The mind behind badassoftheweek.com, and the author of Badass: The Book and Badass: Birth of a Legend, has been generous enough to review The Deepening Hole. If the album wasn’t going to win a grammy it will now because of how well Ben writes:
It says something about the DRX that the mellowest song on their album is a track about a dude disemboweling himself on stage and pulling his own guts out in a performance that would have made Sid Vicious cry a single tear of joy. This is a band that has a dude ripping open his chest cavity on the CD jacket. This isn’t a band that fucks around or pulls any punches.
The Deepening Hole is a three-song EP from the DRX, an Experimental Prog-Metal band that mixes heavy guitar riffs with badass synth and horn solos to build a dark, haunting sound that resembles a mix between straight-up avant-garde Metal and that early-90s Nine Inch Nails stuff where Trent Reznor whispered into the microphone and made an entire generation of depressed teenagers want to jump off a building (back when he still did awesome shit and wasn’t writing Doom music or winning Academy Awards). Their songs are aggressive without being overwhelming, sincere and emotional without being lame, and catchy without being fucking annoying – a difficult mix, but one they’ve nailed in this album.
The EP (released by Nefarious Industries) starts with “Love Has Lost the Meaning It Once Had”, which sets the pace by kicking you in the teeth with a wall of sound, then tempering it off with interludes featuring drums, trombone, complicated time signature changes, and a dude shredding the synth in an insane over-the-top solo aimed at melting faces.
“Love Has Lost the Meaning” flows straight into the title track, “The Deepening Hole”, which is the most low-key tune on the album insomuch as any song about publicly dismembering yourself with a knife and pulling out your entrails on stage can be considered “low-key”. It’s a haunting, melodic song with strong synth and melodica backup that is somehow raw and polished at the same time.
The final song, “Episode V” (which, as far as I can tell, has very little to do with Boba Fett, the Ice Planet Hoth, or The Empire Strikes Back in general, though I could be mistaken about this) is a good mix between the previous two songs – it immediately kicks up the pace with a driving drum track, heavy guitars, an electric cello (awesome) and badass metal vocals, yet it somehow blasts your hair to the back of the auditorium while still maintaining the creepy darkness of the previous song.
Despite only having three tracks, The Deepening Hole fits together so well that it can pretty much be listened to as three movements to on epic song. It absolutely leaves you wanting more.
Thompson has written hundreds of articles on “badass” persons, places or things as well as two books published by Harper Collins and various columns for such publications as Cracked, Fangoria and Penthouse. Do yourself a favor and check out his website – badassoftheweek.com