Release DetailsLABEL Inside Out
RELEASED ON 9/27/2005
posted on 10/2005 By:
It's an unsettling sort of honor to review a King's X album. While I'm not entirely familiar with their catalog, I've heard enough to develop a healthy reverence for this power-trio. They're the kind of band who I'll praise endlessly whenever mentioned in conversation, and then kick myself for not becoming more acquainted with. To be quite honest, I'm not sure what these guys are doing these days. However, I'd like to think I can sense professionalism on a hard rock album, and Ogre Tones is absolutely drenched in it.
King's X are the definition of a band's band. While Doug Pinnick plays the role of soulful front man and groove-master general, his contributions aren't fully realized without the lush lead guitar playing of Ty Tabor or the vocal harmonies contributed by drummer Jerry Gaskill. It's clear when listening to Ogre Tone that the reason this unit has held for over 25 years is that each member realizes just how critical the other guys are. Album opener "Alone" sets the template for the bulk of what will follow with a driving verse and massive chorus. The mixing here is surgically precise, and really highlights how King's X operates. Pinnick's bass is so damn, present. For somebody with a metal dominated album collection, that's a real treat. At their best, King's X come off as a modern Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin voiced by the Beatles, and that's exactly what you'll get on a song like "Fly" or "Open My Eyes". Shifting between tight, grooving verses and soaring choruses, these are the kind of songs I would love to hear overtake modern rock airwaves.
The formula doesn't work quite so well on tracks like "Stay, "Middle" and "Get Away," which, despite being admirable for their expert execution, are just a bit too sentimental and polished for their own good. Unfortunately there's just a bit too many of these kind of songs, and not enough Out of a Silent Planet or Dogman style heaviness to make this a totally worthwhile endeavor.
This is the kind of album I can see myself standing in front of in a record store endlessly deliberating over whether or not I really need to own it. In the end, I'd probably pay up, as I'd hate to sacrifice the opportunity to hear a handful of killer tracks at the hands of a few more not-so-good ones. Those in the mood for something not quite so metal, but entirely musical, I'd say proceed, but with a heir of caution.
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