Lisbon’s A Tree of Signs join Cambridge’s Uncle Acid and the deadbeats and Leed’s Black Moth in attempting to conjure a semi-fictional 70’s British metal of woozy witchery, folk and prog-tinged doom. It’s easy to picture the band black clad in floppy hats and beards dourly doing their thing in a misty Midlands wood somewhere in time, circa 1971.
The bands greatest asset is lead vocalist V-Kaos, whose high, bright, sorrowful croon is a perfect match for A Tree Of Signs mournful incantations, which are apparently alchemical manuscripts set to music. Although they certainly have a their identity down, the songs lack a little in terms of structure and pace and so have a tendency to peter out rather than build to a diabolical conclusion. This maybe because those manuscripts were never meant to be songs.
More immediately worrying is the drum sound of P. Tosher which is more akin to Ozzy Osbourne drunkenly putting up shelves next door than Bill Ward attacking his kit. The best tracks are opener ‘Great Python’ and closer ‘Division of Chaos’ where the drums are kept mildly in check in the mix by some effective keyboard work, but elsewhere when left to impose themselves they are distracting to the point of annoyance.
A Tree of Signs show some promise and I suspect live would be a more powerful and convincing proposition. A better production could see them impress in future releases.