Deadsoul Tribe - A Murder Of Crows
InsideOut Music
Dark Progressive Metal
12 songs (61'07)
Release year: 2003
Deadsoul Tribe, InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Marty
Album of the month
Lead vocalist and principle songwriter for Dead Soul Tribe, Devon Graves (formerly of Psychotic Waltz) posed the question, "If it’s true that crows are carrying the souls of dead people into the beyond, then what happens with the souls of those people with whom the crows didn’t manage to get there?” That thought provided the inspiration for the band's second album, A Murder Of Crows released this past summer. His clever and very message driven poetry combined with dark, heavy and atmospheric metal riffs results in a very unique brand of progressive metal that although has lots of subtle influences, is very original and a breath of fresh air into the progressive metal scene.

This is the sort of album that could be an excellent soundtrack to a cold and rainy autumn day with its overall gloomy atmosphere and dark soundscapes. Heavy doom metal style riffs grace many tracks including Feed (Parts 1 and 2), Angels In Vertigo, Crows On The Wire and The Messenger and the sound of the guitars and drums, especially the Dave Lombardo style fills and double bass flurries, brings one back to the South Of Heaven days when Slayer slowed things down a bit to turn out some great chugging and slow doom style heavy metal. Big booming Black Sabbath style riffs make up the core of the band's sound but comparisons could also be made to such bands as Tool and Soundgarden. The overall feel of the band is somewhat abstract and a few tracks even have a 60's psychedelic tone to them with the whispery quietness of the multi-layered vocal tracks. The 70's influences are front and center as well with Feed - Part 2 having a Uriah Heep Sweet Lorraine style synthesizer that sweeps through part of the song and with the guitar riffing backing Devon's flute playing on Black Smoke And Mirrors, classic Jethro Tull is brought to mind. The shouting vocal style by Devon during the heavier parts of their songs alongside the big heavy riffs also reminds me of the Enlighten The Darkness album by Angel Dust whereas many tracks feature rich and layered vocals reminding me of the classic Dokken days when Don Dokken and Jeff Pilson created some great harmonies with their voices. This vocal style can be found on the track, I'm Not Waving, a powerful and soaring song and one of the best on the album. The building and muted guitar riffs on Flies, another standout track, has a Rush Jacob's Ladder sound to it and there are other instances where I could sense a Rush influence. Several tracks open with acoustic guitar and piano with the odd flute bit added for extra effect. This adds to the great atmosphere that every single track on this album has.

A Murder Of Crows is a musical journey that captivates you with it's dark gloomy sound but is also very rewarding with it's melody and meticulous attention to detail with the arrangements of the songs. Lots of influences can be heard throughout this album but I've never heard a band quite like this before. A very unique and original band that should satisfy fans of both progressive metal and more doom-laden heavy metal. The atmosphere created immediately by the first track is prominent throughout with the whole album having a somewhat "processed" sound to give it that eerie tone. I can't say enough about this album other than to highly recommend it to any metal or progressive metal fan. It's one of the most refreshing and unique releases I've ever heard and will almost certainly make it into my top 10 of the year!!!

Killing Songs :
Feed (Parts 1 and 2), The Messenger, In A Garden Made Of Stones, I'm Not Waving and Flies
Marty quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Deadsoul Tribe that we have reviewed:
Deadsoul Tribe - Deadsoul Tribe reviewed by Boris and quoted 85 / 100
Deadsoul Tribe - A Lullaby For The Devil reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
Deadsoul Tribe - The Dead Word reviewed by Marty and quoted 82 / 100
Deadsoul Tribe - The January Tree reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
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