Dead Soul Tribe - A Murder Of Crows

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Inside Out
Catalog Number: IOMCD 130
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:13:00

Devon Graves is the alter ego of Buddy Lackey, the former singer of U.S. metal band Psychotic Waltz. In 2002 Graves surprised friend and foe with the stunning, self titled debut album, Dead Soul Tribe, which is, as Graves himself once said, a sort of diary from his past 12 years in music. Unfortunately I missed this one, which annoyed me, as I heard it was a very good album (Thanks to the samples on the website of the band!). So when the follow up album, A Murder Of Crows, was announced, I knew I had to get it. And I have it, yay! Is it as good as I hoped for or expected?

I have to say ... yes, it is as good as hoped it would be. The songs are more aggressive, darker and progressive than on their debut album, but still, the melodic and passionate elements are still there, as is Devon's flute! The first two tracks together form the song "Feed," which kicks off the album with a very strong bass line and heavy riffs, but the second part, "Part II: The Awakening," features the flute as well as some harmony guitars. The album is marked by a good balance of all musicians, no one ever dominates, yet all are there to complement each other, but I do miss the keys a bit, as they would add more flavour to the songs, although "Regret" features some keys, but this is only one of the two songs. The bass plays a very important role on the album, with as a highlight "Crows On The Wire," where the bass and drums have their moment in the first minute of the song, supported by a subtle guitar riff, then opening all registers with heavy guitars, and returning to the dominant bass, with a lighter guitar sound in the second half of the song. After a really heavy album, the song "Black Smoke And Mirrors" is a welcome cool down moment, with excellent vocals and acoustic guitars and, of course, a masterful flute solo by Devon Graves! The album has one bonus track: "Time," which stands out a bit, as it is not such a dark song, but it has a rather clean guitar, again the piano sound and very good vocals, but in the second half, brings out some of the Dead Soul Tribe elements.

Excellent album! Heavy and dark atmosphere, good vocals and solid compositions, with very few solos and the magical flute, to give this just a bit extra. I love this album and will it will enjoy the hospitality of my CD player for a long time! The production is also good, and the artwork only adds to the atmosphere of the album. Next up: try to catch them live, to hear how these songs sound live. Nevertheless, this album kicks ass!

Released in North America by InsideOut Music America ( IOMACD 2062)

[This review originally appeared July 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Feed Part 1 (Stone By Stone) / Feed Part 2 (The Awakening) / The Messenger / In A Garden Made Of Stones / Some Things You Can't Return / Angels In Vertigo / Regret / Crows In The Wire / I'm Not Waiting / Flies / Black Smoke And Mirrors / Time (Bonus)

Devon Graves - vocals, lead guitars, flute
Rolls Kerschbaumer - rhythm guitar
Adel Moustafa - drums
Roland Ivenz - bass

Dead Soul Tribe (2001)
A Murder Of Crows (2003)
The January Tree (2004)
The Dead Word (2005)
A Lullaby For The Devil (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 12th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1774
Language: english


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