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4 stars This is the first King's X album I've heard, and the best description that comes to my mind for it is very entertaining. You won't get bored while listenning to this album. Very colourful, well instrumented. This is surely NOT progressive rock, but it is surely more complex than pop.

Well structured songs, never too long (sometimes too short even). There are a few progressive elements, such as instrumental passages in odd time signatures, but that's it. Vocals change practically on every song, and every vocalist has a song style. You have mellow songs for one, and more bluesy groovy songs for the other.

The thing is, this album doesn't stand the test of time, and maybe it wasn't meant to. It just puts you in a good mood, catchy melodies, no conentration needed...

Seeing as how King's X are in prog related, I gave this album 4 stars.

Report this review (#182679)
Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
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.

Report this review (#190698)
Posted Friday, November 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
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.

Report this review (#227475)
Posted Saturday, July 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Ogre Tones" is the 11th full-length studio album by US hard rock/alternative rock act King's X. The album was released through InsideOut Music in September 2005. It's the band's first album released through InsideOut Music after a longer collaboration with Metal Blade Records.

The music on "Ogre Tones" is hard rock/alternative rock delivered by a very skilled trio of musicians. The sound production is professional, clean and polished. The tracks are very simple vers/chorus structured and the band's reputation as a progressive rock act doesn't shine through on this album. Most of the tracks on the album are around 3 minutes long and feature hook laden choruses with lots of mainstream appeal. It's not often it happens, but when the band decide to rock out, they are actually able to conjure up some really nice hard rocking grooves, but it doesn't happen enough. Most of the tracks are more sweet and polished pop/rock material with some really nice harmony vocal arrangements, and to my ears the album end up a rather tame affair.

Of course the excellent musicianship, the professional sound production and songwriting craftsmanship that should make most musicians green with envy, are all features that secure a quality stamp and a 3 star (60%) rating. A bit more bite would have suited the album though.

Report this review (#744347)
Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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