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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 In My Not So Humble Opinion:

Ogre Tones by King's X is a great album for when you want to rock out.

So back in January, the bands were being announced for the Three River's Prog festival; as far as prog festivals go, this one is right in my back yard so there wasn't any doubt that I was going. First they announced It Bites, then shortly thereafter IQ. At this point, I was convinced in my mind that the headliner was going to be Frost*. I'll admit, at first I was a little disappointed when they announced King's X.

On the bright side, it didn't take me long to get over it; I had seen King's X back in ninety-three or so and if memory served me, it was a pretty good show. Well, if I was going to see King's X, I figured I'd better start doing some research.

The general consensus was that their first six albums were great followed by a series of five sub-par ones followed by Ogre Tones in two thousand and five which represented a return to form. While I haven't heard all of the albums from the 'bad' years, I'm happy to say that Ogretones is indeed a great album and worthy of any album in their initial heyday.

I wouldn't exactly refer to this as Progressive Rock though in all fairness though, they are in the prog related category. If yo're looking for long drawn out epics and manic time and chord changes . . . this is not the CD you're looking for. There are no bad songs on Orge Tones but there really aren't any progressive ones either.

There are a few constants throughout the CD. The signature King's X sound pervades itself throughout the length of the album. Dug Pinnick's bass provides a solid and (at times) funky base for Ty Tabor's guitar, both the screaming solos and the tasty rhythms. Jerry Gaskill works beautifully with Mr. Pinnick showing the maturity of a rhythm section that's worked together for twenty years. You can't talk about King's X without mentioning the vocals. All three of them sing and sing well at that. Throughout the CD, the three part harmonies serve a similar function as the keyboards do in a lot of prog bands, adding one more method of conveying the melody to your ears.

Some of the highlights include the opening song "Alone" which grabs you from the first note and doesn't let go until the song ends three minutes later. The chorus of "Fly" is a prime example of the vocal abilities of the band, harmonies that would make The Beatles sit up and applaud.

"Bebop" is probably my favorite song on the album. After the opening thirty seconds the song breaks down into Dug rambling over a funky but disjointed verse. Once the verse plays itself out, a quick run brings us to one of the more driving choruses on the CD, complete with the aforementioned vocal prowess.

"Honesty" is a nice little acoustic piece. In "Get Away" Dug asks God, just where he goes to get away, kind of an ironic twist. It'd be funnier if he didn't sound so bitter, great percussion work by Gaskill on this one. "Sooner or Later" showcases Ty Tabor's ability with an extended solo, beautifully noodling over the last four minutes of the song.

While I did say there are no bad songs, there are a few weird ones. First, "Goldilox (Reprise)" is just a newer version of the song originally included on Out of the Silent Planet, though admittedly, in a lower key. It sounds a little less hopeful, slightly more bitter on Ogretones. And then, for the truly odd, try "Bam", which is a somewhat creepy commercial for an old phonograph . . . without music.

All in all this is a great album, the end of it's a bit weird, but that doesn't take much away from the overall package. A solid four stars for Ogretones.

Roland113 | 4/5 |


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