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King's X - XV CD (album) cover

XV

King's X

 

Prog Related

3.50 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars When King's X released Ogre Tones in 2005 it marked a return to form for the band after a number of patchy releases. To prove that it wasn't just a one off XV turns out to be another excellent album from the Texan 3 piece, perhaps even better than Ogre Tones though not quite reaching the heights of classic albums from their back catalogue like Gretchen Goes To Nebraska.

If you're new to King's X then their Prog Related category here on Prog Archives will tell you that they're not really a Progressive Rock band though Prog overtones can be heard in some of their work. They play melodic heavy rock, sometimes drifting into metal with strong emphasis on the vocal work, heavy use being made of backing vocals which has often been likened in style to that of The Beatles.

King's X have never been the most progressive bands in the literal sense either, retaining a similar style today as can be heard on their earlier albums as far back as the late eighties but they make up for it with song quality. They certainly know how to write a good riff that gets immediately under the skin as on album opener Pray, a mid paced rocker which alternates between a sparse verse and a full on chorus. Blue is less in your face with a strong melody and a fine vocal from Doug Pinnick and one of the best tracks here. Repeating Myself is the band in more restrained mode with guitarist Ty Tabor taking lead vocals, which he does on most albums for 1 or 2 tracks. One of the strengths of King's X is that all 3 band members including solid as a rock drummer Jerry Gaskill are able to contribute to the vocal work effectively as on this track.

Rocket Ship gets things back into heavy rock mode but turns out to be one of the less memorable tracks on XV. Julie on the other hand is excellent. Containing another Tabor lead vocal it features a particularly catchy melody and some tastefully restrained guitar work. Alright picks up the tempo, another straight no nonsense rocker and far better than Rocket Ship too.

Broke is a slow plodding rocker, alternating between a verse with minimal guitar and simple drums and the band coming in full force for the powerful chorus and it's straight into I Just Want To Live without a gap. Once again a memorable melody is present on this catchy tune. Pinnick's top heavy bass along with Gaskills drums drive along Move on the verse supplemented by a grinding Tabor guitar riff on the powerful chorus. Harmony vocal work is the order of the day on I Don't Know and Stuck has the honour of containing perhaps the best Tabor guitar riff of the album, no mean feat considering the guys a master of them.

This album seems to get better and better towards the end and Go Tell Somebody, another catchy mid paced rocker is the proof. Love and Rockets (Hell's Screaming) on the other hand whilst not bad is not particularly memorable and neither is No Lie, a plodding bluesy rocker but these last 2 tracks are bonus tracks on the digi pak version only so they can be excused for that.

So overall another strong album from King's X and one any fan of the band will surely want to add to their collection.

Nightfly | 4/5 |

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