Compact Deity
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Compact Deity


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"Review: Modern Noise-Detroit EP"

Compact Deity
Modern Noise-Detroit
Sanctum Records

Normally a three song EP wouldn't be something that I would review, but I never set out to be a conventional source for music reviews. My goal was to grant exposure to up and coming MySpace artists so that they could benefit and grow. One such band that certainly grabbed my attention in the past few months and deserves much more exposure is Compact Deity. Based out of Detroit, Michigan, vocalist and guitarist Tarik Al-Kadhim grabs hold of the listeners ear by presenting a dark, multi-textural form of gothic rock replete with bombastic guitars and synthetic atmospheres. Modern Noise-Detroit is a three song EP of which all can be found by visiting Compact Deity's MySpace Page or their web site.

Opening the set is "The Desolation," a track that begins with a metallic guitar riff reminiscent of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." That is where the similarities end as an electronic pulse kicks the song in to high gear with it's high rpm beat count. The song is weighted down by Shawn Busch's bass and propelled forward by the mechanizations of drummer Kyle Smith. But when Al-Kadhim's vocals kick in, the song gets really dark. Think Carl McCoy (Fields of the Nephilim) at his most bitter moments. The track is heavy, dark and actually quite good.

Until I got my hands on the CD, I honestly thought "The Desolation" was going to be the best track that Compact Deity was going to offer. That was until I heard "Santum Sanctorum." Blending a slower atmospheric trudge with the metallic churn of metallic guitar, the song unfolds as a tribute to Sisters of Mercys gothic sound with a refined emphasis on guitar leads. I couldn't help but wonder if Al-Khadim was influenced in any way by the great guitar playing of fellow Detroit denizen John Ricco (Warrior Soul). This track, along with it's cryptic lyrics draws goth, metal and elements of shoe gaze together in to one brilliant hybrid.

"Myriad" closes out the short set with its ethnic flavorings rife with Middle Eastern flair, ochestral strings and endless guitar noodlings that meander over the melancholy beat pattern. The success of this track is clearly exhibited in the layers of sounds that are presented, merging cultural influences with the dark brooding sound of Al-Kadhim's melodramatic yet calm voice.

Tarik Al-Kadhim was once a member of Ann Arbor's electro/synthpop band Neo Vogue in the eighties, but has finally found his way back to music after dabbling in side projects and completing University studies. The three songs on this EP are somewhat of a taster for fresher material yet to come, since the tracks on this disc seem to be a representation of the best work Compact Deity has been known to do over the past several years. With hopes of a new album to appear this year, I can only hope that I have turned you on to a band that is going to make a bright splash in the dark rock music scene for years to come!

Visit these links and check out Compact Deity's music. It doesn't disappoint.

Compact Deity Web Site

Compact Deity MySpace Page
- Joseph Graham, Music Journalist for Outburn Magazine


Modern Noise (3 song E.P.)
Trancemantra (Full length, 10 song album)
Track 'The Desolation' is played on 'The Electric Front' internet radio station, 'The Buddy Culver Show' podcast and the 'Razor Blade Dancefloor' podcast. The Modern Noise EP is played on Radio Mexico City, 89X Detroit, 89.3 WHFR Detroit, and 101.1 WRIF Detroit.



Compact Deity is a rock band from Detroit.

Compact Deity delivers the catchy, guitar-centric song variety of classic groups like Led Zeppelin, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Doors. Their sound is thickened with the melodic heaviness and complexity of groups like Iron Maiden and the bluesy sensuality of The Cult. Compact Deity, furthermore, has paired all this with world music sounds like Arabic oud music, tribal rhythms and electronic dance beats. Rounding out their sonic concoction is a hard modern edge from groups like Ministry and Rammstein. Their softer side reveals swirling, atmospheric layers of guitar reminiscent of Shoegazer bands like Lush and alternative pop greats like The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and Duran Duran.

"[Compact Deity is]…firmly rooted in a style that is, essentially, a modern rock hybrid. The songs are, perhaps, more different from one another than one is used to with recent rock music clones"…"Elements of industrial, electronic, alternative 80's, and classic rock can be discerned, albeit blended very tastefully. It's not unfamiliar, but different."
From Compact Deity's page

A true live act, Compact Deity translates all these sounds through a three piece band playing on standard rock equipment.

Compact Deity is a rock band for the future. They are a unique and creative force in a medium plagued with mediocrity. Their music is an intriguing multi-cultural mixture that never forgets to rock.

"It's a very, very unique sound. They blend rock and roll with a Middle East influenced sound. Throaty, guttural rock and roll right in your face."
-Darren Proctor, Host
The Buddy Culver Show

Compact Deity is:
Tarik Al-Kadhim – guitar, vocals
Shawn Busch – bass
Kyle Smith – drums

A three song EP and a nearly complete full length album were recorded at Detroit's award winning Tempermill recording studio with producer, Tony Hamera. Detroit area club and national music festival dates are actively pursued.