This band around Devon Graves (ex-Psychotic Waltz) have been around for a decade, releasing quality albums such as A Murder Of Crows, The January Tree and The Dead World. Their style is very much in the progressive arena with a strong emphasis on tribal styled percussion. The aforementioned albums are very much in the same vein, so let’s see whether A Lullaby For The Devil may yield some musical surprises.
And yes, A Lullaby For The Devil does yield some surprises. The opening song Psychosphere is full blown tough as nails modern metal with some really tasteful industrial overtones to go along with it. Good Bye City Life, A Stairway To Nowhere and Any Sign At All are more progressive in nature with all kinds of nifty twists and turns. They even remind me of Psychotic Waltz at times. Nice!
In the best Deadsoul Tribe tradition there are always some tracks on which Devon Grave’s softer side shines through. This is especially the case on Fear with its Beatlesque approach and The Gossammer Strand which can best be described as vintage Jethro Tull with a modern twist.
One thing kind of bothers me though. Devon Graves is a fine musician, ditto composer and one of the best vocalists in the progressive rock/metal field, but he isn’t a very gifted studio technician. Especially the drum sound is very thin, draining the power away from an otherwise very interesting and diverse album.
The strong points of A Lullaby For The Devil are its diversity, strong song material and experimental approach. The production is somewhat flawed, but it doesn’t refrain me from saying that this is a very fine prog album and certainly worth your attention.
written by Raymond Westland