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King Crimson - The Power To Believe CD (album) cover

THE POWER TO BELIEVE

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 851 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Powerful.

Bill Bruford once said that if you wanted to see the future of music then you'd put on a King Crimson album. Time after time Crimson proves him right, and with The Power To Believe he's proven right again. Released in 2003, this is probably Crimso's heaviest release to date, utilizing near electronic elements with dark and sarcastic tones, loads of instrumentals and a few moments that some could call metal - it would be a few years later (skip ahead to 2008) that many bands would finally follow suit with this movement and decide that the best way of reaching the audience would be through the dark shadow of somewhat 'evil' music. But hey, as per usual, Crimson did it first.

While many prog greats of the '70s have abandoned the style completely, Crimson just finds another angle to work at it. This is evident right off the top after the intro song with the blistering Level Five, a true masterpiece of an instrumental that brings in a somewhat industrial beat to the charging guitars that doesn't let up over the course of the 7-minutes that the song goes on for. Other instrumentals on the album prove to be just as impressive, including the more beat heavy Elekrik which has Fripp reverted to an amost Discipline era guitar part while his band-mates churn out the heavy sections. Dangerous Curves gradually rises in volume until the strange synths take control of the song and lead it to its end.

Then there's the more 'song' based songs on the album. Apparently Crimson still knows how to be accessible without spoiling the rest of the album with pop-songs that have no context. On this album Belew still gets to use his very discernible voice on songs like the excellent Eyes Wide Open, a slow and brooding track that's still somehow sentimental, as well as the heavy and 'mean' Facts Of Life. The standout of these songs, though, has to be the album's single - Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With, heavy guitars once more darken the atmosphere as Belew sings his way through the song-writing process which turns out as rather comical, although you're afraid to laugh in the fear that Crimson may come to get you if you do.

Of course it just wouldn't be Crimson if there wasn't some theme tying the whole album together. If the dark tones and 'electronica' element weren't enough there's also a 4-part title track which sits between the songs on the album to link them together. While the individual tracks aren't quite as impressive as the main album they're still quite good. They're more atmospheric and less 'in-your-face' than the rest of the album, but at this point that's somewhat of a welcome reprieve from the bombast. Belew's reverbed voice is somewhat hypnotic through these tracks, and on Part II and Part III (the lengthier of the 4 parts) so are the instrumental sections - the airy synths and the still heavy, but more subdued drum parts.

All in all this is a very worthy addition to the Crimson catalog, right up with the rest of their classic albums. If anyone doubts that a near 40-year-old band can still be unique and innovative then here's your proof. This one gets a solid 4 out of 5 and is recommended to Crimson fans and interestees across the globe. Very much worth the buy.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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