...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead can do no wrong in my eyes. I figured I should admit that right off the bat because as a "fan boy," perhaps my judgement of them is a bit skewed. They've developed a unique blend of indie and progressive rock. Nowadays they are more widely accepted as prog than ever. Putting out 19-minute songs will get you your prog "cred." But the band still likes to rock and on their last full-length album, "Lost Songs," they did rock out more than ever. Still, leader Conrad Keely could not resist offering an alternate mix of the album with the tracks in a different order, segueing into each other. Very prog, indeed.
So, after the band did a Crowdfunded EP for "Tao of the Dead Part III" (the aforementioned 19-minute track), which I did take part in, they are back with "IX." "IX" once again blends their indie roots with their progressive leanings perfectly. Songs like "The Ghost Within," "Lie Without A Liar" and "Bus Lines" are all VERY catchy and easy favorites from this album. But the band just can't resist being different and progressive, similar to the Von Hertzen Brothers.
"How to Avoid Huge Ships" almost feels like a warning that things are about to get more epic. By the time you are listening to "Lost In The Grand Scheme," which segues seamlessly into "Like Summer Tempests Came His Tears," it's turned into a progfest. "Like Summer..." is an instrumental that feels like a runaway boulder gaining speed as it rolls down a hill. The album has plenty of percussion both at the start with "The Doomsday Book" and also with the closing track "Sound Of The Silk," which bookends the album well.
Another Trail of Dead album, another great release.
The musicianship, the music, the lyrics and the melodies are all on full
display. If you are a fan of the band, you probably aren't even reading this because you've already bought it. If you are looking for an intelligent rock band with prog aspirations, this is one for you. Consider that leader Conrad Keely is also the artist for the band. Each album always has great artwork and even elaborate stories in the liner notes. Great band.