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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover

LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.41 | 2952 ratings

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Uruk_hai
5 stars Review #28

Absolutely amazing!

KING CRIMSON was totally reformed in 1973. Peter SINFIELD left the band to join PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, Boz BURRELL did the same to join BAD COMPANY and Mel COLLINS and Ian WALLACE started to play as recording musicians with several artists; FRIPP found himself alone so he started to form a new line-up, and what a line-up! He got Bill BRUFORD from YES on drums, John WETTON from FAMILY on bass and vocals, Richard PALMER-JAMES from SUPERTRAMP writing the lyrics, David CROSS on violin and flute, and Jamie MUIR on additional percussions so he cooked a whole new band with a brand new sound.

The musical style that KING CRIMSON played on this record was totally different from their first four albums since it has almost no jazzy parts neither soft ballads, this is a pure early Heavy Metal and hard Progressive Rock album.

1.- Larks' tongues in aspic, part one (13:36): The first song is a 13 minutes instrumental piece filled with amazing drumming and percussions along with violin arrangements. It starts with a nice percussion arrangement that lasts until almost the 3rd minute when the violin gives an opening and then FRIPP's guitar starts to sound, this lasts less than a minute and then the riff starts violently along with the drums, this structure repeats itself a couple of times until the song changes its rhythm into a more improvised section, then the music calms and the violin starts with another arrangement near the 9th minute that switches the song into a softer piece until the guitar starts to riff again and changes the song into a more obscure sound with sampled human voices echoing in the background. The song finishes with really light cymbals quite nicely.

2.- Book of Saturday (02:55): This short ballad introduces John WETTON as the new singer of King CRIMSON, notably different to LAKE's, HASKELL's, and BURRELL's voices. The song is a short soft ballad with nice violin arrangements and a very soft guitar riff.

3.- Exiles (07:40): Beautiful! The song starts with some bubbly sounds that sound like what modern Progressive Rock bands like THE MARS VOLTA or PORCUPINE TREE would do a lot on their albums; then the violin, the percussions, and the acoustic guitar appear creating a very catching melody accompanying WETTON's lovely singing; a short instrumental middle part precedes the second strophe of the song in which we now can hear a flute playing softly, later we got piano, then another instrumental section that receives the electric guitar. The song closes the first side of the record.

4.- Easy money (07:53): The opening song of the B-side of the album starts with a heavy riff and distorted drums. This song is probably the nearest they got on the album to the jazzy influences KING CRIMSON had on its previous albums. The drums have very complex and interesting time signatures along with cool guitar riffs and solos; the middle part is a very nice jam before the next strophe of the song. This is the last sung piece since the last two are instrumental.

5.- The talking drum (07:25): An instrumental piece that starts softly with trumpet sound on the background followed by interesting percussions by Jamie MUIR; the bass, drums, and guitar start really low but yet very precise into a hypnotic rhythm that starts to grow while the violin enters with long notes, the percussions stop and then the song gets its high volume and everything is going perfectly structured.

6.- Larks' tongues in aspic, part two (07:07): The last song is one of the most popular songs of the album; the song starts with a strong riff and then a more relaxed middle part that keeps coming and going from hard rock structures to soft sections; it is just an exquisite closure to the album. Even when the sound of this song is maybe not too much similar to the first part, the half-rehearsed/half-improvised style keeps going and flowing naturally and it's easy to recognize that both songs are intimately related to each other.

Absolutely essential, this album couldn't get a lower rate than the solid five fat shiny stars.

Uruk_hai | 5/5 |

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