Wednesday, June 2, 2010


After much hoopla, spewing out melodic metal anthems for White Cross, Rex Carroll left the aforementioned band and helped to create King James. The first King James album (self titled) featured former members of Stryper (Robert Sweet and Tim Gaines respectively) along with vocalist Jimi Bennett and the aforementioned Carroll. Stylistically it continued along in the same melodic rock vein as their previous projects, it had been backed by Star Song.

However, this 2nd album entitled The Fall was released on the Swedish label Viva back in 1997. The Fall is a product of the late 90’s and the fascination with the ‘grunge’ metal type sound of that era. You won’t find any Rattesque or Stryper stylings as on the previous release, but you will discover an energized Alice in Chains persona that totally uproots any connection to the previous material in style of writing.

The compositions are delivered with solid, heavy, production; that offer superior definition and sharp tones throughout. The instrumentation is well spaced apart without losing any attack. Bennett delivers an excellent vocal performance which matches the stylistic change well, most notably on the track ‘Never is Forever.’ Listening to it immediately makes one think of Alice and Chains, without screaming ‘rip off.’

For the most part, re-mastering has breathed new life into this release. J Powell at Steinhaus continues to perform his magic which allows so many older releases a new lease on life. The tandem that Retroactive has with Steinhaus studios continues to hit homeruns and this album is no different.

The most enduring item here that carries over from previous releases featuring Rex is his guitar tone and well executed guitar solos. His soloing here is prominent but not to the detriment of the songs. ‘Frenzy’ is one that just jumps out at me as does ‘Spreading the Love.’ His tone is intense and gripping but not overly compressed or thin.

The songs here are strong, memorable and heavy. It is with great appreciation that I salute Retroactive for this re-release, re-master. If you appreciate the style that is ‘grunge’ with a more positive lyrical outlook don’t cheat yourself and pick this album up and play it loudly. The mesmerizing content will convince you that you made the right decision.

8 axes

1 comment:

Michael D Koehler said...

cant wait to hear it! join the King James Facebook fan page i run!