KING'S X - Ogre Tones

King's X - Ogre Tones

13 songs
47:50 minutes
***** ****


When nearly twenty years ago King's X released their debut album Out Of The Silent Planet, the media didn't know how to react to their original take on hard rock music, and finally came up with Metallica meets The Beatles. With their tenth regular studio album Ogre Tones, no one sane in their mind would try to compare King's X to any other band, because when you have been around that long, you can claim to have your own style. It all starts with the weird fact that since getting together as early as 1980, they are still the same three persons, guaranteeing the style we all have come to like over the years.

With their last studio album lying four years in the past, with a rarity collection and a double live album to bridge the time, King's X take no prisoners with their new album and combine the mellower sides of their beginning with the more aggressive moments of their Nineties career on Metal Blade Records. The opener Alone shows immediately that they can still rock, and don't even need three minutes for that. As a matter of fact, nearly half the songs don't are below that limit, but apart from the strange closer Bam, every song works out alright.

Bebop and Open My Eyes are to more rockers, although many of the tracks this time take a more introspective approach. On Get Away, they question God about all the misery on this planet, distancing themselves from their Christian past. Stay has all the qualities of the ethereal songs that could be found on their first three albums, If works well as the single edit that it is. Sooner Or Later is finally the only longer song, meandering blissfully through the instrumental intricacies that we so often forget. As good and even perfect as these artists may be, they always put the song upfront and thereby hide the fact that they are geniuses on their instruments. Doug Pinnick's powerful bass, Ty Tabor's melancholic guitar and Jerry Gaskill's organic drumming, all combined with the alternatively soulful and harmonic vocal lines, make King's X one of the most important power trios of the last two decades.

And if you think that ten albums in seventeen years are not that much, please consider that they have been active in myriads of other bands (The Jelly Jam, Jughead, Platypus and Poundhound), with Doug Pinnick having released one more solo album this year. Does this mean that with all these different projects, the songs on the new album suffer? By no means! Even if they never reach the quality of their amazing first three albums, they still grow on you after repeated listening, making Ogre Tones the best King's X album since Faith Hope Love fifteen years ago.

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