Suitably titled as it is indeed the progressive rocking quartet’s 9th studio album, they continue to make in-roads to discovering their epitome. The opening two tracks inform immediately as to their intent as both The Doomsday Book and Jaded Apostles providing driving rhythms to almost psychedelic vocal melodies and presentations.
They’ve never really been the sort of band to have playing in the background with ease, more like the sort of band which need some tender love and care as earphones provide a real insight and connection to the depth of their arrangements and playing. Those of you who recall talented song-writer Ginger Wildheart singing their praises by recommending So Divided unveiled back in 2006, may already be in the know regarding the charms of this band’s output.
IX offers up such highlights as Lie without a Liar which retains at points a charming guitar refrain and a tasty change in tempo; first single The Ghost Within which captures an accessible quality; Lost in the Grand Scheme with its sheer power and waves of distortion and rallying emotion, and many other moments caged within the arrangements the band share with each song.
It is arguable whether IX is best digested as a whole or whether each individual track can stand on its own, but for the sake of observation you’ll find the songs weave together effortlessly providing a satisfactory ebb and flow to the entirety. The eleven tracks here are going to be welcomed by existing fans of the band and should provide an interesting challenge to those who are up until now, unfamiliar with their sound and approach. Through its communication, the drums play a very important role in translating the band’s spirit on IX.
With the current line-up of Conrad Keely on vocals, guitar, drums and piano playing alongside Jason Reece also playing his part on drums, vocals and guitar with bassist and vocalist Autry Fulbright II plus drummer and guitarist Jamie Miller onboard as with previous album Lost Songs, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead continue their march into ever-ambivalent territories; merging both melancholy textures to what feel like celebratory fabrics. To witness such heightened emotions in the live environment will be quite an experience.