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King Crimson - The Power To Believe CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 1092 ratings

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4 stars King Crimson - The Power to Believe (2003)

I haven't been to much into the modern versions of Robert Fripp's King Crimson, but once in a while I'm willing to try something new. Thrakk left me a bit shattered, some tracks were pretty good and other tracks seemed to be a bit pointless to me. The 2003 effort 'The Power to Believe' shows a more consistand, yet equally challanging King Crimson.

The sound of the band in this stage is pretty spectacular. The drums of Pat Mastelotto are very modern to say the least. With his many electronic drums effects he sometimes sounds like a very harsh & daring programmed drumcomputer. This isn't my kind of style at all, but somehow the Crimsons make it work very well with their abstract compositions. The bass and warr guitar by Trey Gunn also sound very modern and appropriate for this kind of style. The warr guitar gives the music an aggresive touch, whilst the rubber bass sound helps to evoke the electronic sound the band has acquired itself. Adrian Belew his voice seems to have grown a bit and he even sounds agressive on 'Happy With..'. His electronic voice effects are important for the atmospheres and science-fiction sound of the album. Robert Fripp's guitars sound thick and distorted most of the time, whilst having subtle spacey solo's for the easy-listening moments (like the accesible wave-song Eyes Wide Open). I take for granted that the symphonic/spacey synths are also played on the guitar-synth by Fripp. His symphonic land-scapes are daring and never too resembling to other synth- moments of other bands.

So, to sum it up. This album shows King Crimson playing a bland of styles. Some moments have a lot in common with Red-era Crimson, like the industrial/disharmonic metal track 'Level Five'. Other tracks are a bit spacey/symphonic like the title-track parts. The band also tries to implement modern styles. 'Happy With..' sounds like a Crimson version of the style of (don't panic!) hiphop-metal act Limp Bizkit. 'Dangerous Curves' has a modern electronic dance rhythm, albeit very progressive and harmonically challanging. I actually love this instrumental, mainly the long guitar-synth chord progressions with the excited rhythms on bass an guitar beneath it. Other compositions have that sophisticated King Crimson sound in which the strange percussive sounds are quite important. 'Elektrik' is a good example of this with original compositions with twin-guitar disharmonic guitar solo's.

Conclusion. This is not the kind of album that will make King Crimson be the commonly accepted leader of the progressive genre again, but from an artistic point of view it actually does it quite a bit. Such an modern view on progressive rock in which the band embraces te coming of modern electronic music and it's abstract drum'nbass sound. Though influenced by modern music with it's possiblities, the band doesn't give up the slightest bit of masterfull musicianship. A big four stars for this one. Recommended to fans of the harder forms of progressive rock.

friso | 4/5 |


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