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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2978 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Lark's Tongues In Aspic begins with Part One of the title track and we are immediately transported into the world of King Crimson: a world of jazz fusion, eclectic musicianship and wild virtuosity. In simpler terms - definitive prog rock. Glockenspial style bells are played, almost sounding like air chimes that you sometimes see outside people's homes that chime when the wind blows. But underlying this a strange twisted shimmering can be heard, and it's growing louder and louder. The bells cut out and the 'Psycho' style violin locks in as Fripp's tortured fuzz guitar blazes. The drums are erratic as ever and the sound is almost like a free jazz festival. The violin sounds similar to Van der Graaf's "The Quiet Zone/ The Pleasure Dome" in some respects, perhaps VDGG were influenced by LTIA.

Cross, Bruford, Wetton, Muir and Fripp - a super group of immeasurable proportion and more influential to prog rock than most of the other bands the early 70s had to offer. This is experimental rock at its most profound. On every level the album causes us to question the function of music. There are lyrics, sung by Wetton, but they are subdued and overshadowed by the incredible instrumental prowess of the Crim's. There is even an oriental feel, with viola and mellotron. The dynamics of the album are second to none, moments of tranquil beauty, Cross's sparse violin, the true essence of minimalism, is punctuated by sudden bursts of jagged guitar and drums.

Other tracks of note are 'Easy Money' and 'Exiles' but nothing compares to the end track, 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic, Part Two. This track features a killer riff that virtually tears through the melancholy nature of the track. Bruford's drums pound relentlessly sometimes without a discernible rhythm, at other times in the drums are in time to what is left of the beat that has been mangled by spurts of guitar and bass. It's a tour-de-force of verbal soundscapes that astound the ears and reinvent music as a medium for atmospherics: a sublime patchwork of electronica and rock carefully interwoven with visceral violins and percussion vibes. The remastered Lark's Tongues In Aspic is flawed in places but still remains a must purchase for 'Crimsonites' and prog rock fans alike.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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