Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
King Crimson - Starless And Bible Black CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 1728 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars Soon after the release of Larks' Tongues in Aspic percussionist Jamie Muir departed from King Crimson to pursue a different, non-musical career. This, in turn reduced the band to four members, Robert Fripp, David Cross, John Wetton and Bill Bruford. Jamie Muir defiantly left an impression on the band as Bill Bruford adopted his style of using strange, assorted percussive objects which range from a bow-saw to pistachio nut shells. For some reason I don't find Starless and Bible Black as interesting as a majority of King Crimson's classic albums. I guess its because a lot of this album is inconsequential and almost inaudible instrumental songs in which nothing really happens. Many people will disagree with me on that.

There are one or two very good songs here, and The Night watch is the first to come to mind. It begins with a quiet violin theme which erupts into a big crescendo. Some of the lyrics are spoken which effectively makes it a rap. The Night watch is easily the best song on Starless and Bible Black, just take on listen and compare it to the rest of the album. Lament is another highlight and the song is basically a crescendo, as the opening starts of quiet but with intensity and then erupts and gets louder and louder. The Great Deceiver goes down with me as one of the strangest King Crimson songs; it's so different to the rest of Starless and Bible Black. The rest of the album is essentially instrumental and the second half of the album features nothing which particularly stands out.

David Cross's violin plays a major part in Starless and Bible Black and he seems to almost overshadow Robert Fripp. In some of the instrumentals the interplay between the band is incredible, even if a bit boring. Bill Bruford is at his peak here and some of the percussion rhythm is amazing, it makes me wonder how he is capable of being fast enough to keep up, the whole band is amazingly talented.

1. The great deceiver (3/5) 2. Lament (4/5) 3. We'll let you know (3/5) 4. The night watch (5/5) 5. Trio (3/5) 6. The mincer (3/5) 7. Starless and bible black (3/5) 8. Fracture (3/5)

Total = 27 divided by 8 = 3.375 = 3 stars Good, but non-essential

Starless and Bible Black is an essential album for any self-respecting King Crimson fan and if you enjoy instrumental music then this stuff is for you. Also, Starless and Bible Black is one of the few progressive albums where the violin is used constantly, and as lead instrument tied together with the guitar. I'd recommend Larks' Tongues in Aspic over Starless and Bible Black as it is, in my opinion a more advanced version of Starless and Bible Black.

Australian | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this KING CRIMSON review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives