I Saw The Deep was initially the solo project of a guy named Darrell Laclé, who plays all instruments and also painted the album artwork. He was born and raised in Aruba, which is fun because Aruba is a small island of the Caribbean Sea. It is really tiny, 36 km large and 11 km wide, with no sweet water source or rain. Let us see if the music is as special and exotic as this place.
Darrell, who lives in The Netherlands now, says his inspiration comes from classic sci- fi, the supernatural, the dark and mystic side of the ocean, as well as Tool, Mastodon, Baroness, The Mars Volta, The Tea Party, and Led Zeppelin. I would also add King Crimson to the list. Musically, this is what I Saw the Deep is about: a kind of progressive rock which is hard to label (especially with the post-rock label, but it surely doesn’t bother the readers of this page whose broad views are legendary): we have post metal, stoner, doom, a little Caribbean vibe, mysticism, weight, everything we need. This genre (it applies to every genre by the way) is only good if the components balance each other out and if the band doesn’t try to follow the path of former great bands. Darrell does it really well, his music has personality of its own, and he doesn’t want to be post, prog, neo or (insert random trendy attribute here) by all means, he is loose and he has the boogie.
The structure of the songs is quite complex, I bend before Laclé because the instruments are absolutely professional, the tunes are catchy, and he navigates with a firm hand between the different genres. The riffs are not only Tool-riffs or Mastodon-riffs; he can also slide and play the loose stoner style.
Astronavigation, the debut album, can be purchased for a price you name on Bandcampen. Everyone can own it, and I encourage you to do so. I would prefer not to analyze each song, because everyone will have their opinion very soon. I would just like to talk about my own favorite tracks; the greatest song on the album is Scarlet Skies, which reminds me completely of the songs of Tribe After Tribe, to be more precise, it reminds me of the song called Congo Sky, it has the same oceanic exotic feeling.
Time, The Tyrant is the most complex songs, this is the one where Darrell’s genius shows itself at its fullest, completely different, fast or slow themes follow each other gracefully but still with a coherent outcome.
At the end comes Map Of Piri Re’is, an instrumental song which is monotone, heavy, slow, sick, psychedelic, tending towards noise, weighing on the listener like the darkness of the ocean on Hacı Ahmed Muhiddin Piri.
By the way it’s quite hard to pick out songs, and this is where the negative side of the record is: the themes flow into each other, it’s hard to tell which riff belongs to which song. It’s all very raw and only a few tunes which pop out like Scarlet Skies. It doesn’t make the record any worse; it just makes it harder to listen, especially from start to end, especially if you are a poor journalist who’d like to write about it.
There are 12 songs on the album, with an average length of 5 minutes, which is quite rare nowadays, so one more reason to pay a few dollars to Darrell. He has some friends by the way, with whom he makes gigs, but he also performs solo where he plays the songs acoustically readjusted, because he only has four limbs. All in all, this album is one of the albums of the year, for me, and it has been a strong year, with the new Baroness, Hawkwind, Angertea and Aebsence, on which I don’t have an opinion yet but I waited for it for a long time. Like I Saw the Deep on Facebbok, and Join Us