Pieces Of Nothing
To merely label Deep’s Pieces of Nothing “death-thrash” would severely undercut its power: Not since Death’s last two albums, Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance, has American metal with death-overtones been so expressive and lyrical in its clarity. It’s not surprising, then, that the snarl/growl of surname-less vocalist/guitarist Jerome bears some semblance to that of Death mainman Chuck Schuldiner, for both men possess pipes that, however shredded they may be, remain intelligible and capable of a broader range of emotions than solely anger. Compounding this stray from the norm, Jerome and his partner-in-riff Mark (also no surname given) weave delicate, poignant guitar lines – running the gamut from nimble-fingered thrash workouts to twin-g harmonic runs – instead of the usual overdriven crunch, their subtle melodies oozing with serious amounts of stress n’ sorrow and actually standing more powerful than these seemingly namby-pamby adjectives would convey. At 10 songs in 47 minutes, Pieces of Nothing‘s compositions are smart, concise and accessible all at once, the 5-minute average length being ample time for Deep to travel all sorts of manic-compressive/depressive routes without resorting to trite verse/chorus structures. The only qualm with the album is its oft-inconsistent production, which sometimes sublimates the guitars and snare drums in favor of too-pronounced vocals and bass drums; nevertheless, the unfailing form and content outshine the somewhat-suspect presentation. And when all is said and done, this should always override all other qualities – a new standard for Deep’s contemporaries to aspire to.
Pavement Music, P.O. Box 50550, Phoenix, AZ 85076; http://www.pavementmusic.com