The Deep Eynde
Shadowland (Disaster)
~review by Uncle Nemesis

It's reappraisal time. The Deep Eynde are best-known as stalwarts of the Californian deathrock scene, where they've built up a reputation as purveyors of dark, rumbling, rock 'n' roll spookisms, with Fate Fatal, frontman, vocalist, and all-round prime mover of the band, fronting up the outfit like a crypt-kickin' Iggy Pop. Or, at least, that was the way things used to be.

These days, things have changed in the world of The Deep Eynde. There's now a new bunch of musicians in the band, and a new sound. Out goes the spooky stuff, and in comes full-throttle punk rock. The change is so sudden it's clearly a deliberate jump, rather than the result of any natural progression. It's as if Fate Fatal looked at the big success enjoyed by such punker-wallahs as Green Day, and figured he'd like a slice of that action. Roll over Rozz Williams and tell Billie Joe Armstrong the news: The Deep Eynde have gone punk.

As a business decision, you can't really argue with this sudden style-shift. The international punk scene is strong and enthusiastic, and The Deep Eynde have already reaped the benefits. They've recently completed an extensive European tour courtesy of their German Label, People Like You - the kind of escapade that's entirely feasible in punk circles, but would be almost impossible to arrange within the more restricted confines of goth. So, to that extent, Fate Fatal's decision to go punk was a wise one. Trouble is, along the way much of The Deep Eynde's musical identity has been unceremoniously thrown out of the window. Large chunks of this album rattle past in an anonymous blur. Songs such as 'Society's Parasite', 'Nuthin' To Do', and 'Killing Time' are really no more than off-the-shelf exercises in straightforward punk moves; 100mph slam-outs complete with the inevitable 'Woah-oh!' backing vocals, which every punk band on the planet seems to feature these days. It's all done with perfect competence, that's for sure - but none of it has any real individual spark. The Deep Eynde have well and truly hidden themselves in the punk crowd. They've submerged the unique style they once had into an identikit could-be-anyone racket, and while this is probably exactly what the punk audience wants, it's still rather sad to see the band go this way.

Fortunately, a few glimmers of The Deep Eynde's former individuality remain. 'Suicide Drive' - a re-recorded version of the old song 'Dead Alive' - sounds good with a new, punchy, production. The band have resisted the temptation to punk it up, so the essential Iggy-isms (this is, more or less, Fate Fatal's answer to Iggy Pop's 'The Passenger) remain intact.  Another old song, 'Invasion', crops up as 'Space Invaders', and since this one always was a full-tilt mosher the band's new punkerama sound suits it fine.  Elsewhere, 'Hoodoo' hints at a certain alternorock sensibility, while 'Don't Walk Away' features neat interludes of Theatre Of Hate-style spaghetti western rumbling and twanging. Right at the end of the album, 'Mr Guilt' ushers us towards the exit with a slow-burn spooky blues. These few tracks hint that maybe Fate Fatal hasn't entirely sold his soul for straight-up punk - somewhere deep inside, he's still got a few ideas of his own. Maybe, on future releases, we'll hear more of these ideas. Then again, maybe we'll just get more of the punk-by-numbers stuff. Who knows? For now, the punks can dig The Deep Eynde with confidence, secure in the knowledge that the band will give 'em just what they expect - no more, no less. As for the band's old deathrock fans...put it this way: approach with caution.

The tunestack:
Suicide Drive
Space Invaders
She Likes Skulls
Society's Parasite
9th Day
Nuthin' To Do
Killing Time
Let Me Go!
Don't Walk Away
Mr Guilt

The players:
Fate Fatal:  Vocals
Daniel Delon:  Guitar
Sean Vomit:  Bass
Hal Satan:  Drums

The website: