The Deep are closely linked in history to NWOBHM band and Deep Machine, namely the 1982 line up of that band with further links to Tokyo Blade, Rouge Male, Tytan, Vardis and somewhere in there is an Angel Witch! But that aside, The Deep’s first full length effort comes highly charged and highly motivated in terms of music and promotion with some real stunning artwork courtesy of CadiesArt (www.cadiesart.com). The current line-up includes Tony Coldham (Vocals), Paul Smith (Guitars), Mick Feleppa (Guitars), Don Whiberley (Bass) and Steve Kingsley on drums.
First off I have to say, this is a fantastic release, it encompasses many genres of metal, from the NWOBHM inspired ‘Premonition’, ‘Saga’, ‘The Rider’ and ‘Night Stalker’ right down to AOR charged rocker’s such as ‘Out of Touch’ and ‘You Take My Breath Away’. In fact ‘Saga’ and ‘Night Stalker’ were actually demo recordings from 1982, when some band members were part of Deep Machine, these were part of the live set from that time period.
It doesn’t matter how many times you play this release, in what order you listen to the songs, the quality and enjoyment is amazing. Each track generates genuine warmth and eludes misanthropy with an elegant swathe of professionalism in each and every second played or sung, it sounds pretty cool actually. I wouldn’t go far as saying pipe and slippers comfort, there is still an edgy touch to this album don’t get me wrong, but this is one of these albums I sit down and smile from ear to ear with, it’s a rare thing when I have so many to choose from on a day by day basis.
My highlight for the guitar work and rhythm is the title track ‘Premonition’, there is a great British metal guitar gallop, top notch vocals with zero occurrence of off key over stretched vocals, Tony Coldham is right on point. There are some instance’s I draw comparisons to Uriah Heep’s Bernie Shaw, particularly on ‘You Take My Breath Away’ that has some high octave power screams and wonderful strong controlled vibrato melodies.
If you want some emotion, then check out the electro acoustic ‘Cold Hearted’ which was written during the early 90’s and has that feeling of semi ballads produced by The Scream (John Corabi vocal’s), Firehouse etc and other big American bands of that time. The Deep conveys the passion and tempts you into the lyric in a very British way, there is down to earth soul about this album and it works on so many levels.
If ever there was an album you should get into this year, then it is this, there is clearly more than NWOBHM styled music, there is strong passionate British metal in plentiful supply and clearly the song writing partnership of Tony Coldham and Tony Harris (although no longer in The Deep, he is the official sixth member!) is on a level pegging with some of the finest metal writing partnerships in the business over recent decades.
‘Premonition’ is a classic British metal album, a blueprint for success and essential listening that will catapult The Deep to the levels of recognition that this band deserve based on the quality of the songs and their arrangements.
(9/10 Paul Maddison)