Dead Soul Tribe


Dead Soul Tribe

Dead Soul Tribe - Dead Soul Tribe ©2002 InsideOut Music
1. Powertrip
2. Coming Down
3. Anybody There?
4. The Haunted
5. The Drowning Machine
6. You
7. Under The Weight Of My Stone
8. Once
9. One Bullet
10. Empty
11. Cry For Tomorrow
12. Into...
13. ...Into The Spiral Cathedral

Dead Soul Tribe is the "solo" project for Psychotic Waltz vocalist Buddy Lackey, who is apparently going by Devon Graves for this particular release. Neither name is particularly invigorating, which is appropriate considering Dead Soul Tribe isn't either. Although the album has hints of the prog-rock scene from whence it came, the real truth is that it falls into the unfortunate plod-rock category of midpaced, unenthusiastic music that wallows, lingers and overstays its welcome by a good hour. Think of it as that last guy at the party who isn't aware the hosts want to go to bed. The project was certainly an opportunity for Graves to show the world he's not just another pretty voice (he does have a pleasant voice and impressive range) because he performs a major portion of the instrumentation on this album. He also produced it and probably acted as chaffeur for the other contributors for the project. However, the album simply never moves me and consistently remains right outside my attention span. It's not the sort of album that springs up at any point to grab a listener by his or her ear. In fact, it's far too polite to ever bother any listener and sticks to a fairly bland canvas of sound to avoid standing out. It has the elements of heaviness with a slight feel for brooding modern hard rock mixed with a bit of old school metal, but the songs simply never get moving.

Have you ever gone through a chapter of a book and realized you didn't actually pay attention to a single word you read? That's exactly what listening to this album is like. It's recommended for those who want to keep things meek and courteous, but not for anyone who needs something more challenging in music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2003

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Murder Of Crows

Dead Soul Tribe - Murder Of Crows ©2003 InsideOut Music
1. Feed Part I: Stone By Stone
2. Feed Part II: The Awakening
3. The Messenger
4. In A Garden Made Of Stones
5. Some Things You Can't Return
6. Angels In Vertigo
7. Regret
8. Crows On The Wire
9. I'm Not Waving
10. Flies
11. Black Smoke And Mirrors
12. Time

Dead Soul Tribe's debut album was an impressionless piece of work that defied the ability to remember it. Given that, I didn't look forward to the process of reviewing the band's second effort, A Murder of Crows. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Devon Graves and his crew had actually shored things up and put out a pretty decent record. Mind you, I'm not hopping up and down in unbridled enthusiasm here, as if I had way too much coffee this morning and the bathroom is occupied. I merely enjoyed listening to this album and noted reasonable amounts of improvement.

What makes A Murder of Crows work where the debut did not is mostly within the songwriting. This time around, the brooding, pensive approach is done more convincingly. In a way and without invoking a cloned sound, Dead Soul Tribes resparks the spirit of Alice in Chains at their best, despite no single shared style. However, the dark cloud that hangs overhead is in common. The songs here are again midpaced and walked through as opposed to run by in a sprint. It's hard to figure out exactly where the improvements in songwriting are, but they are there. Rather than tune this album out partway through in sheer boredom, A Murder of Crows kept my attention for the entire hour duration.

Again, don't take this as an overwhelming recommendation. Instead, this is a band making progress step by step with each album and finally providing something definitely worth hearing, particularly if you're into the moody rock of Alice in Chains or perhaps Tool, despite all these bands having little in common beyond overall mood.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2004

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