King's X - Black Like Sunday
Brop! Records/Metal Blade
Alternative Rock/Metal
14 songs (56:25)
Release year: 2003
King's X
Reviewed by Jeff

When King's X released their debut album "Out Of The Silent Planet" back in 1988, they brought something fresh to the world of metal. Considered alternative metal, they mixed Beatlesque harmonies with Rush like chord progressions creating something rather unique. I strongly feel that the first four King's X albums are their best. The release of "Dogman" marked a pivotal change for King's X. They did away with long time producer Sam Taylor and it showed in their music. Over the next several albums the music seemed more blues based, a little grungier and jam like at times yet still retaining the harmonies that made King's X what they are and always have been. The last album, "Manic Moonlight" was the most experimental album yet, using electronic loops on parts of the songs as well as thicker and fatter detuned sounds. It took me a while to get into this album, which to me is their worst to date overall. I was wondering if and when King's X might go back to the days of "Out Of The Silent Planet", "Gretchen Goes To Nebraska" and "Faith, Hope, Love".

So now we have "Black Like Sunday". The most interesting thing about this album is that all of the material used on it dates back almost 20 years before their major label debut. King's X has a ton of written material that was performed live early on in their career that never made it to album. So they decided to re-record some of these songs with today's technology and recording techniques for "Black Like Sunday". The songs seem like templates for what was to come later on. This approach is fresh yet basic and sounds stripped down and not over produced. Doug Pinnicks vocal style seems more comparable to the last few albums than to the songs from the earlier ones. To me, it just seems strange not to picture him belting out these songs like he did early in his career. The singing for the most part is excellent but I prefer when Pinnick sings with more power, from the diaphragm. The musical aspect of the songs sounds closer to their fourth album, "King's X ".

I like this album better than their last, "Manic Moonlight". They are catchy and varied and do sound closer to earlier King's X at times. With the first listen I was a bit skeptical, but now that I have listened to it at least 5 times and the songs have grown on me quite a bit. "Bad Luck" and "Black Like Sunday" sound like something that could pass for leftover tracks from the fourth album "King's X". Song's like "Rock Pile", "Danger Zone", "Won't Turn Back" and "You're The Only One" have that early eighties alternative punk feel.

There are also some CD Rom extra's like a live video from 1986 as well as a band picture show screensaver and lyrics. I would have preferred the lyrics in the CD booklet, which I also wasn't too crazy about. The cover was made by a King's X fan who won a contest that the band had where people could submit artwork that would be used for the new album cover.

Four things I miss about King's X are 1) the production talents of Sam Taylor; 2) Ty Tabor taking a back seat to lending more lead vocals; 3) the lack of power in Doug Pinnick's voice, which these days he seems to take a more subdued approach to singing, but he can still belt out a tune and 4) lack of acoustic guitars, which helped add more depth to their overall sound. I just feel all of these characteristics were much more prevalent in the earlier albums which made them excellent works of musical art..

Still, "Black Like Sunday" is a pretty good album and worth getting!


Killing Songs :
Black Like Sunday, Rock Pile, Danger Zone, Working Man, Finished, Bad Luck
Jeff quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by King's X that we have reviewed:
King's X - Out of the Silent Planet reviewed by Boris and quoted 85 / 100
King's X - Dogman reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 88 / 100
King's X - XV reviewed by Jeff and quoted 82 / 100
King's X - Ogre Tones reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 78 / 100
King's X - Live All Over The Place reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
To see all 7 reviews click here
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