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THRAK

King Crimson

Eclectic Prog


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King Crimson THRAK album cover
3.62 | 731 ratings | 58 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. VROOOM (4:37)
2. Coda: Marine 475 (2:41)
3. Dinosaur (6:35)
4. Walking On Air (4:34)
5. B'Boom (4:11)
6. THRAK (3:58)
7. Inner Garden 1 (1:47)
8. People (5:53)
9. Radio 1 (0:43)
10. One Time (5:21)
11. Radio 2 (1:02)
12. Inner Garden 2 (1:15)
13. Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream (4:48)
14. VROOOM VROOOM (5:37)
15. VROOOM VROOOM: Coda (3:00)

Total Time: 56:02

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Adrian Belew / guitar, voice, vocal
- Bill Bruford / acoustic & electronic percussion
- Robert Fripp / guitar, Mellotron, soundscapes
- Trey Gunn / Stick, backing vocals
- Tony Levin / basses, backing vocals
- Pat Mastelotto / acoustic & electronic percussion

Releases information

Virgin Records America 8-40313-2

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to LiquidEternity and Snow Dog (Data Standards) for the last updates
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KING CRIMSON THRAK ratings distribution


3.62
(731 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

KING CRIMSON THRAK reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars OK, I must admit that I always overlooked a bit the official Mk4 line-up debut album, because I had the Vrooom preview and thought it was enough, until I recently chanced on this album and scored it very cheaply. Ok, the main frame of Thrak is included in Vrooom, albeit in different versions, and a lot of the 9 tracks not included in the "EP" are mostly eery instrumental interludes like the Inner Garden and Radio pieces, but there is indeed more to it than that. With such an abstract artwork as these, there isn't much that can be said about the album peripheral informations since the line-up is exactly the same

Opening on the Vrooom track (almost half as long as in the EP) and continuing on the Coda Marine with some whispering vocals, we're definitely more in the LTIA (the track) soundscape than in the 80's Discipline sonics, but with the 90's line-up including the typical Levin bass and the percussion/drum duo. The always apt Dinosaur track is the first sung track, and again is more in the 70's than 80's mould, despite Belew's unmistakably recognizeable voice. Of course there are many 90's moments as well, and the mid-tempo title-Thrak (also almost half as log as ts EP counterpart) is the living monster proof with some screechy guitars and occasional huge bass surge. A bit surprisingly (or not, depending), the soft ballad Walking On Air doesn't sound very Crimsonesque except for the typical Frippian guitars. The drum-dominated B Boom is a lengthy interlude where eerie screechy string-scratching emerge once in a while the Inner Garden vocal interlude is an intro the rapid People, which is one of the more recognizable track of the band's 90's repertoire. The two short Radio electronic interludes sandwiches the One Time tune (this time longer than its EP counterpart), which is a rather delicate ballad, but not quite as soppy as Walking On Air. The Drink Dream piece is more of a mix of the 90's heavy soundscape with their 80's nonsensical pop-rock, but is also one of their harder-sounding track of the present album. Of course, you'll have guessed that the two closing Vrooom tracks are reprises of the opening theme, the latter coupled with Coda.

Sooo, now having had time to analyse both versions, it's quite obvious that the official album is more complete, but the EP version has its undeniable arguments, so if you're a Crimsonoid creature, you'll have to jump on both versions. Personally, while the Mk4 line-up is in great part an augmented version of the Mk3 of the 80's, I much prefer the present version, with an greater amount of sonic possibilities, especially with (and despite) the double-trio format, which I think wasn't fully exploited. (See what Ornette Coleman did with his double rhythm section, for ex). Anyway a very solid album, especially if you liked LTIA. .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#15457) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An excellent comeback to their roots (period regarding the issue of "Red") and - above all - the demonstration of such an important presence concerning the father of the "intelligent drummers", Bill BRUFORD, within the so called "Progressive scene" and the incomparable powerful guitar riffs by the immortal FRIPP! Sometimes there's a certain discontinuity, but the title track alone is worth checking out.

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#15459) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 03, 2004

Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This version of the KING CRIMSON lineup is my favorite, with the core players Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Adrian Belew and Bill Bruford (additional musicians were drummer/percussionist Pat Mastelotto and bassist/guitarist/Chapman Stick player Trey Gunn).

''THRAK: 30th Anniversary Edition'' is a much more than just a reminder of this 1995 release that characterized the band's sound in the '90s; it is a demonstration of what truly defines progressive rock. After 10 years away from the studio, they returned with a roar with this splendid album. For the best possible sound, all of the tracks are digitally remastered. The CD comes packaged with LP gatefold style sleeves on quality cardboard with lyrics to each song.

Although they are a progressive rock band by designation, their music has always been dissimilar enough to cross over into other styles to make it more appetizing for those listeners that cannot handle the constant intensity that prog-rock has built its reputation on. Bear in mind this is not a pop fest by any means, it rocks hard with the intent of blowing your mind with multiple and odd time signatures that have quick changes. I am merely stating that elements of other styles can soften the blow a bit to ears not accustomed to this kind of music. I think most people would like the way Belew sings a song; the singers that have influenced him come through often enough so you make some kind of correlation with what you have heard in the past. He was also the main songwriter for the band. If you have not heard the ultimate bass player, the unparalleled Tony Levin, you will on this album, though I imagine you have at some point because he has played on so many albums over the years. He is a standout on bass as usual and I would not expect any less from the man, he fits the mold of the musicians musician whenever and with whomever he records with. It goes without saying how masterful Fripp and Bruford are with their instruments.

Even though they have always been a progressive band they still manage to fall somewhere in the middle of rock-pop and progressive during phases of certain songs. "Dinosaur," which is the best track on the entire CD, is a real rocker with just a smattering of their stronger progressive side, conversely when you listen to classics like "Vroom Vroom," their personalities prevail and as a result blossom through their instruments. They were, and remain, a very intricate and inventive musical machine capable of just about anything, with or without vocals in a song. Always a groundbreaking band, it did not matter what decade they were recording music as long as the genius of Fripp was present to lead them down the path of musical excellence.

This is the latter day KING CRIMSON enjoying one of their finest hours. I highly recommend this reissue.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#15469) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first track intro sounds like the intro of Judas Priest's "On the run"! So, a killer guitar announces an aggressive & structured razor album! Well, things don't exactly happen that way: actually, I must admit here that Fripp's guitar sound is better than ever, being very loud and NOT extremely grunge like on the Red album. Unfortunately, he destroys the overall ensemble by often presenting unstructured, dissonant, improvised-like and experimental compositions. As only keyboards notes, a rare floating vintage TV mellotron rides in the background to satisfy the nostalgic listeners.

I like the guitar free progressive part after the third minute of Dinosaur, reminding me Univers Zero and Larry Fast's Synergy. "B'Boom" has a very good demonstration of Bruford's skills, but it starts too slowly with some bizarre sickening psychotic sounds. The guitars and effects on "Thrak" are just simply too aggressive and crazy for nothing: this track approaches the nullity of bands like Alice in chains! There are a few variations on the same theme. The guitar solo on the more rhythmic "People" has a serious lack of melody! "Radio 1" is ridiculously awful and dissonant, while the very better "Radio 2" has a pleasant ethereal ambience, a bit like on Mark Isham's Beast soundtrack. "Sex, sleep, eat, drink, dream" is EXACTLY the kind of music I HATE at its highest level: this track is COMPLETELY incoherent, dissonant and crazy, with TONS of twisted electric guitar sounds: as if all this was not enough, there is a reuse of the modified lead vocals in "21st Century Schizoid Man"!! The last track, "Vroom vroom: coda" is an epitome of dissonance and craziness! That's laughable! I hope the guys do not take themselves too seriously!

Only a few tracks are really worth the WHOLE listen: the very atmospheric bluesy "Walking on air" has an incredible combination of EXTREMELY BOTTOM bass, ethereal floating keyboards, gentle guitars and drums: the lead vocals are impressive too; this track is like a flower that blooms on a concrete surface. There is another very good track in the same genre: "One time", although less catchy and refined than "Walking on the moon", still has this very pleasant bottom bass, a rhythmic guitar a la Chris Isaak and some ethereal mysterious notes in the background. This record is mostly emotionless, unmelodious, and the possibly present harmony is very arguable. The album is very cold. Among the worst Crimson's albums.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#15473) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This record holds some good art rock music from the mid 1990's. The "Vrooomies" in the beginning and the end are some sort of new "Larks' Tongues'" tracks, instrumental and symmetrical rockers with good rhythmic ideas. The album has six players, two for drums, basses and guitars (double trio), so there's lots of space for making textures. There are few good Belew driven songs like "Dinosaur", "People" and ballads "Walking on Air" and "One Time". Along these are also some quick Fripp soundscapes "Radio"'s, and Belew's "Inner Garden", which are not the most essential part of this album. "B'Boom" and the title song "THRAK" (?) show us the abstract and improvisational side of the band. There are some good moments in them, but the jamming isn't as good as it was during the 70's. "Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream" is then almost irritating to my ears. A decent album still, but not pleasing my own personal taste in a way their earlier albums did.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#15475) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 01, 2005

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Erratic, off the wall, bizarre, incredibly complicated, these are words that describe Thrak, an underrated King Crimson album in my opinion. It begins heavy, much like the Larks' Tongue/Red era of KC. Robert Fripp, the mathmatician of guitarists, plays with hisn usual precision, but there is so much going on in his playing it gives a great overall sound to the group. Fripp's playing get's better and better with each passing release, and this is an example of that. Adrian Belew offers incredible vocal stylings and creates incredible tones with his guitars, adding even more texture to the group. Tony Levin is at the top of his game, playing the bass with relative ease and dead on precision. What surprised me about this album was the incredible playing from Trey Gunn. I never thought highly of him until now, his work with the Stick is so good I thought it was Levin at first. Of the two drummers, it's no doubt in my mind that Bill Bruford is the better one. Pat Mastelotto, however, is a great drummer in his own right, playing great throughout the entire album.

The songs worth mentioning on this album are Dinosaur, which features great vocals from Belew, incredible guitar work from Fripp, and superb bass and drum work. The song really feels like it an 72-73 era KC song, which in my opinion is the best era of the group. The other song worth mentioning is Sex, sleep, eat, drink, dream; which features great vocals, great guitar, great bass, and great drumming.

A great effort from Krimson. Overall, there is nothing a fan of the modern group could ask more of. For me, I give it a 4/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#15477) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Mechanical, almost industrial music.

In 1995 Smashing Pumpkins hit with their double, forgettable album. Oasis strikes with the 'best first album of all-time'. Live made a bundle with throwing Copper, Metallica is bringing a new recipe with Load and the brit-pop is THE flavor of the month in every college radios.With lots of stuff in the vein of Songs from the Lions Cage by Arena, there was quite little space for the return of the Crimson King.

But this album aged incredibely well. The sound is still very up to date, the structure is unreachable for most of today's band and the material is so heavy and tortured, this is like a resurrection of Nine Inch Nails/ The Cure. The industrial textures are giving this record a quite powerful potential that could discourage people looking for a quiet evening by the fire. This is cold, icy, hard as steel music. The beats are sometimes deafening, giving your speakers a hard time. Belew's voices are distorded, rejoining a lot the tone of Steve Hogarth as example on the song Dinosaur.

This is primo heavy, distorded, close to experimental material a la Red. Don't expect Islands approach, more like Red or 21st Century Schizoid Man. Fragile ears keep away!!

With a line-up like that, Thrak was in 1995, a product in advance of it's time...that's the King Crimson seal of quality, look for it.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#15478) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2005

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "20th Century Schizoid Man" was the opening volley that began the long run of King Crimson. Heavy and smart, accessible and experimental by turns, the song was a blueprint for the sound of the band. Through many deviations and diversions, one could say that this single song has been developed and refined as the core of what "King Crimson" means. Having consistently (and only occasionally with tongue in cheek) referred to King Crimson as a personified force or ethic apart from himself, Fripp would undoubtedly admit that there is something specific and consistent about the work of the band, regardless of any given set of band members or varying instrumental and production approaches.

What is new about "Vroom"? Well, the players, of course; the six-piece ("double trio") consists of some of the finest improvisational instrumentalists in experimental rock. The "Discipline" lineup remains nominally intact, with the additions of Crafty Guitarist Trey Gunn and percussionist Pat Mastoletto (XTC, Mr. Mister, etc.), but the way the musicians work together has apparently changed. "It may well be the craziest Crimson yet," declared Fripp. It's definitely heavier and grittier than the Discipline-era trio of albums, which tended to filter even the noisier inclinations of Crimson through the pervasive sheen and clarity of the digital 80s. One might allege that KC had 'gone grunge'...but with the obvious retort that "Red" was even grungier, back in 1974. And "Vroom" frequently brings to mind that stripped-down and ragged passionate final expression of the 70s Crimson- updated and smoothed out a little, as if refracted via the shimmering minimalist pop lens of "Three of a Perfect Pair" and "Beat".

From the first, a contemporary metal guitar tone creeps into the palette- instantly apparent after the sampled strings of the first seconds of the album. When "Vroom" backs off, the glistening clean arpeggios reflect the classic Frippertronic patterns, but with a lonely rarefied quality; more immediate, more traditional in a way, with the fretless curling around them in a sentimental, sensual progression. Progression being another motif of the album- each song seeming to descend and expand in itself and simultaneously into the next. If you need proof, there's even a vocal sample to accompany the instrumental countdown of the second track.

"Dinosaur" is many things; recognition of age, fear of obsolescence, and commentary; Fripp often referred to the lumbering beasts of the rock industry during his "small intelligent mobile unit" discussions. Certainly he wouldn't deny feeling a bit like a dinosaur himself these days, but perhaps the song is a protest as well. Belew has embraced the shade of Lennon, and McCartney too (for rock is pop and vice versa, for now). If you stretch back only as far as "Dig Me" and "Industry", this is not a new song either- but it's a damn good one. It tries to fall apart, and the musicians keep bringing it back...just like the Crimson King himself.

And "Walking on Air" is just beautiful...the summoned Fab Two doing "Matte Kudasai", bringing the transcendent back down to earth, or maybe the other way around. Belew's backwards lead guitar and yearning vocal surges bubble within this whisper and everyone else softly and perfectly hold back...everyone gets their space, and the percussion is up next, rolling you into "Thrak". This one may resist simply letting you sink your teeth into it, the Crimson contrast playing out over a few songs rather than self-contained. Every step of the way, the attention span is expanded; the next cycle takes even a few more songs to play out.

As it begins, we come to understand that the mournful strain will not be neglected; "Inner Garden" may be this decade's "Epitaph", or it may not...but it passes briefly as to lessen the plod and portent. Requiem gives way to funky observations of "People", and about this time my interest sometimes gives way to distraction...it's just a little too reminiscent of passages on "Beat" during which I often find myself daydreaming. There's some lovely snaky soloing if you stay with it, though, and whoever is responsible for the percussion on this piece even conjures up the ghost of Brother Muir (he really is a monk now, you know!). We are sampled into "One Time", which lurks on tiptoe at the shadowy doorways between rooms of convention and rooms of mystery. We are sampled back out again, with shifting radio reception from distant transmitters, and find ourselves once more in the Garden of melancholy reflection. "Sweet is the voice from far away..."

After a self-induced exile and hermitage after "Red", Robert Fripp gradually returned to music with a new philosophical and spiritual framework. His first forays involved collaborating with such people as Bowie, Gabriel, and Eno, all of whom were similarly exploring new technology and 'post-progressive' genres like world music, punk, and minimalism. The dichotomy between musical excellence and performance in the popular music realm led Fripp to create various musical ventures, from the artistically uncompromising Frippertronics to the intentionally accessible League of Gentlemen.

"Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" is this same dichotomy, decades later. On one hand, we have a funky, instantly-engaging blues-rock riff and a chorus that hits hard, with a Helter Skelter vocal and train-of-thought imagery. Just when you think the song has established itself, it explodes into extreme rhythmic and melodic complexity; a newcomer to the Crimson sound may be forgiven for hearing chaos and cacophony, and even diehards may find themselves wishing the band would develop the ideas behind the initial, more coherent sections. Did we do the same upon first hearing "20th Century Schizoid Man"? Both songs are the clear embodiment of "King Crimson", undoubtedly...but is there nothing more to all this than the typical rock artiste conceit (i.e., give the public an 'easy' song in order to justify or support the more abstract experimentations...a contrast that ELP fans, for instance, have embraced since "Lucky Man")?. "Vroom" and "Vroom Vroom" are exactly what they need to be: not a bookend like "Peace" was on an Island a long time ago, but a declaration and final summation like the ones that roared around "Lark's Tongues" a few years later. Descend and expand.

Perhaps the question to Mr. Fripp should be: with all of the philosophical and artistic development from "20th Century Schizoid Man" to "Vroom", has anything substantial about King Crimson changed? One could conclude that Fripp is simply milking the approach time and again, and there is in fact no real difference except for recording techniques and band members. One could say that every incarnation has drawn "King Crimson" with more clarity and detail, bringing the perfect representation of the concept closer to the listeners. One might even say that listening to the King Crimson discography as a whole reveals an unbroken chain of sound, in scope and complexity, as well as similarity, resembling the beauty of a fractal animation. Perhaps there is no single truth to be learned, and all responses are equally valid. In "Thrak", one can look backwards and forwards. Three stars in either direction!

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Send comments to James Lee (BETA) | Report this review (#37033) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 20, 2005

Review by Philo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars King Crimson return with another evolution in the line up, this time the formulation of six members which breaks down rhythmically as two trios to blend a very interesting construction of soundscapes. Trey Gunn (stick bass thingy) and Pat Mastelotto (drums) join the quartet who grouped in the early eighties, namely Fripp/Belew/Levin/Bruford who recorded the Discipline, Beat, and Three Of A Perfect Pair set of albums. Thrak is an album with a good selection of songs and some noises and typical powerful execution of the music. There are hints of early day King Crimson, "Walking On Air" comes to mind, juxtaposed with a newer almost industrial type tribal patterns with the thumping percussive "B'Boom" and the dark heavy cutting of "Vroom". And while there may be an eclectic method to Thrak the overall sound quality does sound compressed and given a metal edge which in my opinion loses a sense of emotion and even the flow of talent that the musicians contain. But it is the cold digital age and in another way the music compliments this. Thrak is without a doubt a cold and dark album. And while playing with two sets of three can have an explosive element the units march across safely and largely pedestrian, relentless in the heavier parts. Still tight and concise but there still lacks a killer edge found on an album in the vein of Larks Tongues In Aspic or Red, though it is edgy... I still have to get underneath that one I guess.... "People" is certainly one of my favorite King Crimson songs from any era, "Dinosaur" is another decent song, a stab at the music media who label older acts as dinosaurs, and "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" is definitely worthy of inclusion but "One Time" could be the cream of the more mellow and melodic tracks on Thrak. For a band who have been around for a long time and seen many changes Thrak is still a progression on previous albums yet standing still, experimenting yet never exploring to full extent. Playing with two three piece units simultaneously is a unique idea but for me the music in general has been stagnated to accommodate the musicians, possibly to allow cohesion. But even if it is nowhere near as strong as would have been expected after a break Thrak remains a good album despite my reservations and expectations.

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Send comments to Philo (BETA) | Report this review (#41095) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Listening to this album is rewarding!

This album by King Crimson was the first one that I hade ever heard the band with a double-trio line-up. It's been usual a band having two or more guitar players and also two drummers. But a band with two bass guitar players? I never heard before. So I purchased this album with curiosity how it would sound like. It's quite surprising for me at first spin of the CD which I purchased in 1995. It's a brilliant concept and it produces excellent music packed with sounds coming from different instruments. Even from the opening instrumental track "Vroom" I can sense how heavy the music is. Fripp plays the soft part of the guitar that most of the time sounds like a keyboard / synthesizer while Adrian Belew plays the hard-edge, rough ones. What I could not differentiate at first was how Tony Levin differentiate himself from Trey Gunn with his Warr Guitar. But with repeated spins finally I could get it right - probably. Bill and Pat styles are practically similar so it's no need to differentiate. But, looking at the sleeve actually we could easily separate one trio (Robert, Trey, and Pat) at left channel and another trio (Adrian, Tony and Bill) at the right channel.

By second track "Coda: Marine 475" and "Dinosaur" I can differentiate especially Adrian is now doing his vocal job as well. The music is a bit experimental in nature where there are some breaks with avant-garde style before it continues with another set of melody and rhythm section. I enjoy how guitar sounds play differently but in a good harmony. "Dinosaur" is the band's favorite live track.

"Walking On Air" brings the music to another style with practically no heavy drumming- only solid bass lines, percussions and guitar fills and nice vocal. "B'Boom" is an excellent track with powerful drums by Pat and Bill while other instruments play softly at the background. This reminds me to the band's legendary "The Talking Drum" track. "Thrak" brings the music in heavy mode with heavy guitar riffs and solid bass lines. Robert demonstrates his howling guitar sounds which suddenly turn silent and drums enter the music wonderfully. Distorted guitars between Adrian and Robert produce have made this track interesting. "People" brings the music into a groove and funky style with Adrian's excellent vocal. It's an enjoyable track.

"One Time" is my all-time favorite. The song is simple in structure relying its rhythm section on heavy bass lines and drum beats which accompany melodic and powerful vocal by Adrian. Guitars provide their fills and serve as rhythm section. This track is also the band's favorite live track. "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" is the band humorous performance with varied vocal styles of Adrian, including those with distorted and distant singing style. "Vroom Vroom" is like the ending part that summarizes all music of this album - it's like a reprise. This is finally concluded with "Vroom Vroom: Coda" with almost all instruments are performed in distortion style. It's good to close the album.

Overall it's an excellent (and almost perfect!) album that prog fans must have. If you appreciate the band's "Discipline" album music style, "Thrak" represents further development of the band musical concept. It's recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#79915) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Review by Eclipse
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars KING CRIMSON is back to scene, releasing another album with BELEW on vocals, though much more progressive than the 80's trilogy. Thrak is angrier than any other KC work, mixing noisy experiments with moving ballads, creating a record with fine variety. The problem is that i don't think this new formula works well. I prefer much more the epic and the poppy KC than this noisy new one. Some songs here look like fingers scratching a blackboard ("B'Boom", "Dinosaur"), while others fail to move me, like the ballad "Walking On Air". I don't feel like this album is at a KC level. It looks more like a Tool one for me, though i respect it since many people and confirmed progheads enjoy it a lot.

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Send comments to Eclipse (BETA) | Report this review (#108167) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 20, 2007

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Radiohead? The beginning?

Once again, King Crimson shifts their sound, and this time, I am left wondering if this is the predecessor to Radiohead's sound (that is, once it had evolved to it's intelligent electronic stage). Seriously, if you're an old prog nut who still follows KC and likes this album, you need to check out Radiohead. Some of the similarities are uncanny. Dinosaur particularly stands out, along with the VROOM VROOM sections, among others. But it isn't just the sound, but the style and attitude the band seems to have that makes this connection even more "all too weird."

It's funny, sociologically, how our opinions can be based merely on a reputation and not on the material presented in front of us. This album has all the inklings of a late 90's Radiohead album, and differs really in name only. This shows to me mostly how forward thinking Crimson really was, always one step ahead of everyone else, always the leader of the pack.

Admittedly, there is always a familiar style to KC records, yet I find all of them to be distinctly different. Thrak is no exception. And although not my favorite effort by the band, it remains a unique part of their discography. So next time you come across this album, play it following The Bends and OK Computer and let me know what you find. I think you will be quite surprised.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#109789) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After an extremely long break again (more than ten years), Crimson is back with almost the same line-up than during its previous three studio releases. But here, the masters will also play some mellotron and this will give a different picture to the whole. These three albums were not the best ones of the band. they almost sounded the same all the way through. Repetitive and dull. There is maybe a little hope that this situation will change with some mellotron like in the good old time.

The opening track "Vroom" really sounds as a Crimson song. Hypnotic riff, noisy at times, I must say that I quite like it. Maybe because this sound was almost ignored during such a long time ? "Coda-Marine 475" is almost the continuation of the first song. "Dinosaur" also brings me back to some earlier days. Period during which some of their compositions were half experimental and noisy and half symphonic and beautiful. This is exactly what we'll get here.

"Walking On Air" is a mellow ballad. Very quiet like Crimson could have produced ages ago. Remember the "Islands" mood ? This is another charming piece of music. Tranquil and peaceful all the way through. With "B'boom", we'll get back to some experimentation. Lots of percussions (hence the title maybe) but not as powerful as it could be. After all, Bruford had used us to greater drumming.

The title track is a more traditional KC song. Scary and dark. Complex and difficult to approach. Not my fave I must say. Like in their second album "In The Wake...", we'll get some very short song (four here). The first one is "Inner Garden I", another peaceful song with nice vocals. It seems that Belew has now decided to sound more like Lake or Wetton, which is fine with me. "Inner Garden II" is just the continuation of "I" and I am not sure it was relevant to interrupt these two.

Both "Radio I" and "Radio II" are useless interludes.

We had escaped so far to the funky mood of their last three albums, but we'll get back there with "People". But this one does not sound as dull. The structure is more complex and is more appealing to me.

"One Time" is another peaceful and symphonic tune. Another nice moment, really. We'll explore some of the basic human activities with "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream". One of the poorest track so far. "Vroom Vroom" is the continuation of "Vroom" : almost heavy. A traditional KC song in fact. The "Vroom" suite ends up with "Vrooom Vrooom - Coda" which also closes the album. The tempo is VERY heavy.

All in all, it is a good effort. Here and there some useless numbers ("Radio I & II", "Sex, Sleep etc.") but IMO it is the best Crimson effort since "Red". This album is probably their most symphonic one since "In The Wake Of The Poseidon" back to ... 1970. This is of course far to annoy me since it is the side of King Crimson I prefer. It is just strange that they returned to this style of music with this line-up.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#119008) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
5 stars THE RETURN TO FORM.

KING CRIMSON is back!! I remember when this CD came out, i had the strongest reservations about it as it was the same line-up than in the dancing KC of the 80s.plus 2 additional musicians. Having never been a fan of Belew style 8o's King Crimson, i was very sceptical about this release.

We have here a double trio: 2 guitarists- 2 basissts- 2 drummers. The big difference is we have here a return to the roots; as if Robert Fripp took back control of the band after letting it ''belewised'' too much for my taste.

KING CRIMSON is back with a vengeance: meaner, heavier ,noisier and yet so subtle and refined in some parts. Belew vocals sound now like ''Crimson'' vocals. The first 4 songs which open the album are to my taste one of my favorite experience in the whole prog scene. The first track is in the same style than ''REd'' or ''LTIApart2'', a heavy instrumental that moves me every time i am listening to it; the same goes for the next 3 tracks. ''Dinosaur'' is all what KC is l about: powerful, subtle, unexpected turns: a jewel of prog. The rest of the album alternates between adventurous instrumental tunes to cute lullabies that could have come directly from the first three albums. There is not much left from KC80S, but even the 2 tracks reminiscent from this time are well more elaborated and inspired and mix very well with the flow of the album.

I think Adrian Belew was one of the musician i loved to hate the most for 15 years between 1981 and the release of ''Thrak''as i held him responsible for the destruction of ''my'' beloved King Crimson . I always thought that the Discipline era was more a Belew stuff and Robert Fripp took a back seat and was renting the KC name to Belew. With Thrak , of course my opinion has changed for the better. This is not John Wetton yet,but now he's the got KC spirit. And Robert Fripp is back in charge!!! you can definitely feel it on this album.

5 stars for a grandiose prog album, no less!!

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#119027) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is KING CRIMSON's 11 studio record. And it had been 11 years since their last studio album "Three Of A Perfect Pair". I find this such an interesting and cool record for many reasons. It really does seem to marriage the eighties and seventies KING CRIMSON sounds.The band also consists of a double trio.Two lead guitarists, two bassists, and two drummers. Adrian Belew wrote all the songs on this album.

The rhythm section on "Vrooom" sounds amazing ! Fripp dusted the cobwebs off of the mellotron. Great to hear it on this track. Check out the screaming guitar as well. "Coda : Marine 475" has some incredible drumming, but it's Fripp's guitar solos that leave me stunned. "Dinosaur" is really a song about seventies rock bands, specifically themselves. Check out the witty lyrics that are sung so well by Adrian.This is simply a catchy tune with some mellotron as well. An orchestral break part way through gives way to an even bigger sound with some angular guitar melodies. I tired of this one quickly.

"Walking on Air" is a mellow song with some tasteful guitar. "B'Boom" as the title suggests is a drum and percussion gourmet dinner. Tribal drumming at it's best. "Thrak" is a noisy, metal, dissonant song. "Inner Garden I" is a melancholic song, with gently played guitar and reserved vocals. "People" is an uptempo and catchy tune. "Radio I" features some eerie sounds. "One Time" is a good, laid back and dreamy song. "Radio II" has more eerie sounds. "Inner Garden II" is melancholic like the first part. "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" has a pretty good beat and mellotron too. "Vrooom Vrooom" is an instrumental with mellotron. "Vrooom Vrooom : Coda" is an instrumental with a mechanical feel to it.

Of the previous 11 albums this one in my opinion fits squarely in the middle. Sixth best. And a must have for KING CRIMSON fans. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#121601) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 10, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A good mixture of the heavy, atmospheric, industrial and experimental which will distinguish KC in their newest incarnation. "Thrak" has a dark, bombastic sound which appropriately matches the title of several of the tracks ("Vroom" and "B'Boom"), which come across as big, mechanic sounding nightmare of technical and precise playing. It goes without saying that obstinate fans of the old KC sound will likely hate Fripp's newest direction, but the at the music the band is turning out now is as much, if not more dynamic and powerful than anything they did in the '70's. The songs have a good mix of textures, with fine guitar work all around and nice vocals from Belew. The rhythm section plays with a big shot of adrenaline, Mastelotto bringing much more heavy, thunderous hits to the kit than Bruford's more creative rhythmics. Additionally, "Thrak" has what might just be the most beautiful Crimson song ever recorded hidden amongst the savage guitar effects and bass shredding-- "Walking on Air", which is not to be missed.

To conclude, "Thrak" is very good and a worthy introduction to the band for those coming from the metal sphere, and an excellent start to the new Crimson; however, the style of song writing is much better perfected an performed on later albums.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#139197) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars What a load of thrak this album is...and I don't mean that in the complimentary sense.

I have learned long ago that just because an album has the King Crimson name on it does necessarily make it good. That's why I didn't expect too much from Thrak, and I also didn't get much in return. First of all, I have two major questions. First, did it really take six guys to create this album? It sounds pretty simplistic and not very full (which for me is completely different than being heavy). I know that there is some serious musical talent here, but I really don't hear much virtuosic playing. That leads into my next question: What's so complicated about this music? Most of the songs are in 4/4 time and at relatively slow tempos. Sure, there are some nice guitar fills and heavy basslines, but I really would not use the word "complicated" to describe this music.

Highlights include the opening two tracks (Vroom, Marine 475), the closing two tracks (Vroom Vroom and Coda), and the title track. Here Crimson harness their Larks' Tongue days of raw chaos, and I have to admit that it sounds as bombastic and harsh as they probably intended. Here you can hear (and feel) the power of the double power trio.

Lowlights include the worthless Radio and Inner Garden tracks, as well as some of the vocal numbers. Take Dinosaur for example. I am all for pokes at the recording industry, but you have to write a good song for it to work. The chorus is absolutely dreadful: "I'm a dinosaur...somebody's diggin' my bones", set to a familiar and overused melody.

Overall, their hearts were in the right place: try something different and see what happens. Well, what happened was very uneven and unusual music. I have to give them credit for having the guts to put out this radio-unfriendly music, but I also have to actually like more of the product to give a higher rating. Three stars seems about right. Crimson fans will find enough to enjoy, as will those who are looking for heavy and weird music played by talented musicians. If only they had as much songwriting talent as they have with playing their instruments.

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#155890) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars This is the best release of the latest incarnation of King Crimson! I realize that many may disagree with my point of view; some say that the album is too technical/mechanic and lacks the personal touch of the band's '70s output. Others might remark that only the original '70s incarnation of the band is the real one and everything that has been released since then is merely Robert Fripp's solo work. But being a big King Crimson follower I don't believe in imitators! As long as there is Robert Fripp the Crimso name will live on and prosper!

Thrak must have been a welcoming surprise for most fans that followed the band in the '70s and saw them incorporating new tools and techniques in the early '80s. By 1995, the music industry had already surpassed the level of technological development that the band depicted in the '80s and there was no way for this lineup to do anything else but push forward, creating new exciting music in the process. The first sounds of the opening track VROOOM definitely prove that King Crimson had not lost their touch and the music that follows sounds fresh and very modern for a band that has been around since the late '60s.

What follows is an extravaganza of sighs and sounds that you'll rarely hear anywhere but on a King Crimson album, but don't expect the band to return to their roots. This progressive rock release doesn't rely on any of the band's past merits and instead carves a new path that King Crimson will continue exploring through the next few albums. If that's not exciting enough then I honestly don't know if you're really interested in listening to progressive music!

***** songs: VROOOM (4:38) Walking On Air (4:38) Inner Garden (Part I) (1:47) One Time (5:22) Inner Garden (Part II) (1:16) Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream (4:50)

**** songs: Coda: Marine 475 (2:41) Dinosaur (6:37) B'Boom (4:11) THRAK (3:59) People (5:53) VROOOM VROOOM (5:50) VROOOM VROOOM (Coda) (3:01)

*** songs: Radio (Part I) (0:44) Radio (Part II) (1:03)

Total Rating: 4,37

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#161660) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Crimson Tertiary College of Highly Strung Arts 3 v Conformity High 2

Perhaps one of the most focused of all the Crimson releases post 74's 'Red' this certainly sheds some of the adipose tissue that caused the 80's cadets to stumble their way over three particularly sadistic obstacle courses designed by Sergeant Fripp. His and our reward is an elite corps of troops who have passed muster on what must be one of the most harrowing initiations in popular music. The 'fat wheezy boys with a note from matron' have been consigned to the sidelines to watch the first team strut their stuff against their abhorred local rivals 'Conformity High.'

Let's hurry along now as we are nearing kick off time....

'Vrooom' - The precocious younger brother of 'Red' and 'Larks Tongues' displays some fearsomely angular chops and a marked preference for heavier metallic tinged textures over the improvised constructions of yore. Thankfully however, the Crims never degenerate into bludgeoning metal riffery at any point. I think there are two main reasons for this:

The harmonic territory they inhabit is not conducive to thickly distorted guitar sounds i.e. if you play an E7#9 chord using someone like Tony Iommi's guitar rig, it just sounds like a modulated fart in a wind tunnel and:

The traditional 'metal' guitar sounds can only reliably appropriate Major, 5ths and (at a pinch) 7ths intervals before the chords start to break up into a sludgy and muddy mess. King Crimson very cleverly exploit this phenomenon on the intro, where some atonal 'squawking' chords are overlaid against a sinuous bass driven groove to great effect i.e the frisson caused by the disintegration of the chords is used for precisely that end, and it is used sparingly.

Belew's playing is particularly interesting on this record, as his command of more mainstream 'rawk' artifices and techniques is a very effective counterweight against the more avant garde leanings of Robert Fripp. Adrian appears to take on the role of a 6 string equivalent to the previous 'rocker' in the band, John Wetton and this lends the music a very accessible surface with which to perhaps entice new fans from the heavier end of the rock spectrum?

'Coda: marine 475' - an ever descending journey into some infernal region the directions to which have long been monopolized by Fripp & Co in their self published 'A to Z of the forbidden zone'.

'Dinosaur' - self depreciating humor is a quality all too rare in the prog world and similarly to 'Ladies of the Road' they display a healthy disregard for both their own lofty place in the hierarchy of rock and the mainstream's perception of them as irredeemably passe.

standing in the sun, idiot savant, something like a monument, I'm a dinosaur, somebody is digging my bones

This really is two fingers in the face of vacuous modernity and I love them dearly for it. Apart from the foregoing we have in 'Dinosaur' as good a song as they have ever written. The 'Tron gets dusted down for an appearance on the intro and together with an incredibly inventive arrangement and a classic chorus, we catch a glimpse of what the Beatles contribution to Prog could ultimately result in. Quite brilliant.

'Walking on Air' - Not a million miles away from the languid feel of 'Matte Kudasai', this is a very beautiful ballad sung with a Lennonish sharpness from Belew. The 'backwards' lead guitar sound conjured for the short solos is wonderful (how DO they do that?, I have heard 60's reversed guitar loads of times, but it ain't as good as this)

'Bboom' - Bruford and Mastelotto cook up a twin chef percussion stew of their own recipe and somehow succeed in lending a drum duet solo the same exhilarating rush as that of a classic three minute pop song. (Now that is quite an undertaking yes?)

'Thrak' - Another entry for the Crimson lexicon of freshly minted words (see 'Groon' and 'the Crukster') When the music lurches in it sounds like an uninvited gatecrasher who turns out to be the life and soul of the party. (but ends up trashing the stereo) There is considerable detail in the background to much of this album that only reveals itself after repeated listens and the source of these alien utterances is always ambiguous as Crimson manage to mutate bass, guitar, keys and vocals into all manner of haggard and twisted parodies of their original sources.

'Inner Garden 1' - Spooky and rattling skeletal song with a trace of Belew's former mentor David Byrne. Seems to exit 'hanging in the air' as if smothering an unspoken thought. Very eerie and affecting.

'People' - Infectious lop sided funk that only Crimson could bring off with any credibility in the prog domain. Truly inspired rippling guitar arpeggios on a brilliant chorus and unusually for this band, backing vocals. Yet more of that forward thinking 'backwards' guitar that I love to bits and this track above all else represents for me, a real manifestation of where prog could sit quite happily with the appellation of 'modern rock' without any hint of self consciousness.

'Radio 1' - Disorienting electronic glissandos as though we had tuned in accidentally to the premiere of Norman Bates first piece of musique concrete. Like an axe wielding leprechaun (Short and scary)

'One Time' - Beautiful plangent guitar on a deceptively simple ballad (the meter and rhythm are very elusive, try tapping out the beat, like me, you will probably get lost) Very memorable tune brilliantly sung as always by Belew. Don't want to sound like 'Mr Picky' but it may be a tad overlong?

'Radio 2' - rather pointless little ambient 'choccy drop' that only serves to illustrate what an air conditioning system on Neptune might conceivably sound like? However we will forgive them this aberration as at 1 min 3 seconds it doesn't stick around long enough to qualify as 'ambient' i.e any old [&*!#] through a big reverb

'Inner Garden 2' - Erm, call it a wild stab in the dark if you like, but as this is the same harmonic material as employed on Inner Garden 1, why not JOIN THEM TOGETHER LADS INTO ONE SONG?

'Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream' - (If you exclude the 3rd, you get the life of Kate Moss) Had John Lennon survived into 1995 he may in all likelihood have come up with something like this. There is a hint of the Beatles throughout Belew's work and although I would deem it as merely an avowed influence it is not, despite claims to the contrary by his many detractors, derivative. Let's face it, if you are even tenuously employed within the realm of popular music and are NOT influenced by the Beatles, it really is time for a career change don't ya think?

'Vrooom, Vroooom' - I feel this is tantamount to a remix of the opening track and although it deviates sufficiently to be entertaining it seems to rather 'over egg the pudding' somewhat. (Another slice?, no really I'm fit to burst thanks) The ascending motif is very similar to that employed on 'Red'.

'Vrooom, Vrooom, Coda' - Again, this reeks of an 'outtake' culled from an earlier version of some of the themes heard previously and yes, it is certainly bracing, but hardly constitutes a separate composition.

This is a very fine Crimson album that certainly breaks new ground for a band who have always stubbornly refused to sit still for any length of time. I do think that the charge of 'neo-metal' attached to some of their later work is rather an exaggerated one as there is considerably more variety and subtlety displayed here than on most of the other so-called prog metal outpourings I have heard.

Despite a rather leg weary finish on Thrak the Crimson College first eleven managed to hold out in the end to vanquish their hated opponents in the Conformity Eleven. (Hooray! let's celebrate with lashings of pop and a midnight snack in the dorm chums)

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Send comments to ExittheLemming (BETA) | Report this review (#173184) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 07, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Is this a drum solo I see before me? I'm afraid so!

There's an old adage to the effect that if you give an infinite number of monkeys a typewriter each, one will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare. Now I'm not intending for a minute to equate the members of King Crimson to monkeys, but to me their modus operandi here follows a similar theory. Noodle away in a directionless manner for long enough and eventually you'll create something which some people will enjoy.

"Thrak" was recorded by what has become known as the double trio King Crimson line up, a reference to the fact that pretty much all of the constituent instruments are played by at least two members of the band. For example, we have two drummer/percussionists (Mastelotto and Bruford), two bassists (Levin and Gunn, although technically the latter plays "stick"), and so forth. Fans of the band will be pleased to see so many long term contributors to the band appearing on this album, which followed closely on the heals of the "Vroom" EP. While there had been a considerable gap since the previous album, "Three of a perfect pair" in 1984, the style adopted there remains very much in evidence here.

With no less than 15 tracks, the individual tracks tend to be kept short, with just three running to over 5 minutes. The opening "Vrooom" has something of a rock feel to it, with aggressive guitar and a dominant bass line. The relatively tight constraints of the track are quickly dispensed with though as we move into "Coda:marine 475", a thrashing, uncontrolled piece. There's a delightful mellotron (like) intro to "Dinosaur", but it proves to be a false dawn, and within seconds we are back into the heavy repetitive rhythms. Surprisingly though the song has a very retro sounding vocal, not unlike the style of John Wetton at times.

In another twist, "Walking on air" has all the sound of a John Lennon ballad from his solo career, even down to the multi-tracked vocals in places. As delightful and unexpected as this piece is, it is disastrously followed by "B'boom", the first ever drum solo on a King Crimson album. This in turn is followed by an equally aggressive assault on the guitars for the title track.

There is a certain diversity to the album, but for me the common theme is a lack of attention to the musical content. The sounds can be pleasing and the musicianship is unquestionably proficient, but it seems to me that little of the material was written in advance, the music being improvised and lacking in focus. There are exceptions, especially in the lighter number such as "One time" and the aforementioned "Walking on air", but these stand as isolated beacons surrounded by less memorable material. This I find immensely frustrating, as all the signs are there that King Crimson have another great album in them. somewhere.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#183366) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars THRAK is the eleventh studio album from King Crimson and the first album since 1984 Three of perfect Pair. Thatīs a hiatus of eleven years ( not counting the EP from 1994 called Vrooom). Iīm sure many fans thought that they would never hear anything from King Crimson again, but then THRAK was released.

Much had happened with the world of music in those eleven years and the music on THRAK doesnīt sound like the eighties albums from King Crimson even though there are elements on the album that does remind me of the three albums from the beginning of the eighties ( Discipline, Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair). The twin guitar interplay from Adrian Belew and Robert Fripp is intact but the sound is a bit more full and warm compared to the albums from the eighties. A typical nineties feature. Grunge and other nineties contemporary rock genres are also a part of the sound on THRAK. Donīt get me wrong here though, this is still unmistakably a King Crimson album.

In addition to Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford and Tony Levin, who all played on the previous album from King Crimson, two new faces have been added to the lineup. Trey Gunn on Chapman stick and Pat Mastelotto on acoustic & electronic percussion. The addition of two more musicians to the lineup is a big reason for the new more full sound on THRAK.

There are some really good songs on THRAK and the four opening songs Vrooom, Coda: Marine, Dinosaur and Walking on Air sets the standard. Great melodic yet challenging songs. Other notable songs are People and THRAK, but most songs are pretty good allthough a bit mediocre at times.

The musicianship is excellent but as usual thatīs no surprise with musicians like these.

The production is full and warm. A typical nineties production.

THRAK was actually my introduction to King Crimson and at the time I didnīt know that they were an influential progressive rock band that had made lots of albums before this one ( Of course it didnīt take me long to purchase the rest of their discography. Iīm a completist to the bone). I found THRAK to be an odd rock album and I enjoyed it partially. That hasnīt changed much since then and THRAK is still an album I only enjoy partially. Maybe itīs just a bit too long, because I keep losing focus while listening to the album. Itīs still a good album even though it does overstay its welcome a bit and it deserves a 3 star rating from me. Itīs one of the last studio albums I would purchase from the band though.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#184849) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 06, 2008

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A particularly strong album, and a great way for the band to return to form after a few mediocre albums and a hiatus.

THRAK does not return us to any era of King Crimson--this is something new. While the complicated interwoven structures of Discipline appear here, the feel is much more modern and computerized (without sounding like an album made by robots). Here, Fripp decided it would be fun to try out his new concept of the double trio, and believe me, it makes for some interesting musicality. Two drummers, two guitarists, and two bassists sounds like a recipe for endless noodling, but do not worry. This is not a jam fest all the way through. Rather, in most parts, I think the double trio is underused here. The now-famous Frippertronic technique gets a workout here (odd, though, since why would you double one guitar when you have two of them at your disposal?), and the instrumental bits are nicely complicated. The long and short of this album is, though, that the energy King Crimson can pack into albums but hadn't since Discipline has returned for THRAK, and the end result is pretty pleasing.

It opens with the VROOOM, a complex instrumental that sets the tone and the pace for the album. The highlight here is the main theme of the basses, which features a lovely harmony and sounds just wonderful. It segues into Coda: Marine 475, still more instrumental that builds in a descending manner while numbers are spoken over the top to correspond with maritime sorts of things. Dinosaur, the first song proper here, is a fun one with Belew roaring in a old geezer sort of way about being an old geezer. It's a lighthearted and fun tune, nothing you would expect if you jumped into 90s KC from the 70s. There really is not any of that haunting melancholy in the band anymore, even if there are sad songs and so forth. The mellotron seems to have vanished entirely. Walking on Air is a soft song, about what you would expect from the band, who has changed most of its sound constantly--all except the feel of their balladry. B'Boom is a cool instrumental that showcases the dual drummer setup, building into a massive percussion solo. It then bleeds into the title track, a song very similar to VROOOM, though independent and not just a rehash of the style.

Inner Garden is a quick little bit with some nice vocals that is supposed to ease some of the tension between THRAK and the next track, People. People is the greatest throwback to the Discipline style, featuring wild Chapman stick action and some really complicated interplay between the instruments. The energy and excitement on this track is very much in effect, and I find this one of those rare prog songs that really makes you want to boogie or whatever. It's not a dancing song, though. It just has wonderful bass work. One Time is an average sort of song, nothing terribly exciting. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream is a strange song with odder lyrics. It's more aggressive than most of the tracks on this album, though by this point aggressive has become so very common in music that it wouldn't really be all that special if any band featured it by this point. The main allure of their wild nature was how forward thinking they were. By this point, aggressive songs sound like something the band just has to do. Anyways, a strange section of rhythmic polyphony in the middle of this song makes it nicely experimental and something new. The album then closes with the two VROOOM VROOOM tracks, which hearken back to the opening track.

All in all, this isn't a bad release at all. But it isn't anything like 60s Crimson, or 70s Crimson, or really even that much like 80s Crimson. 90s Crimson is a new beast, and this album proves that Fripp still had plenty of interesting ideas in him at that time.

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Send comments to LiquidEternity (BETA) | Report this review (#185155) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 09, 2008

Review by ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars King Crimson - 'Thrak' 3.5 stars

Crazy.

The most ridiculous thing about this album is the double trio. Two guitars, basses and drummers. This combination creates a mass amount of rhythms, textures and improv. I love the sound of this album, it is EXTREMELY heavy and loud. Comparison's can be drawn to the Red era of Crimson.

Belew finally carries some songs by his vocals alone which he hadn't been able to do since the 'Discipline' album. The guitars are violent and crushingly heavy, near an industrial type sound. The drums are very processed and add to the effects, and the drummers on here display ultimate technicality. All in all, this creates an awesome record, but still not one of the better Crimson records.

I recommend this to fans of the band as they will fine great stuff on here. The non-Crimson might want to take caution in approaching this. Sounds old but, this isn't a typical Crimson album.

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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#190400) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 24, 2008

Review by penguindf12
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Sound and fury, signifying nothing. That's my Cristgau-esque first impression.

Anyway, the tracks I find enjoyable include the intro, "VROOOM," which accurately sums it up. "Dinosaur" is also capital; it can be listened to as an extension on Fripp's famous statements regarding the "rock & roll dinosaur" - quite ironic, given the historical context of his own group, public statements, and apparently shifting personal ideology. However, I NEVER listen to this album. Why bother when there are so many better things out there?

Other than that, there are some songs which show promise, and others than just flat-out don't interest me. "Coda: Marine 475" seems rather bland to me. "Walking on Air" seems dismissible. "B'Boom" is a drum solo, and as such is alright but not exactly riveting. "Thrak" seems like another reiteration of King Crimson's "Larks Tounges" to "Red" history: obsessed, dinosaur-like, with resurrecting the past. Many tritones, as elsewhere. Yawn. The "Inner Garden" songs seem like "Matte Kudasai" without a point. They seem mournful - I'm not buying it. I liked the songs on "Discipline" - they seemed fresh. Much of this seems like a re-hash; it seems like they know it, but have just given up. Yawn. "People" sounds like the boring descriptive singing on "Discipline," but without the ability to hold my interest - then again, I never particularly liked "Elephant Talk." The "Radio" sequences are kind of interesting wooshy interludes. I like them, but they are nonplussing. "One Time" fades into grey with my hopes of this album having a song anywhere near the charged beauty of "Starless." "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" describes my life. But what purpose does it have? If nothing else, to illustrate my ultimate statement regarding this album: sound and fury, signifying nothing - just like my life. Nice though. Enjoyable at moments. "VROOM VROOM" is a re-hash of "Red." Wow - they're positively FLAUNTING their apathy at doing anything novel or interesting. Yawn & ah well - the instrumental "Red" never was a particular fave of mine anyway. The coda is the definition of contractual fulfillment.

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Send comments to penguindf12 (BETA) | Report this review (#211706) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 19, 2009

Review by Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It will be able to be discovered to say that KC is a band by Fripp very if it listens to this album. The transition has the purpose and order and has stimulated the listener. 1st album and "Red" "Discipline". KC in the 90's still continues to works of the best these for Fripp with a consistent element and thought.

How KC that had been notified beforehand at this time had been revived by the union of Fripp and the member is understood. The flow that excluded an industrial element might be consistent and it be in the place where our imagination had been certainly exceeded power to invent the structure of the lock that they thought about. However, the idea of KC that flowed to foundation existed in another dimension for all music since beginning.

It is guessed that of course, there was a trouble with the office that belongs besides the activity of music, too. The fact that always reflects the part where they were always calculated in the work is transmitted to the listener in the meantime. The composition of the tune to make to [****] in about 1974 also has the opinion made to have found means of escape to the product of the recollection of Fripp. However, it might be understood that it was a natural act if the flow with those elements and difficult parts also considers the history of KC.

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Send comments to Kazuhiro (BETA) | Report this review (#228260) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars King Crimson has always been something of an enigma to me, both in terms of their individual albums and their discography in toto. On each album I find something that is excellent as well as something that makes me cringe. This average album is no exception.

"VROOOM" After a quiet string interlude, the cacophonic schitzophrenic rock of post-1980s King Crimson gets underway, with the piece cleanly divided between left and right channels- no discernable middle ground here until much later. It contains both heavy and soft passages- a dynamic that Robert Fripp and company have always been masters of.

"Coda: Marine 475" This is a choppy piece of music, with stomping chords and clean guitar working its magic in the backdrop.

"Dinosaur" Probably my favorite track on the album (it's a close call between this one and the next), this is the first proper song, and juxtaposes Adrian Belew's generally soothing vocals with gritty and noisy music. The middle section is a change of pace, consisting of a largely empty, yet darkly beautiful symphonic section.

"Walking On Air" With that clean guitar, deep bass, and Belew vocally at his softest, this piece sounds like an oldies song, except that it features Fripp's slippery lead guitar. Musically, it is calming and meditative, even gentler than the brilliant "Matte Kudasai," although I hear nods to that piece, as well a mention of "The Sheltering Sky."

"B'Boom" The first minute is uneventful, but what follows is a good percussive duo between Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto- an appropriately titled track, I suppose.

"THRAK" The title track is biting and menacing, with cutting guitars, glacial synthesizers, and distant drums.

"Inner Garden 1" Clocking in at just over ninety seconds, this short piece is at once soothing and disquieting. Belew's voice is top-notch of course, and the guitar chords are played methodically and without haste.

"People" Another favorite of mine from this record, "People" consists of an opportunity for Trey Gunn and Tony Levin to strut their stuff on this funky number. It has quite a catchy chorus also.

"Radio 1" This is a painful forty-three seconds of pitch shifting synthesizers- best reserved for a B-horror flick.

"One Time" Taking the overall exotic flavor one step further, this has hazy instrumentation and temperate vocals, creating a rich but laidback song. It has a steady bass. While decent, it does suffer from staleness after a time.

"Radio 2" The second part is less horrifying than the first, as it employs calmer tones, but is still a throwaway track.

"Inner Garden 2" On the other hand, the first part is better than this follow-up.

"Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream" This is a funky 1990s song that reeks of parachute pants and fly girls. It is not without its charm, but parts of it (like the entire middle section) are scarcely tolerable.

"VROOOM VROOOM" This piece is like a pesky little brother that wants to be just like his older brother. In this case, that older brother a piece entitled "Red." Little brother doesn't disappoint in his effort, but his oversized clothes, deepened voice, and faux moustache give his charade away. This instrumental isn't unsatisfactory by any means, but it's sound and arrangement make it sound like a second-rate "Red."

"VROOOM VROOOM: Coda" The final track is a mishmash of noise and irritation. It does not serve the album well as the closer, and frankly should have been left off altogether in favor of the previous track finishing up the album.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#246648) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another great KC album. Very interesting line -up: KC Mk.II line-up ( Fripp/Bruford/Belew) is added with Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto of future KC line-up! Real transitional album!

Music is more rock and more progressive in comparence with 3 previous studio works. But the combination of melodism and some soft sound + new wave rhythms with metal heavyness and prog complexity makes this album very attractive!

Dinosaur,Walking On Air and Sex,Sleep,Eat,Drink,Dream all are perfect! As usual, Fripp and Co. testing new direction and find it right! Later band's studio albums ( with Fripp,Belew and newcomers) are more rock, heavy and sometimes "dirty", but brings a new life in bands history again!

Very recommendable album for all KC fans and any prog lover - just to hear how sounds one of the greates prog bands ever in mid-90!

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#246886) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars This must have been one of my most anticipated albums ever. I had been a Crimson adept for many years and the news Crimson had reunited sounded like a dream come true. The line-up consists of the 81-84 incarnation fortified with extra drummer Pat Mastello and Trey Gun on stick. An extra drummer and bass player to complement guys like Bruford and Levin? Fripp must have been kidding.

Yet, somehow they manage not to get in one another's way and are as tight and dynamic as ever. In fact, this album sounds like the perfect marriage of Three Of A Perfect Pair and Red. It has the harsh rocking power of 1974 combined with the industrial elements of 1984 and Belew's known pop sensibilities. So I'm surprised at the poor reception here, as I remember this album even appealed to some of my metal/grunge friends back in 1995. Well actually, maybe that's the reason; maybe it is not classic prog enough. And if I'm not mistaken, Dinosaur even made fun of classic prog.

It's quite long for a Crimson album but I can't find fault with any of the individual tracks and I'd have a hard time naming highlights. It balances out nicely between songs like Dinosaur, People and One Time, and instrumentals such as Vrooom and Thrak. Much of this music was the result of improvisations and the album benefits from the freer and audacious approach they took. I can imagine this album may sound rather cold and distant to some listeners but I happen to find that industrial touch one of the main attractions here. And it hasn't aged a bit in 15 years.

Nothing less then an excellent album, probably missing that one stand-out track to deserve masterpiece status.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#284609) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars King Crimson's first full album after their longest hiatus to date was refreshing at the time. Legend has it that after regrouping with the quartet that would continue into the new millenium (Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto), the band was having a problem coming up with songs worthy of the King Crimson moniker. Enter Bill Bruford and Tony Levin, and the double trio was born. With two guitarists, two bass players and two drummers, they created an album much better than the previous KC quartet ever released.

Nearly gone are the layered finger exercises that wore thin after one album. The band had gotten it's bombast back. The best songs are the ones with the onomatopoeiaic titles. While retaining a modern sound, they are also a throwback to the power of the original Larks' Tongues songs and the Red album. And this is a very good thing.

Even most of the vocal based songs are inventive, especially the Beatles-esque Dinosaur (belew doing Lennon, where he does McCartney in Walking On Air) and the heavy funky Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream. Of course there is still the drab One Time, but I guess Belew needs to get these out of his system.

I wonder if the aforementioned Dinosaur is a not to Fripp's ridiculous declarations of the seventies, where he pigeonholed the entire prog genre. Welcome back to the fold, Bob.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#286469) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 14, 2010

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars After ITCOCK I had problems in following KC. I never really entered into their music even if the lineups during the years have included people that I have appreciated a lot with other bands. So for some strange reason one day I tried to listen to something more recent.

Thrax was quite a surprise. Not fully in my pot but good enough to me. I think the reason why I like this album is that I'm almost a newbie with KC so I don't have particular expectation and I don't have phylosophical consideration to do about this re-entry after some years of silence or about Belew singing.

I just hear good progressive with a bit of funky contamination (but just a bit) thanks to Tony Levine's bass and Trey Gunn's stick. It's also strange seeing that the stick is played by Gunn as the first time that I've seen one it was played by Levine.

I've also liked a lot the "radio" and "Inner garden" interludes. Adrian Belew's voice is not my favourite. It makes me think to Chris Rainbow on "Pressure Points", but I think it's because the other KC album that I really know had Greg Lake singing.

Highlights for me are tracks like Dinosaur or One Time, but the average level of the whole album and also the production is high. Nothing to say about drumming, of course. Bill Bruford can't be discussed and the fact that I'm unable to distiguish what is played by him and what by Pat Mastellotto is a good point in favour of the second.

Respect to their historical early albums like Lizard or Islands, this one is more easily approachable and this will hopefully help me in appreciating also the old things when I'll decide to retry with them.

4 stars from a KC newbie.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#299444) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars King Crimson return to their most complex technical best on "Thrak".

Bruford, Belew, Fripp and Levin remained a tight unit in the 80s and found their niche and a new prog audience with this album. This was no mainstream pop affair, in fact a lot of the material is ethereal and totally off kilter, out of the box. It begins with the enigmatic "Vrooom" that is foreboding and doomy, and a fan favourite. "Coda: Marine 475" is a highlight with the musicianship tight and polyrhtyhmic. "Dinosaur" is a live favourite with Belew as excellent as ever on vocals.

"Walking On Air" features a stunning bassline, and a mesmirising main motif creating an ambient beauty.

"B'Boom" is a showcase for Bruford's thunderous drumming.

"Thrak" is a heavy handed prog piece with monstrous riffs and Fripp's disconcerting screaming guitar soloing.

"People" is rather funky and quite a melodic track with some great lyrics.

"Radio One" is a filler that is downright creepy with it's chilling squeals and white noise.

"One Time" is a rhythmic treasure with amazing musicianship encompassing strong drums and deep toned bass tones. Skip to the best:

"Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" is an amusing piece trying to provide some much needed comic nuances in the music. The lyrics have a primary intention of didactic art, not to entertain, but to teach the listener a moral, there is more to life than just Sex, sleep, eat, dream. The melody is quite nice and this one stands out as one of my favourites.

The "Vrooom Vrooom" tracks are just plain weird and of course at this point in King Crimson's career the trademark of 'Vrooom' became well known in concerts and on albums. The Coda is unnerving and bizarre, but it ends the album on a disconcerting note.

In conclusion, this album is far better than "Beat" or "Three of a perfect pair", preceding it, and though not up to the standard of the classic early albums it still is an excellent journey into the enigmatic musical world of King Crimson.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#399622) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review by Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Site and Forum Admin
4 stars King Crimson goes metal -- all the way!

Eleven years after the release of Three of a Pair, King Crimson came back, with a much harder edge and an intense new feel. THRAK was (and is) by far the band's most experimental and "metallic" album of their discography, mixing intense riffs with heavy rhythms and metallic melodies. The album borders on through and through progressive metal, and even has a somewhat thrashy feel to it at times. Overall, THRAK is an odd album as King Crimson's oddness goes, and in some ways that is great and in some ways it doesn't work out perfectly, but it is still a damn good album.

VROOOM kicks the album off with a taste of the experimental thrashy side of the music, with a great riff and some polyrhythmic drumming a la Bill Bruford and co. This is the first album that we hear the "double trio" lineup, which makes the music that much more interesting to listen to, especially with the layering of each instrument. The track has some great dynamics, switching between the metal riffs and the melodious sections rather easily, making this an overall great track and a great opener.

Coda: Marine 475 is the coda to VROOOM, and acts as a nice closer to the first section of the VROOOM on this album (there is another section at the end of the album). The track can seem a little boring at, seeming to crescendo forever and ever. The track does, for the most part, until it bubbles off and just drops you at the end with a sour taste in your mouth. This track lacks a bit, but still has that cool experimentation for the album.

Dinosaur is one of my favorite tracks on the album, and contains some of my favorite elements of their music. Finally we hear Adrian Belew signature voice, gracing some great melodic verses before breaking into some ingenious choruses with some really cool lyrics. Overall another fantastic track, furthering the new metallic vision of the band.

Walking on Air is by far the most melodious and beautiful tracks on the album, bringing back nostalgic feels from King Crimson's symphonic period in the 70s, and making a purely idyllic dynamic for the album. Both Fripp and Belew's guitar work is genius, not crazy or atonal nor lazy and boring, but a perfect balance, making a cool atmosphere for the song to just chill in the soundscapes of the air.

B'Boom breaks away from this beauty. B'Boom is essentially just a great drum duet between Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto. Being a drummer, I absolutely love it, but on the album it seems a little out of place. It takes an eternity to really get started up, but once it does it's a rocking track with some really cool rhythmic properties to it. As a single track, it's great, but it seems to break the flow of the album.

Here we have the mother of this album's experimentation. THRAK, the title track and a pure avant-garde metal track, is beautiful.... in it's own way. The riffs are just short of insane, throwing noise and music into an amalgam of pure insanity, King Crimson style. Overall, it is another one of my favorites, but not for the reasons I liked Dinosaur. THRAK brings you on an entirely new sonic journey, through the twisted avenues of Robert Fripp's sonic genius, and into the haunted realm of THRAK!

Inner Garden I is an interlude-like track, breaking swiftly from THRAK into a haunting melodic garden of despair and great lyrics. It is slow and atmospheric, truly making you feel like you are in some abandoned garden in a dark forest.

People brings yet another crazy dynamic to the album: funk. Yes, People is basically a funk metal album. It has some really great moments and riffs, but overall the track lacks the inspiration of the rest of the album. It's really catchy and has a great feel to it, but for some reason I feel it's not right for the album.

Radio I is the next interlude suite, this one again featuring some atmospheric and haunting soundscapes.

One Time is another great melodic song, again bringing back that 70s feel, with a modern twist. It's slow and atmospheric, not even as rocking as Walking on Air. Overall, the track is great and is extremely easy to relax with.

Radio II is just like Radio I, a slow and haunting atmospheric soundscape, similar to the stuff Fripp had been making since the 70s.

Inner Garden II is also just like Inner Garden I, a slow and haunting melodic journey through that same haunted garden.

Sex, Sleep, Eat, Dream sees the return of the funky experimentation, this time with more fervor and deliberation. This song fuses the avant metal and the funky experimentation of the album into one coherent track. The instrumental section is crazy, and effortlessly moves around feels and dynamics. Overall, Sex, Sleep, Eat, Dream is another great track on the album, moving the album forward in a great way.

VROOOM VROOOM continues the VROOOM "suite," bringing back similar riffs reprising the avant feel of the songs. As well as tieing the album together into a circular and complete loop, the song also introduces new riffs and atmospheres to the great string of songs. The song is one of the more metallic on the album, other than THRAK. Overall, this track, as well as the next one, make for a great closer to the album as well as a breathe of fresh air in the experimental spectrum of music.

VROOOM VROOM: Coda ends pretty much everything, the album, the VROOOM suite, and this "era" of King Crimson's history (no more studio recordings will have this strong of an experimental feel). This section takes many of the characteristics of the previous VROOOMS and processes them to an almost incoherent mesh of industrial noise and avant riffing. Overall, despite being one of the more crazy and incoherent tracks of the album, it does end the album in a feel appropriate to this crazy album.... crazy.

ALBUM OVERALL: It's kind of hard to rate an album that's as experimental as this. There are experimental albums that have no sense whatsoever and are just musicians destroying instruments, then there are experimental albums that really aren't experimental at all and are really just variations from their genre. Then there's THRAK. THRAK seems to be a happy medium, mixing the incoherency of the extremes with the beauty of the forefront. Overall, THRAK is easily one of my favorite King Crimson albums, even though I like all of them. It has a perfect blend of just about everything, making it an excellent addition to any collection of a listener who want something to new to listen to. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#406612) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review by colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars THRAK shows King Crimson's new '90s sound, and it really does sound like '90s alternative rock. It's not really a good thing. Some of the songwriting is solid with a few interesting touches of funk, jazz, and metal, but nothing really stands out anymore than just sounding like uninspired MTV rock songs, which is a shame considering how well they previously made the '80s sound work so well for them. The music here isn't really noticeably progressive, although it is slightly. I don't really know what else to say about this album other than it is a let down.

Definitely not recommended to fans of King Crimson's other works.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#429388) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 08, 2011

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Double trio!

This is yet another new era of King Crimson, an era in which Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn joined the band and its four previous members, creating that phenomenon sometimes called double trio. "Thrak" was the name they chose for this album, a record that saw the light in 1995, after a complete decade of a hiatus. Though the sound is sometimes pretty alike to their previous three works (since Belew joined) here we can listen to more elements, different soundscapes and cool compositions.

In this album the band offers fifteen tracks that make a total time of 52 minutes. It is the first time a studio album has so many songs included, though some of them are short pieces. The guitar element is once again strong here, in both, the instrumental and non instrumental tracks. It powerfully starts with "VROOM" and "Coda: Marine 475", songs where the vocals are missing and when the Crimsonian style is evident since the first notes.

"Dinosaur" rapidly entered to the favorite's zone. It is a pretty cool song with nice lyrics, addictive guitars and even a catchy sound that allows people learning easily the lyrics and sing. Now, "Walking on Air" is really an hymn, a beautiful and iconic song that I am sure pleases every single KC fan, no matter if you prefer the Lake, Wetton, Belew era, you will love it. It is full of melancholy, reflection, beauty, etc., it is one of those songs that one can't help but loving it, I do.

There some other songs easy to remember and even sing, those ones are "People", "One Time" and "Sex, Sleep, Eat, Dream, Drink", nice but not outstanding songs that share some heavier moments, but in the end the soundscapes and mellow sound prevails in the most of them. Regarding the shorter or the instrumental songs, I believe that equilibrium between vocal and vocal-less tracks is pretty good here, they use them as transitional passages that help understand and enjoy better the album.

It is a cool album by the King Crimson Double-Trio, however, it is far from being one of their best, or most innovative efforts, no matter the inclusion of the charming, lovable and unforgettable "Walking on Air". My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#531759) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars King Crimson's major album of the 1990s finds the band playing in a double trio lineup - think the 80s King Crimson with an extra rhythm section bolted on. Musically speaking, I'm heavily reminded of a mixture of the most aggressive and alienating parts of the mid-1970s Crimson and the 80s incarnation of the band... and that's kind of the problem. Unlike the 80s revival of the band, this incarnation of the King seems to spend a little too much time trading on past glories - there's even lyrical references to The Sheltering Sky, for crying out loud. Whereas with Discipline it was clear Fripp and company had a bold new sound which was crying out for expression, I don't hear any material on here which is so essential as to merit the resurrection of the hoary old King Crimson name in association with it. Nice enough for the nostalgia fans, I guess, but it's not for me.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#620631) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review by Blacksword
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I thought it about time I reviewed this album as I've been enjoying it a lot! This manifestation of King Crimson sounds very fresh and Thrak has barely aged since its release in 1995. This sounds like a young band, still progressing, learning, experimenting and trying something new. Thrak is a brash and heavy album. Fripps guitar sound is hard and grinding but not grungy and 'blurred' The album opens with VROOM a heavy instrumental , perhaps reminiscent of Red era KC in some ways, which slides perfectly into Coda Marine, which is mostly instrumental apart from some vaguely sinister hushed voices in the background competing with the wonderful Crimson chaos. Dinosaur is one of my favourite KC songs from any era. Another rocker with a fine vocal performance from Adrian Belew, where he muses on days gone by and mistakes he's made. Each chorus is 'screamed' with every increasing intensity "I'm a dinosaur, somebody is digging my bones!" The listener is given a short space to breath where the metal mayhem gives way to some softer sounds and mellotron strains before the final chorus. Other hi-lights for me include Walking on Air, a pleasant ballad presenting a well placed contrast to the albums overall general hard rock (but certainly progressive) feel. Bboom is a great and entertaining show off session for Mr Brufords talents, and People is very much a radio friendly offering with a catchy chorus, and some wonderful funky back beats and bass playing. Thrak is a fine collection of progressive rock songs, which worked at the time alongside all the mainstream music of the day and still works ? in some ways better ? today, and it certainly stands proud alongside the bands best KC albums from the 70's.

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Send comments to Blacksword (BETA) | Report this review (#1156768) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars I recently listened to In the Court of the Crimson King and Red and decided to also give THRAK a spin for a long time. Well, one observation is that Belew clearly isn't my favourite KC vocalist, even though he sounds better here than on the 80's records I've heard. The album starts interestingl ... (read more)

Report this review (#656787) | Posted by PolarWolf | Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was the first KC album I ever heard and even after discovering all of their other works it remains on of my favorites. THRAK demonstrates the bands diversity and plethora of moods they are able to capture so well. The music is cryptic and mysterious, dangerous and threatening, serene ... (read more)

Report this review (#451864) | Posted by Gyges | Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Even though I've been interested in King Crimson's music for several years, I really didn't become versed in their music until five years ago. I decided to start collecting all of thier studio recordings because they were all suddenly available on CD. Of course, just like everyone else, I ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#264872) | Posted by TCat | Sunday, February 07, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I'll begin by saying that King Crimson is my favorite or second favorite band. This 90's comeback record is good to very good, although not without its flaws. The highlights: The light sections in the middle of Vroom are beautiful. Dinosaur, Walking on Air, and One Time are beautiful, stron ... (read more)

Report this review (#259107) | Posted by dragonspirit | Sunday, January 03, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is of course a masterpiece. When you listen for the first time this album, then you say. Are this King Crimson? Then you say, what are the doing? This is terrible music, how can I like this? Then if you are marry, then your wife says you are crazy, that you cannot put this kind of music. One da ... (read more)

Report this review (#236030) | Posted by amontes | Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have probably listened to this record and Discipline the most out of any Crimson albums. Why you might ask? Well I was given nearly all of the Crimson studio albums, save Lizard and THRAK, by a friend, and when I found out I was missing two I ordered them both on CD. I usually only listen to ... (read more)

Report this review (#192254) | Posted by evantate09 | Sunday, December 07, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars King Crimson - Thrak Returning after a ten year hiatus, Fripp returns with the musicians with which he made the 80s trilogy, Belew, Levin and Bruford, but also adds Trey Gunn (Chapman Stick) and Pat Mastelotto (Drums/Additional Percussion) to create a double trio of 2 guitars, 2 bass and 2 perc ... (read more)

Report this review (#170921) | Posted by mellors99 | Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is on par with discipline, Larks tongues in aspic, and in the court of the crimson king, in terms of quality and sheer inventiveness. It is a somewhat controversial album, which has kicked off a golden age of sorts for king crimson. Every album after this one is amazing as of January ... (read more)

Report this review (#157914) | Posted by Nuke | Sunday, January 06, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars With the establishment of the "double trio" format, the band takes on a decidedly harder metal- tinged edge that in some ways is reminiscent of the harder track's on 1974's Red but with 1990s aesthetics and technologies. Nothing is terribly cutting edge here but the songs are beautifully sung a ... (read more)

Report this review (#151183) | Posted by LARKSTONGUE | Friday, November 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars King Crimson is one of rare bands that remained progressive and ambitious through all these years of presense of prog rock. Here they manage to stay in the same line of hteir standards. They start an album with VROOM, which is one of the coolest rock tracks ever, mostly because of two drummers th ... (read more)

Report this review (#131686) | Posted by nisandzic | Saturday, August 04, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars THRAK!!!!! A clue as to what is in store. The giant has re-awakened! The great crimson king is back! this album is sooo much better than what happened in the 80's (which I refuse to discuss anymore...it never happened, got that!) It opens with the heavy vroom. Vey metal sounding, with some mel ... (read more)

Report this review (#126345) | Posted by purplepiper | Tuesday, June 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After yet another break up, King Crimson returns again in 1995. All the members from the eighties era are still there but two newcomers appear. Trey Gunn, playing the interesting Chapman Stick, and Pat Mastelloto pounding on the drums. We can easily notice the one of a kind line-up that Robert Fr ... (read more)

Report this review (#105476) | Posted by Bern | Wednesday, January 03, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The first studio album after 10 years, this album features the "double trio" - two guitarists, two bassists, two drummers. The production here is much better than on the albums of the 80s and the music is much more diverse. Still a lot of fillers though... The album starts nicely with "Vrooom ... (read more)

Report this review (#70576) | Posted by zaxx | Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Album released in 1995 "Thrak". Work to which whole content of newborn KING CRIMSON is finally clarified.In addition, it can be said that it is an album that clarifies that the group grew up. It is an album that makes strong instrumental a center. The music only of KING CRIMSON is still creat ... (read more)

Report this review (#46918) | Posted by braindamage | Saturday, September 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I write this review just to add some words that might address better attention to listeners that currently have the album. I considered most welcome the double trio. All this talent could put together good material on a challenging short time. Remember that Vrooom and B Boom which preceded t ... (read more)

Report this review (#38884) | Posted by | Friday, July 08, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I bought this album just because I wasn't able to find anything else from this band(that I didn't already have) and ended up to be my personal favorite of all the Belew-era albums. A mixture between odd,nearly industrial sounds that are a trademark of Crimson's newest sound and melodic but als ... (read more)

Report this review (#15472) | Posted by V0lcaN0 | Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Almost a perfect mix of all the previous king crimson work. Thrak is wothout a doubt another masterpiece, and each song gets better with every listern. Every corner there's a new suprise, every second a perfectly placed chord or a beautifully composed sequence. I heard that this was the albumn ... (read more)

Report this review (#15467) | Posted by | Sunday, October 03, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was first introduced to the album THRAK through the e.p. sampler "VROOM". This is a great album. It is very much different from all the other King Crimson records and it is weird. I still have not yet bought the new remastered THRAK but it shouldn't be too much longer without the new remaste ... (read more)

Report this review (#15464) | Posted by | Friday, June 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I was very excited at the time the album would be released, and very disappointed afterwards. The album is a perfect mix of ideas from Starless & Bible Black, Red and the eighties albums, but......both ideas and musicianship are much less. The freshness of earlier releases is totally gone. Kin ... (read more)

Report this review (#15462) | Posted by | Saturday, May 08, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars the best record of the late Crimson era, the compositions go a little bit further than previous efforts, and the inclusion of "fresh blood" helps the group achieve different heights of music, like B'Boom, a magnificent "solo" of bruford and mastelotto, or the pieces inner garden, which features a ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#15461) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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