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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover

DISCIPLINE

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 1295 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Discipline. That is all.

After 7 years, Fripp and the boys were back making music. Or maybe just Fripp, because there was an almost entirely new lineup for the band's eight studio output Discipline. Fripp found technical bass master Tony Levin and experimental avant virtuoso Adrian Belew to play in his all-star band. And did they certainly create some experimental stuff! King Crimson's symphonic days were long gone, and on Discipline the newly emerging 'eclectic' style of King Crimson began to blossom into a flower not so traditional in beauty; the album encompassed a new form of music for many, with pulsing drum lines, near random guitar solos, and the insinuation of Fripp's ambient foray into music as well. With classics such as Elephant Talk and Frame by Frame gracing the tracklist, this album certainly goes down as a classic King Crimson album.

It's quite incredible to see the evolution of King Crimson from an experimental but still heavily symphonic band on In the Court of the Crimson King to this highly mechanical, disciplined, and experimental album. The guys certainly had no fear when they exploded forth into the dying prog base in the early 80s, and they certainly had a major success, at least with fans. Blasting forth with the incredible Elephant Talk, which almost perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Levin's time with King Crimson in the classic bass line as well as Belew's highly experimental highly avant-garde and highly amazing musical style that he brings to the table for King Crimson. On this album we can really see the eclectic put into King Crimson's music, with many more styles, from jazz to a proto-metal like feel to ambient to so many other experimental feels that contribute to the overall extreme eclecticism of the album, which of course is good not bad. Even in the less mechanical and intense sections of music, the band manages to tie together a really fantastic album overall.

One of the major pros and one of the cons as well of the album are the extreme dynamics. Between side 1 and side 2, there are two extreme themes running throughout (with the continuity tied together with Matte Kudasai and Thela Hun Ginjeet (which is an acronym for The Heat of the Jungle). One side 1 we see the new mechanical intensity of the band, with precision riffs, quick, accurate rhythms, and an overall rocking and rolling beat to the song, a la Bill Bruford. On side 2, we see Fripp exerting his creative control with a much more ambient (of course without Thela Hun Ginjeet being considered), with the longest track The Sheltering Sky comprised of mellow atmospheres and quiet guitar soloing and percussion, and the title track comprised of highly Disciplined (ha) musicianship quietly rotating around a central theme and making a rather tasty jam session. In the end, the dynamics of the album certainly add a spicy flavour to the album, but at the same times, some of the more extended ambient sections and hectic mechanical sections slightly deteriorate the quality of the music.

In the end, Discipline is, with no pun intended, certainly King Crimson's most disciplined and precise album yet. Comprised of multiple intense mechanical masterpieces as well as a number of memorable ambient pieces, the eclectic and dynamic style of the music certainly sets this album apart from most of the band's older work. Overall, the album is certainly a fantastic album and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an album with a highly eclectic and dynamic output; the mechanical and experimental features may deter some, but overall this album is fantastic. 4 stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |

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