The league of gentlemen that are Deity’s Muse have been a staple on the South African alternative/metal scene for quite a few years now, brewing their pot of proggy-spiced grunge stew and quietly and steadily evolving into a newer, fiercer beast that I barely saw coming from a distance. Their recent overseas tours and association with modern prog bands like Monuments, Protest The Hero, and Karnivool have clearly rubbed off both in terms of musical direction and songwriting quality, because this little EP is a monster. The really good news is that this is the first in a series of EPs yet to come.
Firstly, the production level on Lungs Full (which fans can pre-save/buy here) is of a truly international standard quite often lacking in South African alternative/metal recordings. The clarity, weight balance, and depth of sonic palette are remarkable in that it’s so right that I barely noticed - the sound is just so damn good that it comes off as effortless, even though we all know that it takes audio ninjutsu to achieve. Beyond that, the playing from all involved is testament to their workmanlike attitude to gigging and rehearsing - they are tight, locked in, and focused like I’ve never heard from the ‘Muse.
Check out the boss video for the first single, “Still In Hiding,” here:
There are three songs on offer here, all of which fall into a melodic prog vibe with a dash of heaviness and groove. Wayne Boucher (vocalist and guitarist) has clearly been training his voice, which soars in the big choruses and floats gently in the quieter shadows, and adds considerable weight to the high emotional content. This is clearly seen in the opener, “Still In Hiding,” which heaves the listener into peaks and valleys of distortion and melody, sludge and refined rocking out right from the get-go.
This is followed by “Soon Be Over,” which hits like Alice In Chains meets TesseracT, brim full of harmony, busy drum fills, sliding guitar grit, and a hypnotic bass line. The third and final song on this all-too-short burst of energy is “Sleep Escape,” a dynamic slice of pie that ebbs and flows from dark to light seamlessly. This might well be my pick of the bunch here with its tight chorus and loose groove. Oh, and if the rest of the package wasn’t enough, let your eyes take in all that is the cover artwork - it’s bloody marvelous.
Overall, this feels like both a rebirth and new beginning for an older group that are set for greater things. I am truly impressed by the work that has been put in by a relentless team of individuals that know what they want and how to get it, and have done it all on their own terms. Ladies and gentlemen just arriving to the party, I give you Deity’s Muse - your new favourite local band.
A recent press shot of this powerfully proggy band:
Lungs Full Track Listing:
01. Still In Hiding
02. Soon Be Over
03. Sleep Escape
Run Time: 13:00 Release Date: May 31, 2019 Record Label: Self-Released