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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.53 | 2544 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neurotarkus
4 stars Red is the third album by King Crimson during their 73-74 "resurrected" period. Red is the least experimental of that 73-73 period, showing elements of their previous work, along with metal and rock. By now, the band has only 3 official members- Robert Fripp, John Wetton, and Bill Bruford. To understand the music on this album, simply look at the cover art- dark and mysterious, almost otherworldly.

Red begins with the title track, a six-minute, not-very-strange guitar jam- no synths, no effects, just drums, guitar, and bass here, resulting a heavy, out-of-control instrumental. Then is Fallen Angel, a lamenting song that seems to be about a person whose brother is killed in a gang battle. It's a beautiful, moving song, and the lyrics are very good, the meaning not cloaked in metaphor or buried under lines and lines of nonsense. Third is One More Red Nightmare, the second-best song from the album, a bruising, intense song that is exactly as the title says- a big red nightmare of a song. The instrumental parts are very complex, being in 15/8, 12/8. and 7/4, while the vocal parts are in 4/4. There's lots of pure, meaty instrumentation here to enjoy, for fans of such things. After that is Providence, which becomes pretty cool after a bit, but for the most part, it takes anything to really become that- most of the song is aimless experimentation, akin to the last 3/4 of Moonchild- however, this is a live improv, so at least they have a reason. And finally, to finish the album, is Starless- one of the best songs I've ever heard. Everything combines perfectly to create an atmosphere of crushing loneliness and depression- only made better by the lyrics, which remind me of debilitating sadness that seems to twist an otherwise normal day into a pointless exercise in misery and futility. It eventually morphs into a somewhat jazzy yet experimental instrumental festival, and the sadness of the first 1/3 of the song seems to become more like seething anger here. A great big slab of negative emotion Starless is, truly a great accomplishment. This album is great, but I wouldn't say it's essential; even without Providence, Red would probably not make 5 stars. However, a 4 star rating is still an honor, and I can honestly say that I consider Red to be an excellent addition to any music collection. Thus, four stars it is. Recommended to fans of heavy music, experimental prog, and dark music.

Neurotarkus | 4/5 |

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