After 20 years in the spot light, having released a slew of albums, King’s X needs no presentation. Together since the debut “Out of the Silent Planet” released in 1988, Doug Pinnick (vocals & bass), Ty Tabor (guitar & backing vocals) and Jerry Gaskill (drums & backing vocals) are putting out their 12th studio album entitled “XV” (roman cardinal number for 15 – King’s X discography also includes two live albums and a Best Of...).
The album is a collections of 14 songs featuring a heterogeneous mix of blues (“Broke” and “No Lie”), alternative rock (“Move”), ballads (“Repeating Myself”, “Julie” and “I Don’t Know”) and plain, fun rock ’n’ roll (“Pray” and “Stuck”). More interesting is the order of the songs on the disk, the styles interlaced so that the listener will get something different and exciting with every new song. This sonic journey is seasoned with heavy guitar riffs, delicate harmonies, catchy phrases and hooking grooves but the central spot is ultimately occupied by Pinnick’s outstanding vocals and the undeniable southern rock flavour. Overall, the sound of the band is full and very well rounded around great melodies and rhythms, something that is very rare for a trio. The production is crystalline, benefiting from a collaboration with legendary sound engineer Michael Wagener (his resume includes involvements with Ozzy Osborne, Alice Cooper & Dokken).
According to Tabor, the band took a different approach this time around. Rather than writing the music in the studio, on the spot – in the past such songs almost needed a little bit of reworking – this time the band set aside several months for composing new songs. Once the songs were individually written, the band got together and started carefully polishing them. The result is probably the strongest release King’s X has put out in a while.
“XV” represents a new beginning in King’s X career, a dynamic new path on which the Texan trio embarks. We’ll keep them company in this new trip.
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