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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 1639 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fractured

Since this was the middle child between the albums Larks Tongues In Aspic and Red it's only natural that years later this one gets somewhat overlooked. Starless and Bible Black is a rather mixed album, all things considered, as this was the album where the improvisational method of writing that started on the previous album is somewhat abused, leading to a series of forgettable songs within the good ones.

There are a couple of classics to be had on this album still. One the first side we have the quirky The Great Deceiver which opens up the album with a bizarre arrangement of all sorts of instruments until it all slows down to just the bass for Wetton to deliver the first vocal parts. Lament is a heavy and wonderful piece which opens with a calm (almost lamenting) passage before moving on to full on Fripp guitar attack. The Night Watch is a beautiful and eerie track which turns out to be the standout of the first side.

Unfortunately, the rest of the first side is otherwise forgettable. We'll Let You Know is a quickly passed instrumental, Trio is a bit better with some very nice violin work, but still not outstanding. The Mincer is a good track with some interestingly subdued vocals and a very cool ending - the tape ran out during recording and the song just ends.

Going into the second side, the half is completely instrumental and home to only two songs. The title track, Starless and Bible Black is a track that goes on a bit long but is saved by the final and greatest song on the album. Fracture is the (by now) standard Fripp guitar fest. Full of catchy hooks and dark parts that the man is so good with, this is an instrumental that has the power to rival some of their greatest such as Larks Tongues In Aspic Parts I-II, Devil's Triangle and Red. Not to be missed!

So in the end this is an album that has a number of great songs but a number of average ones to take it down as well. Still good for all the Krimson fans out there, this probably isn't the one to start with. If you're a big fan of the prior and following album then you will probably enjoy this one, but it might not be your favorite. 3.5 stars!

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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