For the first time in more than a dozen years, King’s X is scheduled to release a new album Friday. Three Sides of One is scheduled for release Friday through InsideOut Music and will be the band’s first new album since 2008’s XV, and with the recent announcement of guitarist Ty Tabor’s health concerns causing the band to cancel its planned upcoming European tour, audiences cannot help but wonder if this album could end up being the band’s last. That is because this is just the latest in an ongoing series of health concerns for the band’s members. Drummer Jerry Gaskill has a serious health scare in 2019 due to heart concerns, including a pair of near-fatal heart attacks, which also caused tour cancellations. Front man/bassist Doug Pinnick dealt with a hernia in 2013. Considering all of these health issues and that so many years passed between the release of XV and this record, again, it is easy to wonder about the band’s future. If that does end up being the case, the album will end up being at least a somewhat successful final statement from the band. That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively. One of the most notable of the songs that serves to support that statement comes almost halfway through the record’s 46-minute run time in the form of ‘All God’s Children.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Festival,’ which comes past the album’s midpoint, is another way in which the record’s musical and lyrical content makes it worth hearing. It will be examined a little later. ‘Flood Pt. 1,’ which comes early in the album’s body, is also of note and will be discussed later. Each song noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s body. When they are considered alongside the album’s other works, the whole makes the album overall an interesting addition to King’s X’s catalog.
Three Sides of One, the latest addition to King’s X’s already extensive catalog, is not the band’s best album but is also not the band’s worst, either. The record is worth hearing at least once. That is proven in part through the album’s entry, ‘All God’s Children.’ This song stands out because of its brooding musical and lyrical content. The brooding nature of the song’s musical arrangement immediately sets a certain tone for this composition. It starts off quietly, gradually growing as it progresses through its opening bars. Almost 40 seconds in, the guitars kick in heavily, but slowly. The brooding, contemplative mood set at this point continues on through the rest of the song and definitely keeps listeners engaged in unique fashion. It pairs with the song’s equally engaging lyrical theme to make for even more interest.
In the case of the song’s lyrical theme, this element is rather contemplative in its own right, seemingly questioning the religious establishment. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse, which finds Tabor singing, “It came in the water/It came in with the flood/It seeped into everything/That we couldn’t be rid of/We bathed in the fountains, and we played in the mud/We breathed as it rotted/It got into our blood/And all God’s children kept believing/All God’s children believed anyway.” That discussion of something seemingly bad happening and no one questioning it (all God’s children) comes across as that questioning of how people seem to just blindly follow and believe, not questioning what they are taught. That is of course just this critic’s interpretation. Tabor continues in the song’s second verse, “It was down in the basement/You were up on your throne/And while vegetation wasted/We were left picking the bones/But nobody complained/Fact they said it was right/So they all lit up torches/And marched into the night.” This adds a little more to the seeming contemplation. It points at someone bad sitting up on high, not caring about others, yet no one questions it, accepting it. Again, this points to that seeming message of people just blindly following, going about their lives, not questioning things (including what they are taught to believe). It definitely makes for an interesting concept that will certainly generate plenty of discussion among listeners. That is especially the case when this content is set alongside the song’s equally brooding musical arrangement.
‘All God’s Children’ is just one of the songs that makes King’s X’s new album worth hearing. ‘Festival’ is another notable addition to the record. The musical arrangement featured in ‘Festival’ is the polar opposite of that featured in ‘All God’s Children.’ This composition’s arrangement presents something of a neo-classic rock vibe right from its opening bars. That is exhibited through the unique layered vocal approach used as Tabor sings, “Let’s throw a festival.” The guitar riff that leads the way here adds even more to that neo-classic rock sense and makes the song just as engaging and entertaining. Pinnick’s work on the bass and Gaskill’s work on the drums put the finishing touch to the whole, making the song complete.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Festival’ is interesting because of the seeming message of making the most of life in the song’s lyrical theme. That seeming theme is inferred as Tabor continues singing in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Let’s make it so the rest of us can go/I’m thinking of something/I’m thinking of something that we can do/But I’m thinking it might be up to you/It’s gonna be a big thing/Big enough to call everybody you know/Yeah, you better get ready to go/Let’s throw a festival/Let’s make it so the rest of us can go/It’s just an idea/But I think it’s one that we should try.” This celebratory discussion could potentially be the second of those three sides of one; one life. The comment by Tabor in the song’s second verse that “What’s the worst/Maybe somebody dies” adds a sort of sense of cynicism, yet the added note in the second verse that “I think it will all work out” despite the possibility that something bad could happen adds to that seeming sense of just making the best of a potentially bad situation. Again, this is just this critic’s own interpretation. If in fact it is anywhere in the proverbial ballpark, then it is that second of three sides of the whole of life. It is another notable addition not the album that makes the record all the more interesting to hear.
‘Flood Pt. 1,’ which comes very early in the album’s run, is notable in its own right in part because of its arrangement. The song once again opens gradually, using a tense string arrangement before launching into a heavy, hard rock arrangement, led once again by the pairing of Tabor and Pinnick. From there, the song moves into a more notably contemplative mood as Pinnick sings quite cynically once again here, this time contemplating all the negative in the world.
He sings in the song’s lead verse, “Maybe the time has come, they say/Waters rising/Gonna drown us all away/I used to say that all we needed was love/Now I’m thinking that what we need is a flood.” This is a thought pattern from someone who is just very upset at the world. The anger in those words leads to a sense of confusion and depression in the song’s second verse as Pinnick sings, “Feeling temporary/’Cause it’s necessary/On a binge/No beginning without an ending/Where to begin” before returning to the song’s early statement. Again, this is not the happiest song by any means, but shows yet another side of that whole. The anger and depression is there and is complimented through the duality in the song’s musical arrangement. It adds even more to the song’s impact. When the whole here is considered alongside the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Three Sides of One another interesting addition to the catalog of King’s X. It becomes a record that while maybe not the best of the band’s works is also not the band’s worst. In turn it is a record that is worth hearing at least once.
Three Sides of One, the latest album from King’s X, is an interesting addition to the band’s catalog. It is a presentation that is worth hearing at least once. That is evidenced through the album’s musical and lyrical content alike, as the songs examined here show. When these songs are considered alongside the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album worth hearing at least once.
Three Sides of One is available now through InsideOut Music. More information on the album is available along with all of King’s X’s latest news at:
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