Killing Joke - XXV Gathering

Killing Joke, yeah, you know the name from somewhere, you can't really think of one of their songs off of the top of your head, but you have heard of them. That's what you get with a lot of bands unfortunately. There are a lot of amazing and heavily influential bands that have been around for years that have gone unnoticed because they have chosen not to sell-out or make a money-grabbing attempt to be an 'in thing' at the risk of their personal morals and loss of their most hardcore of fans.


Many bands started off like this, being something new, showing promise to be a brilliant band, but then got carried away by the MTV crowd.. Very few stayed the band they stared as, creating their own type of music from the start and successfully reinventing or complementing it with every album therein. One such band is Killing Joke, and their music is nothing short of brilliantly interesting. Think of some nice dark heavy rock, 'more toms than snare' drums, simplistic but strong as hell bass lines, edgy guitars and some original use of samples and sequencer sounds and not to mention Jaz Colemans vocals, wow, how much does this guy smoke? This guy must be related to Lemmy Kilmister (aka Lemmy Von Motorhead), because the vocal similarities are quiet uncanny, and by the sound, KJ have to have been influenced by the almighty Motorhead.


KJ have been around for 25 years now (!), yes, 25, and to celebrate such a musical milestone (and yes, in that time they have constantly made original music, unlike some people) the guys have decided to have a 'quarter of a hundred years party tour' (doubt they called it that though). One show they recorded for a nice little live package that, for the uninitiated, is a great insight into the raw sound of such a band. For the fans, I would have to say it would be a worthy addition to any collection, capturing the elements that go the best about the band. Upon first listen of 'XXV...' the song 'Primitive' jumps out at you rather surprisingly, after all, it is the 4th track. All the tracks have a personal quality about them that can be easily defined, yet varies totally, 'Primitive' is a very powerful track, executed brilliantly live.


Following with menace is the song 'Total Invasion' that goes through menacing pits of bassy, evil vocal moods to melodic heights, making you wonder why you didn't love the song already. Almost poppy song 'Bloodsport' confuses the listener once more, putting another twist in one hell of a mysterious live album (excuse the extended metaphors).


So far this album makes you almost feel like you are there jumping along to these tracks, the sound quality is great and the crowd have not been mixed out, there is no fading out between songs, just what you need for a good night of chilling to a decent live CD. The track 'Asteroid' brings another new dimension to the KJ sound that no-one (other than the fans, duh) was expecting, fast paced and jittery as it is. The whole CD is a mark of sheer musical genius, the mix of songs is evenly distributed for maximum effect and exposure, leaving any new listeners a little confused by the amount of directions that were being leant towards over the duration of the set, only to be crossed over with a new vibe and sound that your not ready for. If you have heard Killing Joke before and like them, check out this record. It's a twist riddled thriller of a live album, otherwise it's just a lot of great tracks thrown together for your enjoyment, either way...

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