Once upon a time (twenty years ago), Austin’s …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead were going to be the epic saviors of rock ‘n’ roll, but then The Strokes, et al. happened, and rock went in another direction – but Trail of Dead didn’t. They’ve kept their epic nature through rise & falls, line-up changes, and records good & bad, but they sell their nature well on the suitably grand X: The Godless Void and Other Stories.
The album with a title almost as long as the band’s name (though with a colon instead of ellipsis) opens with “The Opening Crescendo”, because of course a Trail of Dead record would start with an opening crescendo. This is Trail of Dead’s uncompromisingly big sound, like the powerful indie-rock crush of “Into the Godless Void” and quiet/loud “Who Haunts the Haunter”, through to the building big finish “Through the Sunlit Door”.
No, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead have not changed their style in two decades, but they have refined it as they’ve aged, honing in on what they do best.