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King Crimson - THRAK CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 1266 ratings

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3 stars After yet another break up, King Crimson returns again in 1995. All the members from the eighties era are still there but two newcomers appear. Trey Gunn, playing the interesting Chapman Stick, and Pat Mastelloto pounding on the drums. We can easily notice the one of a kind line-up that Robert Fripp assembled for this totally new King Crimson era. It's basically a doubled power trio which means expectations of double the power. Two guitarists, two bassists and two drummers are present to get the band into, once again, new territories.

Thrak is basically made up of uneven pop songs and dark and heavy instrumentals separated by spacey ambient tracks. This is one of the major flaws of the album in my opinion. It flows but it flows in a weird and uncomfortable way. Plus, the whole thing feels really uneven because of the quality of some songs. Thrak starts off really well with Vroom, Coda : Marine 475 and Dinosaur but becomes a mess after this. A lot of the following songs are good (One Time and Walking on Air) but they fail to keep the second half of the album interesting. Thrak has some really good moments though where they put the double trio to great use. B'Boom is a good example of how two drummers can have some good interplay and make a track thrilling. The title piece also makes full use of the power given by the double trio and could easily be nominated King Crimson's heaviest song. However, most of the time, we feel the double trio isn't pushed as far as he could have gone. In a lot of numbers, one could easily not even notice that there are six musicians playing. Even though this effort is pretty decent, it lacks the magic and inventivity that King Crimson were always the representant of.

Like I said, Thrak is a good album but nothing more. No boundaries are pushed here and no groundbreaking songs are released. Almost no tracks stands up to usual King Crimson standards (which are pretty high). But, however, I'm reviewing this album as a lone entity and not as a comparison to earlier King Crimson. That's why I must say that it's good prog driven by top-notch musicians. The musicianship is as usual pretty high and Adrian Belew's vocals are once again energetic and unique. A good contempory piece of music from a band that keeps surviving. 3 stars.


Bern | 3/5 |


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