I Saw The Deep - Astronavigation
March 2012

01. Phantom Island
02. Astronavigation
03. Time, The Tyrant
04. Scarlet Skies
05. The Djinn
06. Oneironaut
07. Secrets Of The Blue
08. He Who Saw The Deep
09. Spira Solaris
10. Of Death And Dying
11. Map Of Piri Re'is
12. Saturniid (The Visit)

I Saw The Deep take us on a journey with their debut opus Astronavigation which they hope we won't soon forget. 'They' isn't really the right pronoun though as Darrell Laclé did all the work, including production and artwork. There is a lot to take in and the first door to the universe of this band is showed through the wicked cover of the album: it is as intricate and colourful as the music.

First and foremost, I Saw The Deep display a very good quality: the ability to tell stories with their songs. This isn't some random album and you can tell that there was some thought put into the final product and package.

The music of I Saw The Deep is difficult to define, which speaks of its quality. Here we have a multi-dimensional record and the potion is made out of a good measure of stoner, psychedelic rock, often trippy and groovy, and a little spice of prog. Mastodon and the quirkiness of The Mars Volta come to mind, but that doesn't do justice to the density of the album. Despite this mixture, the album is not schizophrenic. Instead, it is well-balanced and fairly accessible, especially in terms of vocal lines like in the acid "Astronavigation" and the pop/rock sensibility of "Scarlet Skies".

Astronavigation is as eclectic as it is spacey and the different moods from the soft voice to the rough screams can make you think of Intronaut one minute and Pink Floyd the next. The good hooks are everywhere to be found and there is rarely time to rest your mind, apart from the more expansive mysticism of songs like "Map Of Piri Re'is" and "Saturniid (The Visit)", where there is a lot more of exploring the unknown done instrumentally (with the oud, sitar and different effects). But the energy and heaviness of the music is irresistible at times, allowing for an adventurous musical escapade.

One thing going against it is that it may be too long for its own good and for the listener whose attention span is limited. But the same can be true for the bands who try out more ambitions music. After "Secrets Of The Blue", the album looses a bit of pace before the grand finale.

In the end, nevertheless, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Laclé, a true oneironaut, accomplishes the task to take his ship exploring musical dream worlds in great fashion, leaving a legacy behind and a message in a bottle, which we take pleasure in deciphering. What you will find in that message will depend on how willing you are to listen to the sounds inside it.


written by BloodTears | 23.08.2012


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Comments: 5  
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Ace Frawley - 23.08.2012 at 11:36  
Not a criticism, just a genuine question - how come a rating of N/A?
BloodTears - 23.08.2012 at 11:51  
Written by Ace Frawley on 23.08.2012 at 11:36

Not a criticism, just a genuine question - how come a rating of N/A?

Sometimes a review doesn't really need a rating and I think the description speaks for itself. When it's too fluctuating I prefer not to rate it
MeloDeathViking - 23.08.2012 at 15:03  
This is a great review! I am certainly going to check this album out. Bandcamp has become my new best friend, along with Spotify, for hearing new albums I otherwise wouldn't have access to.
oblong - 24.08.2012 at 01:09  
Very nice review !

That album cover is great.

Edited after listening:
Not really sure if I heard the same album as what the review says, the pop/rock comment seemed to make more sense though. Found the vocals to be pretty ordinary imo.
Maxx666 - 01.09.2012 at 21:26  
Yeah the album seemed a bit pop-rock oriented to me as well.. whereas i expected something like Leviathan...

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