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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 2237 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars This album ranks among my favorite King Crimson albums. The title track, which stands with my favorite instrumentals, is powerful and exhibits exceptional musicianship right off the bat. Overall the album is extremely good, but one lengthy track really fouls the whole affair.

"Red" The title track is one of the greatest progressive rock instrumentals ever written, better than either part of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic," and "The Devil's Triangle." The main sections are genius, and rank among King Crimson's best. Bruford's drumming here is phenomenal. The music features the perfect blend of dynamics, managing to work together the loud, cacophonic interplay of instruments and quieter, more refined moments. It is harsh, grating, and explosive- everything one would expect from the perfect King Crimson instrumental.

"Fallen Angel" Opening with a synthesizer and stringed instruments, this had been my favorite on the album for a long time. Wetton's voice is most pleasant here, as is Fripp's guitar. The dynamic horn and static electric guitar work against each other in such a way that the end result is very satisfying. The music transitions from calm to harsh and many places in between.

"One More Red Nightmare" This song has a menacing introduction but groovy verses. It has a similar sound to the title track, and a great guitar part that gets smothered by hand claps (even the drumming and bass playing get drowned out a bit). An alto saxophone solo occurs during this section, as well as in the end. The cheesy hand clapping almost ruins this song, though.

"Providence" It seems King Crimson can't put out an album without messing around. Why it has to be the second longest track on the album is beyond me, but it is. David Cross's violin very beautifully begins this eerie piece of nonsense. It is a tad more coherent than "Moonchild" from the debut album, but that is saying very little. The band jams a bit towards end, with Wetton's distorted bass, Cross' violin, Fripp's guitar, and Bruford keeping beat, but it's not a pleasant track to listen to in my opinion.

"Starless" The title of this one comes from the previous album. It hearkens back to several other King Crimson songs, having Mellotron, saxophone, and a verse-chorus structure. Fripp satisfies himself with a mere two notes during the rather lengthy section in 13/8, during which Wetton employs a distorted bass and Bruford builds the rhythm with creative drumming. An amazing saxophone takes over with impressive drumming thereafter, also reprising part of the vocal melody. While not my favorite King Crimson track, this one does deliver.

Epignosis | 4/5 |

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