DeadSoulTribe
A Lullaby for the Devil
24/08/2007
Strictly speaking, the term ‘progressive metal’ suggests a continuous development of stylistic means and forms of expression. DeadSoul Tribe, the band founded by former Psychotic Waltz musician Devon Graves (a.k.a. Buddy Lackey), has always been progressive, in other words: forward-looking. Yet Graves and his three colleagues, Adel Moustafa (drums), Roland Ivenz (bass) and Rollz Kerschbaumer (rhythm guitar), have set sail for new shores with their new album, A Lullaby For The Devil. “The strategy is simple. Total change,” Graves says. “The goal was to step completely out of the style I’d developed and called ‘tribal metal’ and move into something completely new. You see, out of the four existing albums, the last three were pretty much cut from the same cloth, so to speak. This was the creation and development of a style of music I wanted to create. We all loved it, and we still do, but we all felt now was the time to shake things up and sort of begin anew and redefine DeadSoul Tribe. Actually to raise the bar, musically speaking.”

Graves talks proudly of the accomplished ten new songs, all of them thoroughly intense and expressive. A Lullaby For The Devil is tough-as-nails metal, pervaded by rigorous guitar riffs, haunting rhythms and vocals that cover the whole range of expression between sweet and frightening. Then, of course, there’s Graves’ inimitable flute playing, which keeps bringing to mind his former act, Psychotic Waltz. “I suppose my singing might be the sole remaining trademark. But as I said, this album is specifically created with the effort to leave all the possible known trademarks behind and hopefully create new ones. Having said that, there are many aggressive vocal techniques which I never did before. I suppose another trademark would simply be my flute playing, which I do much more extensively on this album. I really believe that the DeadSoul fans will be quite surprised at this album.”

Indeed, the current DeadSoul Tribe recording features lots of new and exciting facets. Although the individual compositions vary between different moods, tempos and degrees of toughness, the whole album sounds coherent. Compared to its four predecessors, the recording explores musical extremes even more thoroughly then ever before. “A Lullaby for the Devil, for the most part is much faster-paced. Much more aggressive and much more progressive, you could say. The whole production is much fuller and more complete. I actually took quite a while with this album. Even when it was finished, I took about three months just to mix it. During all that time I would re-sing parts, add a guitar solo or an effect. It is really the most fully-cooked album I have ever made.“

Graves’ explanations make clear why he classifies the music on A Lullaby For The Devil as ‘modern-day heavy metal’. The song ‘Psychosphere’, for example, is based on a strong bass riff that the musicians developed towards the end of a band rehearsal, arranging it into an exciting song. ‘A Stairway To Nowhere’, on the other hand, lives off its unusual vocal arrangements that bring to mind Peter Gabriel’s experimental work. And ‘Here Come the Pigs’ sees the band present a heavy song with a low-sung, almost hypnotic vocal melody. Says Graves: “Reminds me a little of Rob Zombie.” Summary: Never before have DeadSoul Tribe sounded as multi-layered and contemporary as in 2007!