Angry Metal Primer – King’s X

Over 40 years of metal’s biological urge (and a hefty lack of restraint) has resulted in some incomprehensibly large catalogs. No one should have to listen to anywhere from 13 to 15 [Luca Turilli’s] Rhapsody [of Fire] albums just to get caught up for a new release. So whenever the fancy strikes us, we’re offering a selection of prime(r)(er) cuts to get you up to speed. Without further ado, welcome to…

For many prog-heads out there, King’s X holds a special place in rock and metal history as a band who should have been bigger. Like many bands from the late 80s that emerged labeled heavy metal/progressive rock, the fare that King’s X pumped out didn’t ring as heavy as the Dream Theater or Symphony X fueled prog that would dominate the 90s and 00s. Rather than performing finger gymnastics and kit massacre, this Texas-grown power trio focuses on constructing playful harmonies against tricky grooves and warm guitar lines, all while leaning on either the soulful lead vocals from bassist and frontman Doug Pinnick or the understated, longing croon from guitarist Ty Tabor. Sleek and studied tones butter ears rather than blind with technicality—we’re all here to feel good, right?

Fans discuss many theories to understand how they’ve flown under the radar so long: not Christian enough for the Christian folk who assumed they were a Christian band (especially after Pinnick came out as gay), not grunge enough for the emerging Seattle sound, not metal enough to vie for fans of Maiden or Priest, not conforming enough to play what larger labels wanted, take your pick. Now, in this unpredictable year of 2022, King’s X has returned to us after a 14 year slumber, even though each member has dabbled in solo—including drummer, Jerry Gaskill—or side projects in between. Some, namely Tabor’s The Jelly Jam, have achieved a little more success than others, but none quite add up the magic they make together. While their 1994 cult classic Dogman highlights all on its own the reasons why you should remember this band, they’ve never truly put out a bad album. As such, we’ve assembled two tracks from each King’s X release thus far to get you ready for what I hope to be, at the very least, another solid installment in the history of these legendary rockers. Welcome to the groove machine.

Dolphin Whisperer

  • Out of the Silent Planet (1988)
    – “What Is This?”
    – “Far, Far Away”
  • Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
    – “Fall on Me”
    – “Don’t Believe It”
  • Faith Hope Love (1990)
    – “It’s Love”
    – “Everywhere I Go”
  • King’s X (1992)
    – “Lost in Germany”
    – “What I Know about Love”
  • Dogman (1994)
    – “Pretend”
    – “Don’t Care”
  • Ear Candy (1996)
    – “American Cheese (Jerry’s Pianto)”
    – “Life Going By”
  • Tape Head (1998)
    – “Groove Machine”
    – “Higher than God”
  • Please Come Home… Mr. Bulbous (2000)
    – “When You’re Scared”
    – “She’s Gone Away”
  • Manic Moonlight (2001)
    – “False Alarm”
    – “Yeah”
  • Black like Sunday (2003)
    – “Dreams”
    – “Won’t Turn Back”
  • Ogre Tones (2005)
    – “Sooner or Later”
    – “Honesty”
  • XV (2008)
    – “Move”
    – “Repeating Myself”

King’s X‘s 13th full-length album Three Sides of One will be released on September 2nd worldwide via Inside Out Music.

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