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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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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Larks' Tongue in Aspic Part 2: Darker and a bit more loose(improvised)

As you know already from Larks', King Crimson had moved to heavier territory, more guitar, more bass, no jazzy keyboards, Mel's sax is gone, though being replaced by David Cross' mysterious violin/viola adding a eastern flavor to the music. To summarize it in four words: ''A New King Crimson'', though this you already knew from Larks', so what can I tell you about Starless & Bible Black?

Starless and Bible Black was in the same situation as In the Wake of Poseidon, after their creative-peak(Larks'/Court), Fripp created something in the same vein or at least not in the heights of the previous', in which generally fans didn't appreciate because of the similarities, or less stunning in this case. However, I and I think a whole bunch of others consider this quite a different treat:

Starless & Bible Black is mainly a live album, in which the live tracks(all except track 1 and 2, though don't be fooled by the deleted applaude section of each of these live tracks) are mainly improvised instrumentals, this making one radical difference to Larks', rather than being elaborated compositions, which is the case of Larks', this one as I said in the title, it's much more loose.

Now to tell you a bit more detailed, the darker edge is due to the improvised instrumentals led by Fripp's dissonant guitar, John's ferocious bass work, and Bill's incredible drum work, plus the already mentioned mysterious violin. Prime examples of this 'darker edge' are: Starless & Bible Black and Fracture. Then you'll also find energetic songs like The Great Deceiver with killer guitar and fierceful rhythms, demonstrating that ''Hard Rock'' can be complex. Fripp also delivers some beauties like The Night Watch and Trio, complex, chilling experiences.

To finish this review I'll have to say that this is not an easy place to start with, though after you have listened to Larks', this one should fill your ears comfortably.

4 stars. Experimental and improvisation music lovers this album is waiting for you!

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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