The Dead Word
By: Deadsoul Tribe
The Deadsoul Tribe is another band that I would know nothing about if not for the impeccable album “The Human Equation” my Ayreon. Devon Graves (or Buddy Lackey, if you prefer) sang the part of Agony, his soothing voice belying the power therein.
But upon hearing his work with his current band, I was blown away by the (in many cases) simplicity of his music, but the raw power it held. These are albums full of crunchy guitar riffs, soothingly sung yet biting lyrics, effective use of soaring, gorgeous flute (in progressive metal, even!) and the omnipresent bass lines that would make my car shake.
Make no mistake about it: this is some powerful stuff. Graves is extremely talented, doing absolutely everything (including all guitar parts, keyboards, singing, bass, and yes, that flute) except for the drums, which are handily presented by Adel Mustafa. The whole album has an amazing sense of loss and retribution, with powerful ballads and roaring solos all over the top of Graves' soothing, ethereal, creepy voice. This is good stuff – I think “The Dead Word” is Deadsoul Tribe's best album, blending all the wonderful elements of their music into one great album.
Tracks to catch: A Flight On an Angel's Wing: The first song on the album (following the atmospheric prelude), we finally see Graves' angry chops – he sings hard and rough near the end of this track, putting aside his usually calm voice in lieu of something with a bit more force. Don't You Ever Hurt: Great solo at the beginning, starting off a rocking tune in a seven-beat meter – and that's not kid's stuff. Waiting In Line: This track is a powerhouse, one of my favorites, blending flute with scratchy guitars in a great duet. A Fistful of Bended Nails: Thumpy bass abounds in this piece, shaking my little Accent as I cruise down the road, and I do so love that feeling.
Final verdict: Adore itThis album is extremely well-made. As I stated earlier, I think it's Deadsoul Tribe's best work. Were we to reformulate the top ten of 2005, this would have been in the list. Production is great, the balance is perfect, and the tribal edge to the drums really add to the effectiveness of the album as a whole. This is quality metal. Nothing too new here, but plenty to give a Deadsoul fan a smile.