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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 1396 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Let the experimentation continue.

Actually, on second thought, maybe not. Starless and Bible Black for the most part disregards many of the aspects of music that I really enjoy: structure, melody, and harmony. Despite this, I still enjoy this album every once in a while, as it serves as a nice counterpoint whenever I get burned out by my favorites. Other than that, there's not much on this record to keep me coming back very often.

The Great Deceiver, Lament. Crimson let you know right off the bat that they are not going to conform to any expecations, with absolutely bizarre and irreverent lyrics, as well as alternating blasts of guitar, bass and drum cacophonies and low volume sections. Wetton's voice seems much more appropriate here compared to Larks Tongues in Aspic, and he even lets loose some wails reminiscent of Greg Lake.

We'll Let You Know, The Mincer. These are the (mostly) instrumental tunes that feature some interesting tones and textures, and even rock a bit in places. Abrupt and quirky, they are notable more for their uniqueness than quality.

The Night Watch, Trio. Here Crimson actually attempt a bit of contemplative melody, the former a mellow vocal piece with captivating lyrics, and the latter a rather boring, simplistic improv tune.

Starless and Bible Black, Fracture. Finally, the album closes with two extended improv tracks. The title track is quite forgettable, with boring minutes of lead-in and die-down that surround about 4-5 minutes of actual interesting music. Fortunately, the final track is an absolute monster. Here Crimson deliver some gruesome and haunting melody and tones for the first two thirds, building intensity throughout. Then the final 4 minutes arrive, and you should prepare for your head to explode and face to melt. This is the only Crimson improv piece that really moves me, but boy does it ever!

Worth owning just for Fracture, and little else, unless you really enjoy improvisational music or need something much different from what you are normally exposed to. I may not enjoy all of it, but I certainly can appreciate it, if that makes sense.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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