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DeadSoul Tribe - A Murder Of Crows CD (album) cover

A MURDER OF CROWS

DeadSoul Tribe

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.67 | 101 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I purchased this album more than a year ago. I listened back then for a couple of times, and then I almost completely forgot about its existence, amidst the ton of new music that I've been getting since then. Now that my hearing-cycle finally has taken me back to A MURDER OF CROWS, I'm ready to share my thoughts on the music.

DeadSoul Tribe plays very original music, though the influences are very easy to detect (at least in my opinion). Devon Graves' creature is a metal band, a progressive metal band, but not like Dream Theater or Fates Warning (two of the most influential artists in the genre). If we were to give a name for the band Deadsoul Tribe remind us of the most, I think it would be Tool. Many factors make me say this: the rhythmical section and the rhythmical style, the dark, morbid atmosphere, the relentless drumming (something I will talk about later), some of the vocal melodies and harmonies, the overall sound, in general. But that's just an influence, as we cannot accuse Graves' band of being just a copy. Their sound is their own, with elements of more traditional heavy metal here and there, and even moments that sound like complete different outfits (there are some vocal harmonies at the start of a couple of songs that are almost Shadow-Gallery-ish.) The overall aura is one of bad feelings and anger, introspection, repression, anger, much in the vein of Riverside. We can safely say that Deadsoul Tribe plays a very modern, contemporary style of progressive metal.

The musicianship in the band is quite high. Graves' guitars are part of what makes his band's sound so distinctive; just like Tool's, the guitar-playing here is not overly virtuosic, but precise, rhythmical. Some strong, brusque riffs open the way for short, pounding songs of visceral anger but never losing focus. Because, another factor that further drives this band away from Tool is that Deadsoul Tribe writes more song- oriented tracks. They never get lost in noise or awkward passages, but more concise, "normal" if you like, structures. The vocals, oftentimes doubled, add to the sick, insane atmosphere. But if there's one instrument that enhances (and almost ruins) the whole A MURDER OF CROWS experience is Abel Moustafa's drums. The guy surely CAN PLAY. He loves to use tom-toms very much like Danny Carey from Tool does, he stays away from excessive cymbal-use and sticks rather with the drums. But he tends to overplay a little, and at times gets in the way of the music. His constant cascading fills are always just on the border of annoyance, as precise and well-played as they may be. Maybe I'm wrong and this music wouldn't sound the same without this constant attack (most surely it wouldn't) but maybe there could be more restraint.

About the songs, let me just point out the highlights. "Feed Part I: Stone by stone" and "Feed Part II: The awakening" are excellent tracks, with power but also with melody ( a factor that greatly contributes to my pleasure with Deadsoul Tribe's music), "The messenger", with its powerful introduction and haunting vocals, but the absolute best is "Some things you can't return", which balances fury with calmed anger, rhythm with atmosphere-creation, old-metal with contemporary-metal. The rest of the tracks range from decent to good, without a single weak track but also lacking a true superb song that could've made me give this an even higher rating.

My rating can't go higher because I'm not a particular lover of this style of metal. Tool's music has never quite reached my heart, and I hear a lot of Keenan's band in Deadsoul Tribe. But I enjoy this much more, and I have to say that, if I were more oriented towards this kind of metal, probably there wouldn't be a reason not to give A MURDER OF CROWS a 5-star rating.

Recommended for: Fans of good progressive-metal, fans of contemporary, dark metal, fans of Tool.

Not recommended for: people who dislike Tool and any other dark, rhythmically- oriented bands; people who dislike metal (of course), and also people who can't stand a drummer who practically NEVER rests during a record.

.Moustafa almost commits a murder of crows here. The music is good enough to save them, though.

The T | 4/5 |

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