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King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4078 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Wow, what an amazing album. It's hard to find any faults with this one. Everyone plays their instruments perfectly, albeit with no major virtuosity. Fripp's guitar ranges from frantic to beautifully soft. McDonald adds an interesting array of instruments here, with his flute solos sounding very welcome, and his mellotron spine tingling. Lake's bass doesn't stand out incredibly, but he is very talented and shows it in some parts of the album. He also has a brilliant mid-range voice, which works on both the subtle parts and more aggressive sections. Giles' percussion works well; it's there when it needs to be and knows when to be quiet. Sinfield's lyrics are very beautiful and haunting here. The cover art is very good, and to me is one of the most iconic images in musical artwork.

The album starts off with the proto-heavy metal song, '20th Century Schizoid Man'. This reminds me a lot of the kind of music Black Sabbath created a year later. It has some kind of vocal effect on the verses, before going into an amazing, jazz/hard rock instrumental section, which feels a lot like a jam, but manages to stay structured, before heading unexpectedly back to the verse, and then into the brilliantly cacophonous climax.

Next up is the beautiful 'I Talk to the Wind'. I find very few ballads as truly moving as this one, and the flute solo just adds so much to it. This song was rather surprising to me, because before I got the album I had only heard 'Schizoid Man' and the title track, and did not expect anything so heartfelt.

Then we have 'Epitaph'. Most people seem to think this is the strongest track on the album but I think it is the weakest. It is still an absolutely excellent song, which just shows how high the standards for this album are. It has a very nice melody, but my complaint is that the songs feels the same throughout, apart from a short instrumental bit. The marching drum beat is extremely effective though, and really goes with the politically fuelled lyrics of this song.

Then there's 'Moonchild'. Here's a song which splits fans of this album like no other. Most people agree it starts off well, a very touching ballad. Then comes the experimental, unstructured jam, which many people seem to hate, but I find to be rather amazing. When one is by themselves in a dark room this song can create a very strange, relaxed mood, almost like a musical drug.

Now cue... the greatest rock song ever. Forget Stairway to Heaven, this is the stuff of dreams; This is 'The Court of the Crimson King'. The vocal melody is so beautiful that i find it must have existed before time itself began. The haunting lyrics are fantastical, yet manage to whisk you away into that world of witches and jester's and the like. The mellotron builds up a tension which is too amazing for words to describe. The guitar strikes notes which fall ever so gently, the bass for once is noticeable. Then when you think it's all over, here comes that flute again, and palys almost like a nursery rhyme, before building to a magnificent climax where everything comes in.

And there it is. The perfect ending to a perfect album. I couldn't imagine giving this a lower rating as that would be insulting. Perfection in music is rare... but it exists.

burtonrulez | 5/5 |


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