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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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Prog Reviewer
5 stars What if the album an artist was meant to create happened almost 35 years into its existence? I almost feel that way with POWER TO BELIEVE, one of King Crimson's most recent studio outputs. It's astounding to hear a band that had slugged it out for that long and many fans claiming their highlight creative period ceased long ago, yet put out probably their peak album. Even if COURT is more historically important, I feel that POWER TO BELIEVE is the King Crimson apex, which speaks volumes for what that group has contributed to music.

It's as if King Crimson had been listening to the bands that they influenced (Tool, Porcupine Tree, etc.) and used their songwriting approaches to freshen up their own material. A good chunk of the album is metallic and abrasive. We get ''Facts of Life'' (Captain Beefheart vocals over industrial rock), the ''darker-side-of-Porcupine-Tree'' song in ''Eyes Wide Open'' and the thick bottom-heavy ''Happy to Be With What You Have to Be Happy With'' taking the cake on the vocal songs (excluding the title motif), all of superb quality that KC can give its audience. Much of the instrumental work is loud and guitar-centric whether it's more metal (''Level Five''), deals with the spider-web guitars of LARKS TONGUES/DISCIPLINE (''Elektrik'') or involves the classic draw of buildup/suspense (''Dangerous Curves''). If you can deal with the sheer force of the album, POWER TO BELIEVE is a pure joy.

Best yet, the title project feels more of a successor to ''Larks' Tongues in Aspic'' than the actual sequels created over the years; the ''Power to Believe'' parts revive old aspects of KC without sounding tributary. We get the melodic percussion workout in the second part, only extended and far more exciting. And the coda is merely a mellotron wash, but done in such a fantastic way that it avoids being clichéd prog. That's very difficult to pull off when you've heard every prog band and their brother use the thing.

This is the King Crimson album that fully balances their artistic vision and pure enjoyability. I cannot think of another King Crimson album that does this mix and does it well. Maybe KC hasn't hit its peak yet, but I'd imagine POWER TO BELIEVE is insanely close to it.

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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