Deadsoul Tribe - Deadsoul Tribe
InsideOut Music
Dark Progressive Metal
13 songs (44:54)
Release year: 2002
Deadsoul Tribe, InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Boris
Archive review

Deadsoul Tribe is actually a band I was introduced to by this very website, which has favorable reviews for their other four albums but was peculiarly missing this debut. For those who don’t know, Deadsoul Tribe is basically just Devon Graves, formerly known as Buddy Lackey from Psychotic Waltz. He plays all instruments except drums, which are provided by Adel Moustafa, and sings. This album is a great introduction to what the project would become, although it doesn’t quite reach its potential.

Powertrip and Coming Down both start off with some samples from movies or speeches atop some choppy guitar riffs and stay the same throughout. The latter is a good indication of the type of Tool-influenced songs found on A Murder of Crows. Devon’s voice is more calm than it ever was in Psychotic Waltz, although he still breaks out into a kind of aggressive singing occasionally (and he really reminds me of Maynard from Tool when he does so). The next track, Anybody There? is kind of a useless lead-in to The Haunted. It doesn’t serve much purpose, but I’m kind of glad it’s a separate track as a 2 minute intro would severely detract from The Haunted’s awesomeness—it is one of the best, most engaging songs on the album. The Drowning Machine is another highlight, and its crushingly heavy. Devon singing “Terrified inside, my dear” is, to me, the definitive line of the album—it encompasses the atmosphere of the entire record.

In general, this album is more consistently heavy than the rest of Deadsoul Tribe’s catalogue, although after Drowning Machine, the lyrical subject matter (of longing for someone/feeling like life is not worth living) gets a bit annoying. You, Once, and One Bullet all feature the by-this-point-in-the-album standard vocal melodies atop heavy guitar-driven music, or predictable atmospheric acoustic parts, and the lyrics to One Bullet are stunningly sophomoric, sounding like something written by a 16-year-old trying to get his ex-girlfriend’s attention. Then there are the two short acoustic tracks, Under the Weight of My Stone and Empty which are both severely underdeveloped. They have some of the more interesting vocal parts and arrangements but both clock in at under two minutes.

Luckily, album closer Cry for Tomorrow is a particularly strong track, featuring some of Devon’s most emotional vocal work on the album, and the two “bonus tracks” Into and Into the Spiral Cathedral outshine a lot of the songs on the actual album, featuring a more orchestral arrangement rather than the use of electronic samples, and some really well done vocal harmonies.

This is a solid debut album, and one that would have definitely kept me interested in the band had this been the first album I heard by them. I’d say it falls somewhere in the middle of their catalogue—not as good as A Murder of Crows or A Lullaby for the Devil, but better than the largely repetitive January Tree

Killing Songs :
Coming Down, The Haunted, The Drowning Machine, Cry for Tomorrow, Into the Electric Castle
Boris quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Deadsoul Tribe that we have reviewed:
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
Deadsoul Tribe - A Murder Of Crows reviewed by Marty and quoted 92 / 100
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