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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 1640 ratings

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3 stars There's no mistaking seventies King Crimson; one of the most original and inventive of all the Progressive Rock bands, they sound like no one else with their fractured (no pun intended) rhythmic structures, some of the heaviest Guitars ever committed to tape mixing with the more quiet restrained yet often unsettling parts. Released between Larks' Tongues in Aspic and Red, Starless and Bible Black is however somewhat of a disappointment.

The album starts off well enough with The Great Deceiver, a powerful opener which in only four minutes still contains many twists and turns. Lament is also pretty good; starting off quietly with a chiming Robert Fripp Guitar and John Wetton Vocal the song turns out to be another noisy piece and particular praise goes to the always rhythmically inventive Bill Bruford.

We'll Let You Know, an instrumental, although interesting sounds unfinished and comes across as little more than a studio jam. The Night Watch, a very laid back piece sounds more complete but is not particularly interesting. Trio, also an instrumental is another quiet piece, Bruford totally absent and is a pleasant interlude to the bands more abstract moments. The Mincer is perhaps the least satisfying of all, again a little directionless.

After the six shorter pieces of side one of the original LP version the flip side is divided into just two instrumental tracks. First up is the title track which from a quiet start slowly builds to a loud peak but once again is somewhat directionless. More satisfying is Fracture which would not have sounded out of place on their follow up album Red. A dark and brooding piece with much use of light and shade it explodes into a fantastic Fripp riff towards the end with the full band following in his wake.

So while Starless and Bible Black contains moments of greatness they are too few and far between for it to be a fantastic album and hence the three star rating.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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