Release Date: 1st May 2020
Record Label: Ambicon Records
For Fans Of: Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, Gold Key
It’s very rare that you hear one song by a band and immediately think “I bet these guys are fucking amazing live.” Soul Divider is the second album from Deepshade and hits that perfect sweet spot between a polished alt-rock album and the more erratic grunge sounds that’ll leave you feeling more than slightly nostalgic.
Having a huge range of influences can tend to leave artists treading water in a sea of conflicting sounds that get lost on the listener. Deepshade, however, show no such issue as they seamlessly combine the hard-hitting grunge sounds of an era gone by with the modern psychedelic sounds of bands like Gold Key and Porcupine Tree. Soul Divider floats effortlessly between a huge, foot stomping, mosh pit inducing sound and a more tranquil, almost dreamlike sonic experience. The light and shade prevalent throughout the album is almost like a split-personality fighting to remain in a zen state before letting loose a flurry of pent-up emotion.
The eclectic three-piece hailing from Wigan have created a sound with a certain beauty shining through all the aggression. If fuzzy breakdowns capable of shaking a venue to its foundations are your kind of thing then ‘Airwaves’ and ‘City Burn’ are two tracks you’re bound to be playing on repeat. This isn’t a shouty record by any stretch of the imagination though as lead singer David Rybka’s spacious vocals float smoothly above the colossal explosions of guitar-driven power rock. There can be the worry with bands of this nature that they become one-dimensional with their sound – Deepshade would stand defiant against any such accusations as they infuse their alt-grunge with occasional escapades into dreampop with tracks ‘Burning Up’ and ‘Lonely Man’ before snapping their fingers and dropping another earth-shattering breakdown.
If you’re after one standout track that defines the Deepshade sound, then look no further than ‘Monster’. The penultimate track of the album shifts between a gentle ballad and an emotive wall of sound. The element of back-and-forth between two sounds is present throughout Soul Divider in its entirety and is a perfect example of how to create gripping sounds whether holding back or going full gas.
It’s an age-old cliché to describe an album as a “journey” but it seems strangely suitable for this record. The album is satisfyingly bookended by powerful opening and closing songs that are bound to leave you craving another listen.
Recommended Tracks: ‘Monster’, ‘Burning Up’