• 7/10
    KING'S X - XV - 7/10


Inside Out
Release Date: May 16, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Being an institution in Rock, it seems unnecessary to introduce King’s X to the Hard Rock fan. So instead it’s better to dive into the album directly.

King’s X released album number 15. Wait a minute. 15? Who is responsible for that count? Including this album, there were an impressive 13 studio albums produced and released by the band consisting of Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor and Jerry Gaskill without any change in line-up. Do they count their Best Of Album, too? And the live release? That would indeed add up to 15. But what about the pre-King’s X independent release Sneak Preview? And the live album the band only released as a download? An unsolvable riddle until somebody asks the band about it.

Let’s stick with the thirteen studio albums, which were without any exception all at least good, most even great Rock albums. Their least strong releases were the first ones in the new millennium when they seemingly had to get used to the fact that they would probably never make it really big, despite their musical abilities. After that the band returned to former strength and also to a more direct, less experimental songwriting, reducing their music to its essentials. And fans and critics alike rejoiced, so the band continued down this road which as a result lead to XV.

Over the time of two decades the band has sophisticated their style and created an unique sound which makes one involuntarily think of the band immediately when the first chord leaves the speaker. XV is no exception, and the production by Michael Wagener who also produced the predecessor Ogre Tones supports the band’s characteristically warm sound perfectly. The opening track “Pray” sets the tone for the whole album with its groovy, melodic way of making your feet tap and your belly warm at the same time. You won’t bang your head, but you will be comfortably relaxed after the album. Still, this is Rock, and it leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to riffing. It just is the wonderful collaboration of the often cited Beatles-like sounds, the laid back grooves and the perfection with which the band places every chord, every tone, every sound exactly where it needs to be. There is not a single superfluous note, but the method of recording the album almost in a live atmosphere let’s the band avoid the cliffs of sounding too sterile at the same time.

Throughout the album, there are a few highlights to be found, but the bet is on that almost everybody will have different ones. The least common denominator for all are probably “Pray,” “Rocket Ship” with the funny line ‘Do you want to spend the night in my new rocket ship’ and the catchy “Go Tell Somebody”. Only occasionally do the three glance very briefly up from their chosen path, most strikingly in “Move” which sounds more up to date with contemporary Rock, and “No Lie” with its prominent bluesy arrangement, while the rest is positively ageless.

So what did King’s X deliver? A great Rock album. Music to enjoy the summer to. Another highlight in their career. An album worth your money.

And what did they not deliver? Something new. But King’s X fans won’t care.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.