Deadsoul Tribe - The Dead Word
InsideOut Music
Dark Progressive / Atmospheric Metal
11 songs (47'18)
Release year: 2005
Deadsoul Tribe, InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Marty
Dead Soul Tribe, the brainchild of the multi-talented and former Psychotic Waltz front man, Devon Graves is back with their fourth full-length album. Continuing down the path that started with their last album The January Tree, The Dead Word sees less of a doom metal influence than previous work with more atmospheric qualities and this time, even elements of traditional folk music find their way into the mix. Written, arranged, recorded and mixed in a one month period, this is the quickest that a Dead Soul Tribe album has ever been churned out. Inspired by the stories of Anastasia by Russian author Vladimir Megre, Devon offers up some of his catchiest work yet and although a lot less heavier compared to albums like A Murder Of Crows, it all still works very well and is testament to the depth of this man's talent. Playing every instrument (except for drums) as well as doing all the vocals, Dead Soul Tribe has always been a solo project in disguise for Devon Graves. Although they have a full touring line-up, only himself and drummer Adel Moustafa record for the studio albums. With The Dead Word, we are starting to see more of the "personal" touch by Devon and as a result comes off sounding more like a solo record than any previous Dead Soul Tribe album to date.

Combining very melancholic and passionate vocals with atmospheric doomy progressive metal is an aspect that makes this band so unique. With The Dead Word, we once again are treated to a clinic by Devon Graves on just how to pull this off. After a short intro, A Flight On An Angel's Wing gets things underway with it's tribal drumming and mix of quiet atmospheric and chunky heavy riff-laden passages with wild, frenzied and chaotic moments to top it off. Included with this CD is a multimedia section with a video for this track. To My Beloved sees that great mix of passionate vocals and heaviness that really defines the Dead Soul Tribe sound. With a psychedelic feel and great bass riffs throughout, this one slowly builds culminating in the passionate screams of "Sweet Mary" for the chorus section.

A couple of tracks explore some new territories for Dead Soul Tribe with Some Sane Advice having a bit of a Cat's In The Cradle (Harry Chapin) vibe with it's atmospheric acoustic guitar and voice and Someday being a short and simple passionate ballad with just Devon's voice accompanied by piano and strings. My Dying Wish again sees the folk influence with the layered chorus section and the very spirited vocals throughout. Waiting In Line uses both clean and heavy guitar passages all with a slow and hypnotic Kashmir-like quality. Devon even drags out the flute for this one. The combination of all this sets the mood for a great track.

Those longing for the more doom-laden prog metal of A Murder Of Crows get their fix with several tracks on this album. A Fistful Of Bended Nails uses huge ominous riffing with a cello pulling off notes that sound like the the intro to Maiden's Wasted Years. More typical in style for Dead Soul Tribe, this track just shows you how Devon has mastered his craft. The eerie and catchy doom metal drone of Let The Hammer Fall, is certainly one of the heavier tracks and the album finishes with The Long Ride Home, a track that uses chugging riffs with a droning heavy and abstract quality. Once again, a mix of heavy guitar, flute as well as solid drums and bass bring to mind what would happen if you could combine the progressive hard rock of Jethro Tull with doom-laden Black Sabbath riffs.

I'm a big fan of this band and of Devon's work but I found this album to take a few listens to really get into. A Murder Of Crows rules and every album that gets released after that one is going to get unfairly compared to that beast. In trying to distance himself from the very Tool-like qualities of previous work, Devon has started to develop his own style with The Dead Word. The songs and arrangements are simpler than before and there's a certain catchiness and melodic sense that's creeping into his music now. There are still lots of crushing heavy riffs on this album but Devon has employed a few new twists in sound that may take fans a little more time to fully appreciate. I was a little disappointed at first but after repeated listens, I think I can finally see where Devon is coming from with this album. Not quite up to par with either A Murder Of Crows or The January Tree, this is still a great album and also one that is necessary for Devon Graves as an artist in order to put his own unique stamp on something that is definitively his own.

Killing Songs :
To My Beloved, Let The Hammer Fall, Waiting In Line and A Fistful Of Bended Nails
Marty quoted 82 / 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 January Tree reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
Deadsoul Tribe - A Murder Of Crows reviewed by Marty and quoted 92 / 100
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