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David Cross - Exiles CD (album) cover

EXILES

David Cross

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.70 | 27 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars David Cross was of course the violinist for KING CRIMSON on the "Larks Tongues In Aspic", "Starless And Bible Black" and "Red" albums. A couple of things surprised me about this album, first of all how heavy it is at times recalling those three KING CRIMSON albums I already mentioned. Second is that David Cross doesn't dominate the sound here, in fact I know people who have complained at how little violin there is on here. Guests include Robert Fripp, Peter Hammill, John Wetton among others.

"Exiles" is of course that classic KING CRIMSON track we all love. A spacey, electronic intro gives way to the music after 1 1/2 minutes. It still doesn't sound like "Exiles" until before 2 1/2 minutes. John Wetton then comes in vocally and I like the guitar that follows after 3 minutes and later after 6 minutes where it sounds even better. So uplifting. Violin follows. It ends as it began. "Tonk" opens with a nice heavy KING CRIMSON-like soundscape. Peter Hammill comes in vocally not really sounding like himself at all. More high pitched. Fripp is offering up some angular solos. Cross is content here to let Fripp and Hammill take the spotlight. "Slippy Slide" opens with tribal-like drumming as the violin lights it up. Sax follows. This is heavy stuff. "Duo" is the Cross and Frpp show as we get smothered in atmosphere from those Frippertroncs as violin comes in slowly. It all turns more powerful as contrasts continue. The atmosphere is so strong it's hard to breathe. Incredible track. "This Is Your Life" puts the focus on the lyrics that Peter Sinfield wrote, while John Wetton sings them. A laid back tune.

"Fast" is just that,a fast instrumental with in your face guitar, chunky bass and scorching violin. An excellent rhythm section on this one. Ripping guitar too. An outstanding instrumental. "Troppo" features Fripp and Hammill once again. It's experimental to start then the vocal melodies come in followed by vocals. This pattern continues. Heaviness comes and goes as well. The guitar during the prolonged instrumental section is outstanding. "Here" opens with piano, sax and drums. Flute too on this one. I like how mellow it is then it kicks in before 4 minutes. The guitar is on fire 5 1/2 minutes in as they hit us with all they got. A killer instrumental. It settles back after 7 1/2 minutes but the heavness isn't finished just yet.

A must for KING CRIMSON fans in my opinion.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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