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King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4185 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' - King Crimson (9/10)

Bill Bruford once said 'if you want to hear where music is going in the future, you put on a King Crimson album.' While this sounds a bit oddly self-serving coming from the drummer of the band, it is undeniably true. This album was working around with so many genres, some of which would not even come to fruition until a decade later.

There are few albums that still sound fresh years after they are put on the market, especially not from the realm of prog. Many prog albums from the 60s and 70s era have not aged well, to the point of the derogatory term 'dinosaur prog' being used in fair abundance. King Crimson's opus 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' however, demonstrates how fresh an album can remain if it has the right level of innovation in it.... and this album is in no short storage of innovation.

The album starts off with one of the heaviest songs of that generation, '21st Century Schizoid Man.' Never have I ever heard a song from the 1960s that sounded so heavy and 'metal.' From the first jazz-infused chords, it's clear that this is something special and an album worthy of it's praise. The tightness of the musicians is almost unparelleled, and despite such grim subject matter (a bleak, post-apocalyptic future) there still manages to be an energetic groove; especially in the middle, frantic section. To this day, '21st Century Schizoid Man' stands as being one of the most groundbreaking, landmark songs in all of rock music, and the obvious highlight to this already-superb album.

The two highlights of the album are the opener and closer; both classic tracks. It's easy to see why King Crimson is considered 'eclectic prog' from listening to this album. The aforementioned first track for example ,delves into jazz-fusion and proto-metal, whereas the title track has a heavy symphonic influence. I would not want to be the guy entrusted to properly catalogue a band as diverse as this!

The only downside of the album is the second half of the song 'Moonchild.' While the three 'middle' tracks aren't quite as memorable as the two monsters, they are all beautiful and melodic, except for the second half of 'Moonchild,' which really hurts the flow of the album. After a very calming ballad progresses for a few minutes, the songwriting and composition breaks down into a random jam, which would have been fine except for the fact that the jam is too mellow to retain much real interest for the listener. It's more or less a few minutes of relative silence until the great closer. Disregarding this however, the album is fantastic.

'In The Court Of The Crimson King' is an album that every prog fan owes himself to listen to. A dominating contender for my favourite King Crimson album (only challenged by 'The Power Believe.')

A progressive masterpiece, and King Crimson's quintessential work.

Conor Fynes | 5/5 |


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