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King Crimson - Starless And Bible Black CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 1640 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Hey all, time for another review of the prog rock variety. What's on tap? Well, the 6th album by King Crimson entitled Starless and Bible Black. Honestly speaking, I have yet to find what is so great about this band. I get the fact that they were one of the first Prog Rock acts from the UK but I feel they are just an average outfit and a tad bit overrated. What is the deal here? Why are they so loved by many here on PA(is it because they supposedly invented Prog Rock??). Well let me tell you this, that's a slap in the face to Pink Floyd and The Nice and a few other bands (The Soft Machine and the Moody Blues) that tried doing different things in rock music. I understand that King Crimson tried to experiment but I feel that they end up wasting precious time and their improvs/experiments just really weren't that interesting (in my opinion of course). Pretty much everyone from the last album returned for this one (with the exception being percussionist Jamie Muir). It was released in early 1974 and I believe it is a mix of both live and studio material (interesting idea actually). For me, Starless and Bible Black is a very odd recording where it too (like Lizard before it) has its moments but it also has just really bad moments. Moments where the music just makes no sense at all (at least to my untrained ears lol) but enough of my babbling. Here is my review of Starless and Bible Black by the Crims.

Here is the tracklisting for this odd recording. Let's get the ball rolling!

1) The Great Deceiver - I believe this is a pretty darn good track. My only complaints are that it is too short and that chorus is repeated a little more than needed. Not a bad track at all though. 8/10

2) Lament - Initially, this one did not get me but it has since become a pretty nice bit. However, this too is also too short. 8/10

3) We'll Let You Know - Experimental piece but it's not that good in my opinion. Even though there is a pretty good bass riff carrying it, it doesn't appeal to me all that much. It also does not seem to have a point to it. Sounds like the band members were playing different tunes (maybe that was the point??). It really does not appeal to me. 4/10

4) The Night Watch - This piece is actually a pretty darn good piece of music. I have appreciated it more as time has passed. My favorite off of the album up to this point. 10/10

5) Trio - This classically inspired piece reminds me a bit of the violin and quiet bits of Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part One (showing a little bit of repetition, it happens). It is a beautiful track but it definitely seems out of place on the album. 8/10

6) The Mincer - This song is yet another song that suffers from repetition and by its length being so short. However, unlike the previous tracks before it this one is really not that good at all. It is just awful fluff to my untrained ears. Not a fan of it at all. 2/10

7) Starless and Bible Black - Yet again another experiment gone wrong. While the bass and drums sound very groovy and great it just doesn't seem to have a purpose or direction. I don't think it is as bad as the Mincer and We'll Let You Know before it but it too lacks any idea or focus (maybe that's the point? I don't know). I am not too big on it. 6/10

8) Fracture - This instrumental is probably the best thing (right up there with the Night Watch) on the album. It is also probably the best Crimson instrumental. I don't have any complaints about it. 10/10

Overall, King Crimson delivers yet another album that has some pretty strong points (most notably the Night Watch and Fracture) and some not so strong points for me (We'll Let You Know, The Mincer and Starless and Bible Black). It's not quite as satisfying for me in comparison to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (the previous release). You would think that the band would get better and better no? Instead, I'm left with a dry feeling listening to this as I find myself saying "this band recorded Larks Tongues??". At times (for me at least) this album sounds uninspired and lackadaisical (like they wanted to deliberately "outprog" their peers). A huge letdown for me as I thought for once King Crimson had a great lineup. It's ruined to a certain degree here. I am not saying that Starless and Bible Black is a bad album because it is not but it is a step down from the outstanding Larks' Tongues in Aspic (for me at least). Yet another 3 star rating for the Crimso. Peace out!!

ProgMetaller2112 | 3/5 |


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