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King's X - Ogre Tones CD (album) cover


King's X


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3.65 | 45 ratings

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4 stars After quite a few years of average, at times even poor albums and speculation of a split King's X returned in 2005 with Ogre Tones, a massive improvement and return to form for the Texan trio. In fact it was their best since 1994's Dogman. All the King's X trademarks are in place in their distinctive brand of heavy rock/metal from Doug Pinnick's soulful lead vocals and the instantly recognisable Beatles influenced backing vocals. Ty Tabors guitar playing is once again churning out his heavy yet melodic riffs with that lush, rich sound so prevalent on earlier releases. There are no great leaps in progression musically on Ogre Tones but simply put, King's X had learnt to write great songs again.

Even on their least satisfying albums King's X always managed to slip in at least 1 or 2 quality songs. Fortunately Ogre Tones is full of them. While the up tempo Alone is far from King's X best album opener it at least gives an indication that things are back on track but following track Stay hits all the right buttons combining Tabors melodic guitar arpeggios on the verse with a heavy riffing chorus, something King's X do a lot. Ultimately though, it simply has an instantly catchy tune.

Hurricane and Fly keeps up the quality, once again with great hooks and some strong backing vocals and some of Tabors best riffs for years.

Other strong tracks include the mid pace Bebop with its stop/start verse and driving riffing chorus. Honesty brings an acoustic interlude with a Tabor lead vocal and minimal instrumentation but Open My Eyes restores the power quotient being another great riffy moment and one of my favourites on the album. Freedom is reminiscent of so many great King's X songs with its chiming guitar arpeggios and melodic vocal work, once again Tabor getting another shot at lead vocals. Sooner or Later is more laid back and at 7 minutes giving room for an extended and spacey Tabor guitar solo.

A bit pointless but nevertheless a great song is a reprise of Goldilox from their 1988 debut, Out Of The Silent Planet. With no real changes or improvements on the original I don't understand the reasoning behind this but that's a minor complaint for such a strong album and welcome return to form for King's X.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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