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King's X
XV
August 2008
Released: 2008, InsideOut
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

For 28 years (!) King’s X have been thrilling a select few rabid fans with their unique take on heavy music. The band has never managed to make the big jump to commercial success, but that was probably a good thing, as the band has always been free to make music their way, and on their own terms. Sure, some of their later albums on Atlantic Records were perhaps a bit more commercial sounding, but they were always unmistakeably King’s X. Quite the legacy, and one which the band easily continues with their latest opus, simply called XV.

Some have called this the best King’s X album in a decade, and from the opening strains of the amazing “Pray”, it’s hard to argue. Heavy as hell, but still with that perfect ear for melody, “Pray” is textbook King’s X, and a perfect sampler of what to expect on XV. Of course, the band has never been afraid to turn up the harmonies and pop-influences, usually on the songs where Doug is not on lead vocals – thus the beautiful, swirling melancholy of Ty Tabor’s “Repeating Myself” and the rare lead vocal performance by Jerry Gaskill on “Julie”. Add these onto Doug’s usual powerful and soulful vocals and you can’t help but marvel at the sheer vocal talent in this band. Of course, they are no musical slouches either, as their music has always been deceptively simple – it sounds simple, but the nuances and layers are always there for discovery.

I could spend all day and another 5,000 words going through the peaks and valleys of this album, but I’ll make it easy on you (and me!) and sum it up with this: King’s is still the gold standard for melodic heavy music, and XV is just another piece of proof. Buy it.
Track Listing

1) Pray
2) Blue
3) Repeating Myself
4) Rocket Ship
5) Julie
6) Alright
7) Broke
8) I Just Want to Live
9) Move
10) I Don’t Know
11) Stuck
12) Go Tell Somebody
13) Love and Rockets (Hell’s Screaming)
14) No Lie

Lineup

Doug Pinnick: Bass, Vocals
Ty Tabor: Guitar, Vocals
Jerry Gaskill: Drums, Vocals


Next review: » King's X - XV
Previous review: » King's X - Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous

King's X
XV
August 2008
Released: 2008, InsideOut Music/Border Music
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

XV is the title of the brand new King’s X album and thier15th album so far. The album includes guest appearances from many friends of the band. The trio does what they are best at; delivering strong funk/soul influenced classical hardrock.



12 strong tracks are delivered but the band has done something different this time. They wrote the material before they went into the studio, earlier they always wrote everything when they were in the studio. All of the members have written material on their own. The only song that was written inside the studio was “Go Tell Somebody”. A few highlights are the songs “Pray”, “Rocket Ship”, “Alright” and “Go Tell Somebody”. These songs are heavy classical hardrock tunes with progressive parts with choruses that are all strong and easy to sing a long to. Lead vocals and guitar are in focus as well as a very heavy and solid rhythm section. Then we have “Broke”, “Move” and “Stuck” which have a distinct soul/funk influence.



The albums weakest moments are the ballads. I think they should stick to what they do best and that is classic hardrock with funk/soul influences. The second part of the album feels a lot weaker than the first and it is in the second half that the ballads start coming. I do not think this album is going to be a milestone in their career but it is a nice waste of time. The legendary Michael Wagener has produced XV and the members made the decision to record every instrument live together in the studio instead of recording separately. That was a smart move because the production sounds awesome.



XV is not one of those albums that I’m gonna play over and over again, but it’s nice to listen to in small amounts. It is a solid album that is going to appeal to the King’s X fans worldwide.



http://www.border.se
Track Listing

Pray
Blue
Repeating Myself
Rocket Ship
Julie
Alright
Broke
I Just Want To Live
Move
I Don’t Know
Stuck
Go Tell Somebody

Lineup

Doug Pinnick – lead vocals, bass
Ty Tabor – guitar, vocals
Jerry Gaskill – drums, vocals


Next review: » Kinnaird, Bryan J. - Sean Delaney`s Hell Box (Book Review)
Previous review: » King's X - Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous





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