewhere towards the end you can almost hear the faint echo of ECHOLYN. By now, it is clear that we are dealing here with a A-class progressive band that has it all - knowledge, talent and passion for music. The keyboard intro to Shadows of the Past does sound ominous and very serious but when the bands starts to play, it is only melody after melody, nice vocals and great rhythm section. Strumming, almost percussive drums make the composition sound very different and the rhythm very unique. The sharp guitar lines only add an extra flavour of power and sharpness. Driving starts very with a playful drum-bass-vocal interplay that soon turns into a fully 'driven' composition that takes us onto an interesting journey where we can hear great keyboard harmonies, superb muted guitars and rollicking rhythm section. Very dual in nature as it switches between a more cheerful mood and that of pure sadness. And here we are, another lengthy piece of music. Ice is also one of the more complex musical compositions that keeps a firm hold of the charted course and offers a variety of interesting elements, great instrumental performance, heart-felt vocalisation and the over-all sense of total dedication to progressive music. At this point, I'd like to focus more on the guitars as they play an important part in the music of DEEP THOUGHT. Marcel Oehler is a very talented guitar player with a fine sense of melody, harmony and chord progression (by the way, great solo in Ice). What is really astonishing is his ability to blend into the background and not force himself up front, upon the musical frame. He does maintain a relatively high profile and is present throughout most of the music on this album, yet he manages to remain on the same level with other musicians. This is a true virtue any musician should be proud of. Bravo, Marcel! Morphios is the second to last track on the album and is a very up-tempo composition filled with great guitar melodies, persuasive rhythm section and very interesting keyboards that step into the limelight making the music sound like some excellent composition from the 70s. A nod to the past, one might say. The album closes with the longest track, Mud on the Hill. It is a breath-taking trip through the universe created by DEEP THOUGHT. It slowly evolves from a percussive beginning into a true masterpiece of modern, progressive rock music. A myriad of abrupt tempo changes and surprising mood swings mark the soundscape that is filled with great melodies, unique vocals and superb instrumental performance.

In the end, all I can say is that DEEP THOUGHT have progressed to that level where they can easily compete with the best European and American progressive rock bands. No doubt about it!