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King Crimson - The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974 CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.56 | 356 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
5 stars I received the Great Deceiver shortly after I began listening to KC in earnest. At first, I did not care for the album and, being used to more conventional live albums, wished that the set list had been more organized (eg. put Larks' Tongue part 2 after part 1, etc). A few months passed and I began to understand Robert Fripp's vision as I plowed through Red, ITOTCK, Discipline, Larks' Tongue in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, Beat, and Three of A Perfect Pair. However, the more I listened to the album, the more the weird percussion, the mellotron, the sustained guitar made sense.

I gave Great Deceiver another go after I felt I was better prepared. The result was astonishing, akin to the musical epiphany I felt when Close to the Edge dawned on me. The shows were astounding, the musicianship floored anything I've ever heard, including Dream Theater, a band I admittedly overrate due to my love of heavier music. It shows how restraint can be every bit as technical and challenging as playing at the speed of light. What really captured my ear was the Zeppelin approach to heavy: feel, not volume. The songs had an apocalyptic feel but each set brimmed with subtlety and beauty. Even David's violin is heavy, how does that happen?!

With this box set King Crimson displays an ability to bring the darkness of man to life in a manner that is far more terrifying than the moronic church burning antics of the Norwegian black metal scene. Only Black Sabbath's music has ever inspired more fear in me. The '73/4 lineup was adept at creating sounds that were simultaneously dissonant and harmonic, and the result is incredible. Crimson may be the most progressive live band I've ever heard. Floyd and Genesis made their shows theatrical. Yes and ELP made theirs fiery blasts of power. King Crimson are the only ones who drastically altered their songs so that no two shows ever sounded the same, even with the same setlist. The way this lineup feeds off one another during their incredible improvs is astounding. No an of Crimson can be without this. It's not accessible, but it is such a rewarding listen when the scale of this group's genius hits you.

Note, go to KC website to get this, its not readily found in stores and's price is a rip-off.

Grade: A-

1800iareyay | 5/5 |


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