Deep Thought

a progressive rock adventure

Reviews - Somewhere in the dark

Dutch Progressive Rock Page

Dries Dokter

I am a Douglas Adams fan, so if a band is named after the first super-computer in his books "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy", then they have caught my attention. Deep Thought was formed in 1993, but after 3 members of this line-up left the two founders found themselves alone again. New members were found and this second line-up released a demo CD, but as the band did not have a singer at that time, this was an instrumental only demo. Some tracks from this demo have found their way to the first studio album of Deep Thought: Somewhere In The Dark.

I was content after hearing the first few tones of Clock, this could be a nice one. But the voice of Pat Merz stopped my initial enthusiasm. It is not really bad but it is just that I cannot get used to it and on top of that in some songs his Swiss (German) accent really distracts me from the music. However, I listened to this album more often than I had intented to, after the first listening. This could be that I was somewhat reluctant to write a bad review and therefore stalled writing it. Because of these extra listening hours I discovered that some of the songs are not bad, not bad at all, and slowly the album grew on me. On some songs the vocals fit the music very well.

Clock is a nice and complete song because of the original and well played tempo changes. This 10 minute track has some IQ elements, which can be accounted to the guitar sound, the distortion is the same as on IQ's Fascination. Changing the rules is not the strongest song of this album - it is too uneventfull. On Waiting For Darkness I even like the vocals and this is a good song. Simple Man again is a long song that is OK, but it does not have the allure of Clock. The end of Shadows of the Past nicely builds up to a climax that somehow does not come. Drive to me is the song which illustrates the problems I have with the vocals best. Ice was also part of the demo Shadows of the past and if it is an example of the band's music in earlier days they have certainly improved. This song is just not it. The same goes for Morphios which was also on the even earlier demo Morphios. Strange thing is: before mentioned Waiting for Darkness is also part of this first demo and I like that one. Mud On The Hill is a long composition, 14 minutes, and it certainly has its good moments which means I mostly skip the other parts.

I am still not certain on which grade to give this album, some songs are very very good while others on this album are just not doing it for me. Most of the material was technically good though and if all of the songs were like Clock and Waiting For Darkness, Deep Thought would have delivered a super album. I think I might be listening to Somewhere in the Dark again in the future but will stay clear of some of the songs. At times the material reminded me of early IQ - Tales from the Lush Attic and perhaps Nine in a Pond is Here so this has to be a positive sign and makes me certainly curious as to their next album.

Conclusion: 7- out of 10