[Review] thedeepstate – Broken Pieces (featuring Michelle Jones)

thedeepstate is a project born from the artists Ralph Cardall and James Sedge, driven by the common love for the instrumental sounds of Prog Rock. The fourth and new album “Broken Pieces” was released on February 22, 2022 and contains 8 tracks featuring vocals Michelle Jones. The album opens with “Broken Pieces” which is the longest track, over 7 minutes long. It starts with a mix of guitar and synth and a solid rhythm session on which Michelle’s voice stands out, with more Symphonic sounds of Prog that mix with the cinematic features of the band. An intense track that immediately plunges us into the musical atmospheres of the album, with good intertwining of keyboards and guitar. A warm and intense sound characterizes “Communicator” where the vocal of the singer is enhanced, dynamic and expressive. Good mixes between the organ and the rhythm session with deep and leading bass lines and a Bluesy guitar that fits. The intensity increases with the passing of the minutes in the first part, and then proposes an instrumental section with the guitar as protagonist, with the return of the vocal the track closes in crescendo. “I Don’t Believe” is a softer track centered around solid drumming and vocals, with an orchestral background in the first part. In the central instrumental section an electric guitar solo is at the center of the scene, then the vocals return and increase the intensity until the final. Granitic guitar riffs and a killer-bass line open “Don’t You Worry” on which Michelle’s excellent vocal is inserted, a real added value for the track. A mixture of harder Rock and softer passages, with continuous tempo changes and a good lead guitar insert in the second part. “Shine Down” is another more Rock matrix track with modern sounds that blend with the personal traits of the band and fine guitar inserts. Riffs and engaging melodies on which Michelle‘s excellent vocals are inserted, creating a pleasant track. A good mix of keyboards and guitar opens “Talking Loud” with a solid rhythm session and dynamic vocal, mixing Rock textures with Prog tempo changes. A winning blend, with solo inserts that enhance the technique of the artists involved, both in the composition and in the performance, an energetic piece. A keyboard intro and energetic drumming to which are added a line of Funky bass opens “Love Song” where the vocal offers another convincing and intense proof. Good textures and intertwining between the instruments, which show another facet of the band’s sound, where there is no lack of solo cues. Closes the album “Freak Flag” characterized by hard riffs of electric guitar and a vocal enriched by the effects, with a hypnotic bass line. With continuous tempo changes and accelerations, the track shows a heavier facet of the band’s sound that mixes with more Funky traits, resulting original and engaging. An album that distances itself from the classic sounds of Prog, showing a more Rock side of the band, with elaborate plots and good solo inserts and an excellent vocal proof. The tracks are more concentrated than the previous discs, with the cinematic aspect of the sound proposed in less quantity, giving space to the vocals and good lead guitar inserts. A listening recommended for lovers of the more elaborate sounds of Rock, with the right amount of vocal and instrumental parts.


01. Broken Pieces (07:33)
02. Communicator (05:44)
03. I Don’t Believe (06:32)
04. Don’t You Worry (05:11)
05. Shine Down (03:22)
06. Talking Loud (03:56)
07. Love Song (05:03)
08. Freak Flag (05:18)


Ralph Cardall / Guitars, Keyboards, Bass
James Sedge / Drums, Percussion
Michelle Jones / Vocals

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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