The Deep are a self-described NWOBHM band from (where else) London, England. Those of us who are of a uh…”certain age” will remember what an exciting time that was for fans of heavy music. Every time you’d visit the record store (yeah, back then that was the only way to buy music) you’d see albums from new bands with fresh new sounds. Some were destined to go on to the coveted worldwide fame and fortune (Iron Maiden, Def Leppard) while others, after a brief moment in the sun, faded into musical twilight (Saxon, Witchfynde).
With that brief history lesson, fast forward to the present. The Deep has released a four-song EP that rocks so killer fast and hits so sledgehammer hard it brings back fond memories of those hallowed days. This EP matches up quite favorably (since we’re talking NWOBHM should we say “favourably?”) to any of Iron Maiden’s early albums (a tall comparison, but remember, your tour guide/Screamer journalist was there then, so I know of what I speak).
Let’s start with the rhythm section. Drummer Steve Kingsley is an absolute beast behind the kit. Great timing, monster fills—doesn’t get any better than that. Bass player Don Whiberley plays it simple, doubling the rhythm guitars for the most part, but there’s a reason that trick is employed in heavy music—it works! (Quite well, in this case). A NWOBHM band would not be complete without two guitarists, and we have here Paul Smith and Mick Feleppa. Obviously not household names, but the way they play, they should be. The second song on the EP, Premonition, reminds of Maiden’s Phantom of the Opera with the call-and-response guitar solos. Killer track.
On lead vocals is Tony Coldham, and once again, another unknown shining star. Great midrange voice, and yes, he can (and does) hit the upper register when needed. Listen to Spellbound for an example of how it’s done right. The other two songs on the EP are All I Want and The Rider, and all four are so well-recorded and hook-laden that if this was the ‘80’s you’d quickly wear out the grooves in the vinyl from playing this album so many times.
There was sparse information on the album, but kudos to whoever did the recording, mixing and mastering—they really crushed it. To anyone who was there in the late 80’s and misses those days, and to anyone who wasn’t there—but wishes they were—get this EP. Listen to it, and listen to it often. These guys have created a masterpiece that sounds as good today as it would have back then.