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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 2243 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
5 stars With Red comes an end to Crimson's most highly valued period for many fans. And it's sure a fine way to exit.

I must be one of the few who never cared much for the two preceding releases with Wetton. Those albums always sounded detached and disinterested to me. Even though I devour every live album from those years, the studio albums didn't do it for me. No so with this one. It is sharp, vigorous and uncompromising. And those songs, so dark and heavy, even though the distortion knob is hardly on.

The debut excluded, KC never needed a wall of sound to make their point. Red is the ultimate exercise in stripping down progressive rock to its bare essence. And such a dry sound can only be pulled off by the best possible musicians. Indeed, for me a true virtuoso knows when less is more, when silence works better then plastering every whole, when his instrument should lead and when he should step down. A good musician will try to overwhelm you with his skills, a great one has the self-aware confidence to just give you that one progression that is genius and throw away everything else.

Only at the very very end they let go of their restraint and conclude with an ecstatic finale soaked in mellotron. It's one of the last great moments of the instrument and the end of an epoch. At least till a bunch of nerdy Swedes hit upon one in an antique store in the early 90ties and decided to form a band. But that's another story.

In the Court of the Crimson King was a key album in the birth of prog and could boast an impressive offspring consisting of ELP, Yes, Genesis and VDGG. In 1974 most of those bands were past their prime but not King Crimson. They simply produced their second crucial prog masterpiece and ignited a next generation of progressive rock bands. Its repercussions in rock music are still felt today.

Bonnek | 5/5 |

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