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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Review: Deep Space Mask – Songs from the Dark Light

Label: Planet K Records

Date: January 29th, 2021

Here’s an example of what can come out of a nationwide lockdown. Created somewhere around the time this nasty virus came into European lives. While most of Europeans were incorporating the word “covid” into their day-to-day dictionaries, a French guy that goes by the name of Raymz decided to fulfill what is undoubtedly his longtime dream. Publishing a loving tribute to his, as he gladly admits, guitar hero Tony Iommi.

Now, “Songs from the Dark Light” is not a collection of Sabbath cover tracks. Instead, Deep Space Mask is a way to incorporate the recognizable guitar playing by the British master into a fully developed, 21st century, modern stoner rock / metal. Without beating around the bush, Raymz provides a proof he has painstakingly followed Iommi’s work, and thoroughly examined his ways of creation. Somehow, Deep Space Mask presents a decent mixture of early doom material and later, overly hard rocking, Black Sabbath offerings. There are a couple of moments on the album where the guitars do sounds as if directly taken from a concrete Sabbath track. Listen closely to “Inside Me” for closer reference. However, most of the instrumentation on the record does sound as if they would be quite suitable for a follow-up to… “Born Again”, for example.

As advertised, Raymz does provide a number of quite catchy tunes, thus making this release stand its own ground at least in that respect. However, there are a few shortcomings that could be fixed if the man decides to go on with this project. Namely, vocals. Obviously, no one will ever come even close to Ozzy or Dio (even Tony Martin is questionable). Still, a bit of a more convincing singing is necessary to lift this music up higher. At times, Raymz even sounds too soft for the heavy background he himself laid.

Also, I will not even make any deeper comments about the cover artwork. It simply looks effortless and utterly unappealing.

Since we have probably lost Black Sabbath forever, this is a fairly acceptable replacement. Will Deep Space Mask live up to the (more than) promising debut is a completely different question. I would suggest a couple of added musicians. Shouldn’t be too hard to find them, given the reputation and global affection towards Sabbath. On that note, “Songs from the Dark Light” is an excellent gift for aged Sabbath fans looking for someone to fill the gaping hole left by the retirement of the Birmingham bunch.