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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2978 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Muir.. somebody please stop that wacko!

After a deserved year break from the last effort, the infamous "Islands", Fripp decided to yet again reform Crimso; this time, Sinfield would depart as well, being replaced by a less-metaphoric Palmer-James at the writting table; thus the band's nucleus reduces to one Robert "Freak". By then, future bandmates would include ex-Family John Wetton, Bruford (obviously of Yes fame) one crazed jazz-fusion flavoured violinist named David Cross and even more crazed percussionist, Mr. "everything-he-could-bang-he-does" Jamie Muir.

Indeed Jamie dominated great part of "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part 1", in which he showed his compulsive manner of making random percussive noises from various percussion instruments integral in King Crimson's musical prototype. It was a mix of Zappa and fusion, as simple as that (if simple); it has a meandering middle section; saving the powerful segment B and the climax. Exiles, on the other hand, is the album's obbligatory symphonic song, with bits taken from a former concert staple called "Travel Weary Capricorn"; Wetton introduces his sweet timbre for the first time in KC (to our ears anyway); as the awaited Lake's contender, possibly Wetton has better projection of his voice, always trying not to force notes unintentionally. Cross exposes his consonant side as well as Fripp, and the Muir-Bruford duo is very conservative in this track. "Easy Money" is easily the most banal song of the album (yes, I figured it out all by myself *laughs*); basically is an extended rocking jam with a pleasant vibe and some rare effects; the bass guitar adds groove and Fripp practices his arpeggios. "The Talking Drum" sets your mind in the desert itself, with a certain egyptian charm; it's consistently based on the same pattern adding the fade-in effect to increase intensity. "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part 2" hardly reprises any idea left by the 1st part; it's the most "metallic" song on the album, with emphasis on power chords and odd time signatures (10/8, 11/8 and so); David Cross shrieks his violin like a madman in the bridge, and the power chords resemble early Metallica (or in that case, Black Sabbath). Needless to say, this album explored the same avant-garde turf as Islands... only this time in heavier mood.

This record is what could be called the first prog-metal album, at least in my opinion; even so, it's not bad for my taste considering that it's an experiment; and it's not as condensed as your "normal" prog-metal record. 2.5 stars rounded to 3. Perhaps not for all fans, so anyone could either like it or dislike it. I suggest you give it a spin and set your own criteria.

Chus | 3/5 |


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