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King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon CD (album) cover

IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 1972 ratings

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LakeGlade12
3 stars 3.2 Stars. In the wake of the Crimson KING!!! Aaahhhh......

Whenever I play this album it becomes quite clear that the band were still in shock with the commercial and critical success of their debut ITCOTKC. That album was arguably what opened the floodgates for both Prog Rock and Heavy Metal bands to follow. Even during the late 60s it was clear to everyone that KC had released a very important album that would be considered a classic in the years to come.

So how would the band respond with their second album ITWOP? Well unfortunately they played it extremely safe by ripping off their debut and producing a close to copy-cat version of it. To be fair to the band they were the front runners and pioneers of this new Prog Rock genre and during writing no other artists had properly responded for them to draw inspiration from. When your debut is so radically different from everything else producing another album that significantly develops your sound is hard. They were able to do this with their next album Lizard, but here they did not suceed.

I normally like to go though each track in detail, but I won't do that for Pictures Of A City, Cadence And Cascade and In The Wake Of Poseidon, as they are heavily based on 21st Century Schizoid Man, I Talk To The Wind and Epitaph respectively. While these songs are not directly identical the instrumentation, tempo, song structure and basically all the tricks and turns are virtually identical. That is not to say that these songs are inferior than those on ITCOTCK, but they do not say anything new.

Fortunately there are some more original songs to be found here. The "Peace" tracks are short but very pleasant interludes in-between songs. "A Beginning" only has Greg Lake on vocals and almost no instruments being used, "A Theme" is a lovely acoustic guitar solo and "An End" combines both of those tracks to make a more complete and enjoyable song.

"The Devil's Triangle" works as the "Moonchild" of the record, but other than being very long, drawn out and very experimental they have nothing in common. The first section of the track is based heavily on the composition "Mars: Bringer of War" and features a very slow and repetitive buildup over many minutes. The climax becomes very chaotic and there are swirling sound effects like a magical portal has been opened for demons to walk though. After a few moments of near silence the song goes into full chaos mode with random sounds and effects firing everywhere. Annoyingly these effects are similar to the title track on ITCOTCK and there is even a direct rip-off section. It seems the band just could not escape the shadow of their debut and it does go some way to spoiling the entire song.

There is only one totally original song here that is of Prog fans real interest and that is "Cat Food"(which would sow the seeds for their next album). This is a very jazzy and eccentric song and is both very catchy but also complex. While this is a crazy track it does not reach the madness of those on Lizard and is far more accessible. The newer versions of this album also have the B-side "Groon" which is a rather lackluster chaotic Jazz-fusion instrumental.

There is not much more to say really, get ITCOTCK first and if you love that album and want more of the same then get ITWOP as well. I would give this 2 stars (as it is fans only) but as the more original songs are quite good so I will bump it to 3.

LakeGlade12 | 3/5 |

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