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Tribe After Tribe

M.O.A.B. - Stories from Deuteronomy

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve got this one listed in progressive rock because a lot of it reminds me of the space rock of Hawkwind. Certainly there are some songs here that I wouldn’t think of as prog at all. Whatever you call it this is a dark concept album that seems all over the place in terms of sounds. We get chanting and ambient effects mixed with hard rocking elements. The one thing I would pretty much say about the whole disc is that it’s original. You aren’t likely to hear other music like this.

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Track by Track Review
Yhvh Invokation
Sound effects and crowd voices start this off. Noisy music enters and builds up to fill out the rest of this introductory piece. We get some non-lyrical vocals across this backdrop. They work this out into a hard rocking jam that serves as an excellent introduction to the disc.
Deuteronomy Excerpt I
A female voice delivers a scripture reading. At first the voice is unaccompanied. Then a gentle melody unfolds in stark contrast to the message of death and killing that the voice intoned. This music continues after the voice departs and is very progressive rock in nature. Again, this is essentially a mood piece. 
Supreme One
Hard edged frantic jamming leads this off. As they shift to more “song” oriented structure it’s quite a bit like something from Dream Theater. When the voice joins, though, I’m sort of reminded of Hawkwind with some Tool thrown in. This is a killer jam that’s very effective and very much in a space rock motif. They work this through a number of changes and it gets pretty intense at times. 
Burning Bush
A voice begins this alone and then bass and percussion join. We can hear the sounds of flame after a time and then just the flame and sound effects remain. The voice returns and we start down the same road again. It builds a bit further than last time, but then goes away, leaving behind incidental sounds. Then they fire out in a hard edged rocking version of the section that preceded it. It’s screaming and metallic but also very much in a Hawkwind-like zone. An anthemic chorus takes it and then there’s a false ending depositing us back at the beginning to follow this same trail all over again. 
Truth & Reconciliation
Here we get the most straightforward number thus far. It’s frantic and fierce. It’s a scorching jam that’s quite cool. There’s a definite punk vibe here, but I can hear some Jane’s Addiction in this, too.  A noisy crescendo ends this, leaving behind sound bites and atmospheric textures that segue into the next piece. 
Exodus 2000
Coming out of the next number, percussion and voice (with little other accompaniment) hold sway here for the first three minutes plus. Eventually we get some sounds that feel like they could have come from one of the more dramatic ambient pieces on a Hawkwind album. As it hits the four minute mark they power it out into a jam that’s part Tool and part Hawkwind. Again I get a bit of Jane’s Addiction vibe at times. A marine marching cadence enters towards the end.
Arafat Radio
This is essentially a sound effects interlude. 
Holy City Warrior
Although heavier and more modern in texture, this feels so much like a Hawkwind punky rocker it’s scary – think Robert Calvert era. 
Here we have an interlude made up of ambient sounds and Arabic singing. 
A voice rises up above the ambience that is continued from the last number. Eventually they work this up to more noisy, yet still textural, territory. It becomes more melodic as voices are lain across this and the noisier elements move away. This is a slow moving, but very effective cut. 
Deuteronomy Excerpt II
Percussion and other sounds lead this off. This carries it for the first minute or so and then they give us a false ending. Nearly classical sounds rise up from the silence left behind. It builds up and then the female voice joins to give us another scripture reading. Again the words tell a brutal tale and the sad sounding music that accompanies it is fitting accompaniment. 
Understanding The Water
Although it starts gradually we are moved into a mellow motif that feels a bit like Porcupine Tree and Radiohead merged with Jane’s Addiction and Pink Floyd. How’s that for a musical stew? A little before the minute and a half mark this screams out with a Led Zeppelin meets Jane’s Addiction jam. The vocals bring in more Hawkwind-like elements. This is noisy, weird and very cool, but it doesn’t stay around long. It drops back to ambience and then they seem ready to scream back out a couple times, but don’t. Instead spacey weirdness carries it for a time. A little before the three and a half mark they bring back the balladic modes that we heard before. They take us out into more Hawkwind-like territory as a spoken voice lays down lines of sound over a pounding jam. 
Deuteronomy Excerpt III
Sound effects are served up and the next scripture reading continues the tale of how God’s children destroyed all the men, women and children who were delivered up to them. We get the sounds of warfare after the scripture reading ends. This takes us out into the next jam. 
Shock & Awe
OK, this hard rocker is really not proggy at all. I’d consider this more like a merging of Tool and Jane’s Addiction. It’s a fiery rocker and quite cool. The ending section on this is quite noisy. 
Red Sky
Percussion brings us in here and they quickly take it out into a noisy rocking grind. This is not the most proggy cut on show here, either, but there are hints of Hawkwind-like space rock. This reminds me a bit of the 1980’s band Belfegore, but I have to admit I haven’t heard that act in a long time so my memory could be defective. 
World Drum
As one might guess from the title, percussion plays a big part in this. It’s also got a very melodic and powerful balladic structure for the first half of the cut. To me it seems quite a bit like Pink Floyd, there. Eventually they power out to more metallic territory, but only for a short time. It moves from there into tribal chanting and more textural modes. As they return out to the main song sections I’m reminded a bit of a harder rocking Peter Gabriel.
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