By William Aviles
I’ll admit, I’ve been a fan of Deadsoul Tribe since I checked them out in 2004, shortly after hearing Devon Graves’ brilliant performance as “Agony” on Ayreon’s “The Human Equation”. So, I was fairly excited when I found out they were releasing a new album in 2007. They were a different experience, from what I was used to. Not metal so much, like I first thought. They had a very strong “rock” sound, their music was always accessible, but it still managed to provide an excellent listen. I’m hard pressed to put my finger on the right words to do this band justice.
The album starts out with a nice, heavy bass riff on the opener “Psychosphere”. Very reminiscent of Dead or Dreaming-era Into Eternity tracks like “Absolution of the Soul”, which is really surprising, considering Deadsoul Tribe isn’t known to be the heaviest band around. It leads into a steady, fairly rocking track. Not the most inspiring work they’ve ever done, but it’s a good listen.
The next track, “Goodbye City Life”, is a longer track, clocking in at 8:29. Bottom line, this track is awesome. It starts out fairly heavy again, makes me think almost of Symphony X, due to the orchestration present. Doesn’t last long, but it does go on to effectively keep you interested. Solid track, for sure.
The album moves on with a couple more tracks, continuing on the heavier spectrum, with some great guitar work being showcased by all 3 players. It moves onto the next standout track, “A Stairway to Nowhere”, which is full of great riffs and is one of the more melodic tracks on the album thus far. Devon Graves puts on a great vocal performance here, definitely reassuring my opinion that he is one of the most underrated vocalists in the prog rock/metal scene right now. He isn’t the most range-y, or the most powerful, but there’s just the raw emotion and feeling his voice captures, and I’m glad to see that he still has it.
The next track, the instrumental “The Gosamer Strand”, begins with a nice mix of bass and flute, very Jethro Tull-ish (makes sense, considering the album art is a not-so-subtle reference/tribute to Ian Anderson’s flute playing stance). Then the guitar comes in and makes everything metal, but it still fits very very well. I’d go so far as to say this is probably my favorite track on the album. Perfect mix of melody and heaviness; it’s a beautiful track.
“Fear” starts out with some great acoustic guitar work, going into a very nice progressive rock track. A very powerful performance yet again by Graves, and probably the best guitar solo on the album. This is the side of Deadsoul Tribe I love the most. It’s almost bluesy. This is where Devon shines, on tracks like this.
The album ends on a high note with the title track, “A Lullaby For The Devil”. It’s only 6 minutes long, but it seems longer. Not because it drags on, but because they seem to fit a lot into the song. Excellent closer.
Overall I would say this album is a must-listen for any music fan. If you’re a fan of the band you’ve probably heard this already and agree with me. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in getting into this band.