Deadsoul Tribe - The January Tree
Multi-instrumentalist Devin Graves with a past from Psychotic Waltz delivers with The January Tree the third effort from Deadsoul Tribe. And for me who haven't heard either band this is a most pleasant acquaintance. The music is powerful and progressive with a high emotional touch making this music suit me, and goes perfectly in the same genre as bands like Fates Warning and even Rush as it does with a more technical yet emotional band like Tool. And even though I am not that familiar with a band like Jethro Tull, there are influences to be found, not least when Devon brings out a flute that goes along splendidly with the rest of the instruments.
The album is very well balanced as it never gets carried away, and even though the band is taking wider turns with elements like flute and great progressive parts there is a homogenous feeling that lies resting over it all. Often it is based on heavy riffs that are almost making Black Sabbath come to mind, with a mechanical Tool vibe to maintain the progressive and emotional parts. Furthermore, there are soft melodies that makes you think in the realms of Fates Warning, which has to be my pick for the closest comparison, considering the dynamic both bands got. And when Devon lets his guitar slowly deliver melodylines that are floating by, his song-writing feels to have much in common with Jim Matheos which lies behind most of the music from Fates Warning. The many progressive elements have much of mentioned Tool in them, with not that much of speed but rather building the music on emotions and heavy pulsating rhythms, making it dark and heavy but yet with soft melodies.
The January Tree is loaded with powerful emotions that leaps out of the speakers and I really like the way how many of the songs are build up. With a guitar riff leading the way while there is a pulsating bass keeping the rhythm in the background and topped with soft vocals lines nicely decorated with progressive rhythms and also with much to be found beneath the surface if you really are paying attention. Devon Graves is a good singer as fans of Psychotic Waltz already know, since that's where he previously was vocalist under the name of Buddy Lackey. But ignorant people in this area, myself included, will learn that he has a soft and emotional voice with the ability of making it sound very powerful when needed, and that he is not only a good singer but also an even better musician. Also Adel Moustafa should probably be mentioned as well, as the rhythms and the drumming he is bringing out is nothing but brilliant.
Fans of progressive metal that has a softer touch, and of bands that never lets the music get to carried away with introverted instrumental parts, should definitely check this band out.
See also review of: Deadsoul Tribe