Released: Feb 19, 2013
Genre: Progressive Rock
Number Of Tracks: 9
"Deep" sees the trio going even deeper into their intricate compositions, and developing further past the pure King Crimson sounds that made up their first album.
thenewblack745, on may 10, 2016 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Stick Men are the group created by King Crimson bassist Tony Levin to feature his favorite two-handed tapping instrument, the Chapman Stick. Rounding out the group we have Pat Mastelotto (also of King Crimson) on acoustic/electronic drums, and Markus Reuter playing his U8 Touch Guitar that he designed himself. After two previous albums, "Soup" (2010) and "Open" (2012), the group proved adept at creating massive, complex, Crimson-like compositions using their three instruments masterfully. "DEEP" sees the trio going even deeper into their intricate compositions, and developing further past the pure King Crimson sounds that made up their first album.
As stated in the review of "Soup," the Chapman Stick and Touch Guitar create a more percussive feel than a typical guitar, lending an urgency to sections of the massive tone-poem "Whale Watch" and opener "Nude Ascending Staircase." Mastelotto's powerful drumming combined with this creates incredible groove in sections of "Horatio" and "Concussion." Further, the compositions utilize wonderfully complex time signatures, such as "Horatio" being in 9/8. // 9
Lyrics: The album is mostly instrumental, with the exception of the song "Crack in the Sky," which features spoken word vocals overtop a glorious ambient back drop (with Mastelotto providing a deceivingly simple rhythm in the back). The vocals work perfectly with the song and create a glorious sense of mystery.
Otherwise, I will use this section to highlight the melodicism of the music on display. Despite the complex nature of the compositions, the group utilizes much more effectively on this album as compared to "Soup" or "Open," making the album overall more engaging. The simple melodic moments of ambient "Sepia" allows perfect bookends for the improvisation within. // 10
Overall Impression: I would say "DEEP" is the next step up from "Soup" and "Open," as the band has started to come into their own beyond their "post-Crimson" style. "Whale Watch" is completely unlike anything from KC, as the piece tries to convey the experience of seeing a massive whale up close with no words. The complex assaults of "Hide the Trees" and "Cusp" embrace simple rhythms or riffs and complicate them throughout the piece. Even though I could stand another vocal number, I didn't find myself missing vocals all that much whilst listening. Stick Men have created an effective album that will stay in your brain for a long time. // 10