"This first of the four 'must have' King's X albums is their debut release.
I bought this album virtually when it came out, and it is one of the best purchases I ever made. In an entire evening of watching 'Headbanger's Ball', I only saw one band that seemed different to all the Bon Jovi's/Slayer's/Warrant's/Poison's/Judas priest's etc. of the time, that were played in constant rotation. I saw King's X's ''King'', and though it was the second release ''Shot of Love'' that actually made me run down to the store to buy this album in 1987, I liked what I was seeing for a number of reasons.
1) King's X have an amazing vocalist named Doug Pinnick. 2) They were an interracial band in a world full of hairsprayed, mid-80's glamrockers. 3) Their guitarist played with 'soul', but was as good as the Yngwie Malmsteen's of the day. 4) They took elements from The Beatles / Jimi Hendrix / Sly and the Family Stone / Black Sabbath / Stevie Wonder, and made something very brand new out of all this.
I had found the band I was waiting for.
When I first played this King's X album to my friends, they had no clue what I was playing them, but I insisted this was the best band out there, forget about Guns & Roses, who were just making waves at this point. Pinnick could outsing most of the heavy metal hairpsray boys in a heartbeat. But it wasn't that. It was the sheer quality of their songs, and this unexplained energy that was happening in them. Whether this was the production of Sam Taylor, or a combination of Tabor/Gaskill/Pinnick and where they were at the time, Out of the Silent Planet is one of the most influential hard rock albums of its time. When Pearl Jam made waves in 1990 with 'Jeremy' from 10, I sat pretty amazed that this band was having huge success with what was, in sound and design, King's X with Eddie Vedder singing instead. Pearl Jam emerged 3 years after King's X's debut, and even though their formation started with Mother Love Bone, by 1990, Pearl Jam sounded like King's X. and had more success with it. That I never understood at all.
An actual influx of bands came out around this time that took King's X's sound and had a great deal of success with it, but King' X lurked somewhere on the borders of commercial success.It was infuriating. Here was a band that influenced quite a number of musicians, that couldn't get the time of day, until 1990's ''It's Love'', and by that time many were sounding like King's X enough to make it sound as if King's X were joining their own bandwagon. The first album alone defines the King's X sound between 1987 - 1992. Definitive years for a definitive band.
Another tag that gets associated with King's X is the Christian one. And I can honestly tell you I never ran to church after listening to their albums. The thought never crossed my mind. They had something far greater than just the excuse to quote the commandments or moralise. There was something mystical in their songs, and their live concerts were almost Revivalistic in energy. They had that much power. This changes after 1994's Dogman, but the first 4 albums are full of this certain type of energy that made me think King's X were one of the greatest bands I ever heard.
This album needs remastering, as it is mixed a bit low compared to today's standards, and I hope the band's efforts to convince Atlantic to remaster their catalogue are fruitful.
All 10 tracks are standouts. It's just the whole vibe the band puts on to these tracks that doesn't make just one person stand out over the other two. This is a band in all manner of the word. A must have album. It made me a fan of theirs for the past 17 years."
THE BEST DEBUT RECORD OF ALL TIME
DreamScape | 03/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To start with, thanks for reading. I'm a man on a mission.I'm currently making a kind of private retrospective of King's X, devouring its entire career, and taking some notes during the journey.
King's X are a special band for me.I met them by a friend, who I never thanked enough. They came to my ears,brain and heart in a moment where my soul was seriously damaged and seeking some peace of mind.Music can't change your life dramatically, but it can give you lots of support, sensibility and even courage.
King's X summoned all that for me.
Well, this is their first effort, and in a few words, my opinion is the subject of this review. I'm not exaggerating, this is a musical time bomb. It grows and explodes, blowing your mind to smithereens.
King's X scape smoothly from the fact of being labeled.Their music is alive,it breathes and walks as a human being.It's beautiful and haunting.It will give you enough input to make you dream awake.
Yes,hints of Kansas,Beatles,Queen or Rush can be found, but there are only little stones in the bottom of an ocean.First,you got to listen to it and lately try to describe it, because I honestly can't.
The first song, "In the new age" has an irresistible power; you'd never listened something like that.POWERFUL is the word, but it doesn't mean that BEAUTY is left.You have to listen to it.
Doug Pinnick,the bassist and vocalist, has an supernatural feeling.He can make you either rock or cry.At the end of "Far,far away" (one of my fav KX tunes), his screams will make you elevate from the floor.Sure.
"Goldilox" is a beautiful song, with some chorus to fly with.The kind of song that echoed in my head when girls were giving me down.MELANCHOLY...
There are some crunchy songs too, like "King","The power of love" (with a cosmic ending) or the fantastic "Shot of love", that reminds me of an endless summer, peace and understanding.
I can be a bit extreme yet subjective with my opinions (I love them so bad), but I feel this is a work of art that has to be appreciated by music fanatics everywhere.This is a must.Go and buy it,please.
King's X can reach you the same way they did to me.Next chapter: "Gretchen goes to Nebraska"...stay in tune, please, and thanks again!PEACE,folks."
Brian Reaves | Anniston, AL USA | 05/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was not the first King's X cd I bought, but I have to say it remains my favorite. It's not often I find a cd that I like every song on, but this is one of them. Absolutely fabulous, all the way through. "Goldilox" is a power ballad that should have taken hit radio by storm, but these guys weren't that well-known at the time, so marketing wasn't that big for them. "Summerland" off of their next album "Gretchen Goes to Nebraska" followed the vein of this one musically, but nothing touches it. Put this in your stereo, turn it up, and get ready to hear some guitar artwork that will blow you away! I highly recommend you follow this one up with "Gretchen..." and then go straight to "Ear Candy"."
Forgot how good this album is
C. Benner | Los Angeles, CA | 03/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Funny to listen to this again after so many years. Lotsa great tracks and the songs just get better and better the more you listen. You can really hear the influence Kings X must have had on Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, etc. "In the New Age" alone has elements borrowed by each if those bands. "Far, Far Away" has some of the best vocals dUg has ever done and the key change coming out of the bridge is just sick. "Shot of Love" hasn't aged well though, sounds pretty geigh, but is the only blemish on a great record that started the whole "D" tuning craze."
Out of this (Silent) world
Herbert Fremont | Michigan USA | 05/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first saw "King" on MTV I fell in love with the powerful groove of the band that in the coming years I would come to love more than any other. I instantly relished the opportunity to turn on some of my friends to them, who would also become devoted fans. The music was like nothing I had ever heard before and, despite the influence they have had on the world of hard rock, like nothing I have heard since. The first sign of their uniqueness is their use of drop-D tuning. The added crunch was important to give impetous to their grooves, but unlike most who have used this tuning since, power was not the only thing it added. It gave Ty Tabor the ability to create chordal structures that were truly groundbreaking, making his guitar one of the most unique instruments in rock music. The arrangements as a result were intricate, but the boys made it all fit into the overall structure of the song; the chords fit just right. Doug Pinnick's voice is the heart of the band and on 'Planet' he sings with a gravity that touches your soul but with a freedom that takes you away. The harmonies are unlike any other hard rock band (the only comparison I have ever come up with is CSN). Finally, the songwriting and lyrical content are amazing. The songs have solid grooves with powerful chord progressions and melodies that are memorable but inventive. The lyrics are more intelligent and positive than any other metal band and probably were the main reason they never got off the ground. They sang about spirituality and real issues in an age where blatant sexual references and satanic posing were the tickets to success. 'In the New Age' begins the album with a strong statement about pseudo-spirituality with a muscular melody playing against snaking guitar lines and almost spooky backing vocals. Goldilox is a love song, one of a very few King's X love songs, of haunting beauty. Then comes three songs that I always take as a set in my mind. 'Power of Love', 'Wonder' and 'Sometimes' are songs of spiritual longing that can make your heart break but since they are so smartly crafted they have are totally devoid of sappy sentimentality. 'Power of Love' is as the title suggests a 'powerful' ode to the meaning of love and one of my all-time favorite songs. 'Wonder' is a song about the band's struggle with how their spirituality fits in to their music and their everyday lives. Then 'Sometimes' comes back with the confidence that their faith finally brings them. 'King' is a song with a groove as big as Mack truck and just as heavy, yet, it is a song of hope for justice. 'What is This?' is an example of how exceptional King's X are at weaving a sound picture. The verses admit the confussion and doubt that a life of faith brings to one in a world that rejects people who are different and the swirling, lurching guitar reflects it. But, then the power of the chorus again brings home the reassurance that faith can still be. 'Far, Far Away' is overshadowed by the other songs on the record but its still a very good one--there simply is not a bad song here. 'Shot of Love', the second single, is probably the best song on the album but shows why they couldn't get very far. How does a record company market a band whose best song references holy communion but shuns the label Christian? Finally, the lyric "The lunatic says goodbye to those who say they love him" from the final cut, 'Visions' is an example of just how different King's X is. Most of the song is a durge that depicts the slow confusion of insanity--which Doug admits he feels sometimes--but then kicks into frantic crazyness that when played live leaves one floored by the band's tightness and control within a seemingly chaotic arrangement. From top to bottom 'Out of the Silent Planet' is as perfect as you can get. The only possible problem with it is that the sound isn't as polished as it could be, but that was never Producer Sam Taylor's intention anyway. Polish would have gotten in the way of the emotion. This is a band that could make you think and feel, a very rare thing. Though FHL would be their most ambitious album and Dogman would be their most powerful album, this was their most consistanly brilliant album. This one goes to 11."