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King Crimson - Starless And Bible Black CD (album) cover

STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 1685 ratings

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thesameoldfears
5 stars "Starless and Bible Black" is perhaps the misunderstood second act of a glorious trilogy. While "Larks Tongues" and "Red" are focused and methodical, this album is a little bit more meandering, heavy on improv and has dramatic shifts in style and temperament over the course of the disc.

This albums ends about a million miles from where it starts. The first two tracks are more straight-ahead rock (which I think is the least interesting part of the album) whereas the entire second side of the album is completely instrumental, and actually pretty scary and intense. "Fracture" closes the album and is one of the most well-structured instrumentals I've ever heard. Starts of curiously quiet and dissonant and explodes to a thunderous crescendo with overlapping time signatures. Pretty thrilling.

The improv "Trio" is a Crimson classic and the fact that they made up such a well-structured piece on the spot is really mind-blowing. I really like "The Night Watch" too, and I only learned later that the first half is live, and was spliced with the second half in the studio (the reason for this was that the mellotron broke down halfway through the song). But it sounds fine even with this edit and you don't catch it if you're not listening for it. See the Rembrandt painting on which the lyrics are based for context.

There are a few uneven parts on this album. I still don't understand "The Mincer" since it is very unsettled and meandering, and just kind of drops off because the tape ran out. But I like it that they put this strange track on the album because even though it doesn't work for me, it shows the band trusted the listener enough to follow them on the journey.

Great stuff.

thesameoldfears | 5/5 |

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