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DeadSoul Tribe - The January Tree  CD (album) cover

THE JANUARY TREE

DeadSoul Tribe

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.74 | 78 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tailscent
4 stars Since listening to, and loving "A Murder of Crows" (the first DST album I had heard, after my dad's recommendation, as he saw them live as Threshold's support act.), I've become a big fan of Dead Soul Tribe and Devon Graves in general. This was the third album I heard ("The Dead Word" being the second), and I loved it instantly.

Being a bassguitar player by nature, I dig basslines, and Spiders and Flies has plenty of that. The guitar riffs are catchy, only to go over into a haunting "Spiiiiders and fliiiieeeees" melody, followed by a bombastic rhyme. The acoustic piece in the middle is a lovely change of pace, after which it reverts back to the chorus, ending the song with the bassline again. (Yay!)

Sirens took me a while to get used to. The guitars at the beginning weren't really my thing at first, but the rest of the song's rhythm is very catchy. I love how at some points the guitars give a bit of room for the bass and drums, and then catch up again. Somewhere in the middle there's a piece that appeals to me somewhat less. It seems to drag on and repeat a few times to much, but that's just my opinion. The song ends a haunting way, giong over in the riff of The Love of Hate...

Now this song builds up the power, then drops it, then builds up again, and so forth. I'm not too fond of the chorus, but the other vocals are lovely to listen to. Overall the song changes little, and it actually bores me at some points, but when in a decent mood I can listen to it pretty well.

"Why?" has a lovely crystalline guitar melody, with a beautiful heavy bassline waltzin' over it. The vocals sound clear once again, and my favorite parts of the song would be the guitars joining in during these, if only for a second or two. It just gives the song a special something. Devon goes into another serene vocal like he did in Spiders and Flies, after which a beautiful guitar solo is heard on a solid backing riff, followed by some heavy jamming. The song ends rather serene, but it works well.

The Coldest Days of Winter is the next track, and I admit I don't listen to it a lot. In fact, I hardly know how it goes. It gave me a slightly depressed/sad feeling, and I stopped listening to it. Having sampled it again just now, I doubt this will be one of my favorites. But in the style of the album, this one isn't bad to recover from "Why?"'s rocking.

Wings of Faith features heavy bass, tribal drums and a catchy guitar, all sounding very hardrocky. The choir is a very nice touch, as is the vocoder used by Devon, even though I prefer his clean voice. The guitars change pace into semi-solos at times, but overall the song changes little. My favorite part would have to be the one that goes "We seem to be having some technical difficulties...uh, apologies.", a funny bit of pause. I've heard worse than this one. ;) A bit repitetive, maybe, but perfect if you just want to rock without thinking for a while.

Toy Rockets starts with flute! Yes, I was wondering where they went. It adds a nice touch to the album, though I must say I'm not all that charmed with the vocals in this one, apart from the chorus. Something sounds a bit off to me...maybe Devon's trying a bit too hard? I don't know. Not a bad song overall, though, with plenty of nice changes, with a power buildup near the end. "LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LO~~~~VE, *LOVE*!!!". It sounds a bit sarcastic, maybe, but I like it.

Waiting for the Answer is the next song, and it's a dark one for the Dead Souled ones. This one I both like and dislike. It sounds like someone could listen to with just his head bobbing while on drugs (which I dislike), but in terms of musical skill, this is a nice Dead Soul Tribe song, though not one I would use to introduce someone to DST.

Just Like a Timepiece is the next song, featuring a beautiful flute and piano. This is a more laidback and mellow song, which is a nice change from the previous three tunes. And even though it's softer, it retains that Dead Soul Tribe aura, and remains in the veins of the January Tree.

The album ends with Lady of Rain, another soft mellow piece with piano. Personally I would've liked another rocking song better, so I usually skip this one. Devon himself stated he wasn't too happy with this one either, and I can see why. (Funny fact is he and I also agree on the favorite songs)

Well, this is a fine piece of progmetal. Lacking the keyboards that most bands have, but having very powerful basslines, unique drumming, and heavy and melodic guitars. Devon's flute is definately a nice addition. For me, it's number two on my favorite DST album list, "A Murder of Crows" being first. I haven't heard any of Tool yet, so I can't really make that comparison, but I'll just say...treat Dead Soul Tribe as Dead Soul Tribe, rather than a Tool rip-off. It deserves at least that.

Yours, Tailscent

Tailscent | 4/5 |

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