Released: 2002, Insideout Music America
At first I didn’t know what to make of this disc. Was it prog metal? Prog Rock? It just seemed strange. I was determined to try and figure out this CD so I threw it in my trusty discman and took it to work with me. After listening to it for a few days I was no nearer to figuring it out but the damn thing had stuck in my head. It is a very different and refreshing disc from former Psychotic Waltz ringleader Buddy Lackey, who now goes by the name of Devon Graves. In '97, he felt that he could go no further with Psychotic Waltz and left the band to pursue a different way of making music that would take him away from the compromise of a band situation and to a place where he would have total control of the music. Graves recruited Adel Moustafe (drums and percussion), Roland Ivenz (bass) and Volker Wilschko (guitars), with Graves handling guitar, vocals and flute.
As I said, this CD is hard to pigeonhole. There is no way to throw on the disc and immediately figure out who this band sounds like. Whatever they sound like, they kick off the disc on an aggressive note with “Powertrip”. They immediately change gears and follow that up with “Coming Down”. This track has a real Tool feel at times with its melancholy bass heavy sound and the entrancing guitar rhythms that go from a whisper to a scream at a second's notice. The heaviness factor is kicked up a notch on “The Drowning Machine” and shades of Bruce Dickinson's Tribe of Gypsies-influenced solo BALLS TO PICASSO CD are heard on “You”. Devon shows that he can indeed play the guitar as he weaves emotional and powerful guitar solos throughout the disc with standouts including “The Haunted” and “Once”.
I laboured over my rating of this CD. At one point I had given it a 2.5/5 then a 3 and all the way up to a 4.5/5. I finally settled on a 4/5. Dead Soul Tribe have created an eclectic mix of sounds on this disc. Everything from metallic rockers to ethereal acoustic pieces. Graves wanted the opportunity to create music without having to compromise. Dead Soul Tribe does not compromise.