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And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – X: The Godless Void and Other Stories

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 January 2020, 10:31 AM

AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD is an American alternative rock band from Austin, Texas led by chief members, Jason Reece and Conrad Keely. As childhood friends originating in Hawaii, the two began their music careers after moving to Olympia, Washington–forming their own various bands and ultimately relocating to Austin, Texas to create what would become. In twenty five years, the band has experienced major success in the indie music world with groundbreaking albums such as “Source Tags & Codes”, “Madonna” and “Worlds Apart”. The pairing of this music with an energetic and destructive live performance has eternally etched the band a place in rock and roll history. “X: The Godless Void and Other Stories” contains twelve tracks.

“The Opening Crescendo” opens the album. It’s an instrumental that builds throughout with layers and an ominous feeling. The symphonic elements give it a nice touch. “All who Wander” opens with bass guitar and then the main guitars come in. It has a slick production and an easy listening sound. It’s catchy and positive as well. “Something like This” features clean acoustical guitars, and dreamy and smooth vocals. It’s easy on the ears, but doesn’t evoke much emotional response from the listener. There is a bit of punch in the chorus but that’s about it. “Into the Godless Void” opens with some heavier accents and angrier vocals. For some reason, they remind me of U2. They turn it up a notch in the chorus.

“Gone” is a slower, more emotional song, sung with whispered vocals, and building throughout. But, it does get a little repetitive with him singing “it’s all gone” over and over. “Children of the Sky” is a soft little number meant to sound both melancholy and positive at the same time, though mostly melancholy. “Eyes of the Overworld” opens with some electronica and an ominous feeling. It’s a short instrumental that gives me some more insight into the album, and wanting to drive home that somber feeling. “Gravity” comes at you with a brightness out of the gate; the opposite of some of the earlier tracks. It’s about as Alternative Rock as you can get…and could be easily heard on the radio. It turns darker after the half-way mark, with piano and doleful tones.

“Blade of Wind” is another melancholy number with dual vocals in the verses, and a full, rich chorus. This one is a winner for sure. It has a positive message as well. I really like the way this song turned out. “Through the Sunlit Door” closes the album. It opens with a mighty magnitude that leads to some despondent tones, along with some more optimistic ones. It carries a bossy sound throughout. Overall, there were definitely some hits, and a few misses. In trying to describe the album as a whole, I fell short. It’s Alternative Rock in the vein of U2 for me, but too many melancholy songs failed to raise it up from the waters.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. The Opening Crescendo
2. All who Wander
3. Something like This
4. Into the Godless Void
5. Don’t look Down
6. Gone
7. Children of the Sky
8. Who Haunts the Haunter
9. Eyes of the Overworld
10. Gravity
11. Blade of Wind
12. Through the Sunlit Door
Conrad Keely – Guitar, Vocals, Drums
Jason Reece – Guitar, Vocals, Drums
Alec Padron – Bass
Ben Redman – Guitar, Drums
AJ Vincent – Keyboards
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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