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David Cross - Exiles CD (album) cover


David Cross


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.65 | 50 ratings

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4 stars Having been terrified with "Testing to Destruction" album, I continued my venture with David Cross and purchased this album. I did not really expect much actually as the album name borrowed from King Crimson's repertoire. That meant I should not expect something unique like previous album. I was right in terms of the music in which this one is more Crimsonisque than "Testing To Destruction" but I was wrong having perceived that this album is less superior than previous. It's another excellent album by David Cross who has been best known as the violinist for the 1972-1974 incarnation of KING CRIMSON which produced such classics as "Larks' Tongues In Apsic" and "Red".

Only two musicians from previous album that he still kept with this album: Paul Clark (guitar) and Dan Maurer (drums) and he put other well-known musicians from King Crimson: Robert Fripp, John Wetton and also Van der Graff Generator's vocalist / songwriter: Peter Hammill.

The album starts with an ambient and spacey opening in which by itself does not seem to be an improvised introduction to King Crimson's legendary track "Exiles" (8:57) - newly arranged by David Cross. The rhythm section has been rearranged with an orchestration and the tempo is much upbeat than the original version. Violin solo is really stunning. With Wetton on vocal it rekindles our memories back to the early days of King Crimson. Acoustic guitar work during quieter passage is really good. Paul Clark gives his excellent guitar solo at the ending part continued with electric violin work. It's an excellent composition.

Second track "Tonk" (3:44) is faster in tempo compared to previous one with heavy metal riffs. Peter Hammill voice is almost unrecognized as he sings with high register notes. Fripp work is very obvious and this track is very close with Crimson music with hard driving rhythm. "Slippy Slide" (4:02) continues the music with a hard driving rhythm combining great violin solo, guitar riffs and soprano sax. "Duo" (6:51) is a relatively long track that explores violin solo augmented with keyboard and Fripp's guitar. At first listen, it did not impress me but it grew slightly especially as a break after three upbeat tracks. "This is Your Life" (4:40) is a unique track that features Wetton on vocals augmented with acoustic guitar and violin. The music seems like using a drum loop / programming.

"Fast" (5:38) is an excellent track that features rough-edge guitar work, inventive bass lines, violin and excellent drumming. The music flows brilliantly with an energetic tempo combining symphonic sound through programming and added with Paul Clark's stunning guitar work. It rocks man! It's one of my favorite track - I really like it, especially the combination of bass solo and violin work. "Troppo" (8:44) is another interesting track that features high register notes voice by Peter Hammill. There is a bit of avant-garde music touch with this track. Musically this track is different than any King Crimson's song. The bass guitar work is excellent. Robert Fripp and Paul Clark give their guitar works here - and the guitar sounds are rough here - but it's really good. The drumming is like Brufford's style. Overall it's a great track.

"Here" (10:51) concludes the album with an excellent combination of guitar riffs, violin solo, guitar solo augmented with inventive bass lines and powerful drumming. With this duration, you can enjoy the full stream of stunning guitar and violin solos. Orchestration is also added here. Some transition pieces with soprano sax, violin and flute works give the jazzy nuance of this track. At the end of the track Cross adds good choirs to end up the song.

Overall, it's an excellent album that any prog lover should own the CD. The virtuosities of the contributing musicians combined with beautifully crafted composition has resulted an excellent album. Unfortunately the production quality is not as good as "Testing To Destruction", but it's still okay to many ears, I think. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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