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DeadSoul Tribe - The January Tree  CD (album) cover

THE JANUARY TREE

DeadSoul Tribe

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.68 | 93 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The January Tree" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Austrian/US progressive metal act Deadsoul Tribe. The album was released through InsideOut Music in August 2004. While the bandīs preceding album release "A Murder of Crows (2003)" was recorded by a full lineup, band leader Devon Graves opted to record "The January Tree" almost entirely by himself. He plays and sings everything except for the drums on the album, which are recorded by Adel Moustafa. So the two other members of the band are reduced to touring members. A concept Graves would also use on the next two Deadsoul Tribe albums.

The music on the album continues the predominantly vers/chorus structured progressive metal style of itīs two predecessors and doesnīt add much new to the bandīs discography in the way of innovation. Itīs an album were it very much feels like Deadsoul Tribe had found a music style they were comfortable with and therefore didnīt feel the need to develop upon. As a result "The January Tree" is a solid release but itīs also a very "safe" release.

Musically weīre treated to heavy distorted riffs, some acoustic sections, lead harmony melodies, rhythmic drumming, and Devon Graves distinct sounding vocals on top. The material is relatively well written, but few tracks stand out. Iīd mention "The Coldest Days of Winter" and "Wings of Faith" as some of the highlights, but overall itīs more a solid release than an outstanding one.

The slightly flat impression I get when listening to "The January Tree" also has a lot to do with the way the album is produced. Considering how often Devon Graves (who acts as producer on this album) has spoken of his love for organic sounding artists like Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and Jethro Tull, itīs odd how artificial this production sounds. The drums are clicky and flat sounding, and the rest of the instruments and the vocals has a digital tone to them, which isnīt very suiting.

So upon conclusion "The January Tree" is an album which leaves me a bit biased, because objectively itīs a solid release featuring a professional sound production, decent songwriting, and strong musicianship, but itīs like the sum of the parts, just donīt add up to an album thatīs extraordinary. Less will do though, and "The January Tree" is overall a decent release by Deadsoul Tribe and a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is still warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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