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King's X (USA) - 2003 - "Black Like Sunday"
(56 min, Metal Blade)


****+
                 
TRACK LIST:

1.  Black Like Sunday 4:04
2.  Rock Pile 3:31
3.  Danger Zone 3:24
4.  Working Man 3:49
5.  Dreams 2:54
6.  Finished 4:08
7.  Screamer 4:21
8.  Bad Luck 3:27
9.  Down 4:27
10. Won't Turn Back 2:37
11. Two 2:49
12. You're the Only One 3:42
13. Johnny 11:36
14. Save Us 2:14

All tracks: by King's X, except
4: by D. McCollam & Pinnick

LINE-UP:

Ty Tabor - guitars; vocals
Doug Pinnick - lead vocals; basses
Jerry Gaskill - drums; vocals

Produced: by Tabor & King's X 
Recorded at "Alien Beans", Katy, TX

Prolusion. The legendary King's X are back with the new album, and yet:-), with the same line-up, which remains permanent, immutable, and unfading since the band was formed at the very beginning of the 1980s.

Synopsis. Most of the songs on "Black Like Sunday" are about quite an eclectic cocktail consisting of several genres, sub-genres, and styles and representing actually 'the specialty of the house' of King's X. The most pronounced musical species here are Hard Rock, Cathedral Metal, Rhythm & Blues, and Grunge. In varied combinations, with and without the bits of Progressive Rock, these are available on precisely half of the tracks here: Rock Pile, Danger Zone, Working Man, Dreams, Won't Turn Back, and Two (2 to 5, 10, & 11) and, thus, form the predominant stylistics of the album. The strong guitar riffs, tasteful solos of guitar and bass, a solid drumming, and expressive vocals are the main performance features of each of the said songs. The album's title track (1), and also Finished, Screamer, and Bad Luck (6 to 8), present a highly impressive and definitely progressive Cathedral Metal. While these songs are stylistically monolithic, they're compositionally more diverse than all of the other songs on the album, except for Johnny (13). This 11-minute track is the real highlight of "Black Like Sunday" and is filled with everything to be considered the work of guitar-based Art-Rock, which, in this very case, is either harsh or mild in character. There are little vocals on Johnny, so the instrumental arrangements here are truly large-scaled, diverse, and interesting - from any point of view. Also, this is the only composition on the album where passages of semi-acoustic guitar play a really significant role. As for the remaining three tracks, while Down (9) is quite a satisfactory ballad, the Rhythm-and-Bluesy Rock-and-Rolls presented on You're the Only One and Save Us (12 & 14) sound too flashy in comparison with any of the other songs on "Black Like Sunday". Also, the presence of them on the album destroys its quite an integral stylistic picture. However, the biggest mistake about these two songs concerns their location: they stand just before and straight after Johnny. In my view, this amazing gem should have crowned the album by being placed at the end as the closing track, and no crown needs a dubious framing.

Conclusion. While a very good effort on the whole, this is not the best album in the band's discography. Nevertheless, all the traditional fans of King's X should be much pleased with "Black Like Sunday".

VM: July 2, 2003

DISCOGRAPHY:

1988 - "Out of the Silent Planet" (Megaforce@Atlantic)
1989 - "Gretchen Goes to Nebraska" (=)
1990 - "Faith, Hope, Love" (=)
1992 - "King's X" (Atlantic)
1994 - "Dogman" (=)
1996 - "Ear Candy" (=)
1998 - "Tapehead" (Metal Blade)
2000 - "Please Come Home Mr. Bulbous" (=)
2001 - "Manic Moonlight" (=)
2003 - "Black Like Sunday" (=)


Related Links:

Metal Blade Records
King's X


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