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King Crimson - In the Wake of Poseidon CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.84 | 2160 ratings

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The Runaway
3 stars Remake, next...

In the Wake of Poseidon feels, at least to me, like Crimson had such great success with their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King, that they had decided on trying to make a copy of the original, and maybe that's the reason for the minor success of this album both in real life and in progarchives.

The album starts with Peace - A Beginning, which is a replica of the first half a minute of 21st Century Schizoid Man on the previous album. It is very quiet and odd, and like Schizoid, a prelude to the song Pictures of a City. Pictures of a City sounds like Crimson re-recorded 21st Century Schizoid Man but changed it's chords. It has the same feel, same instrumentation, same sound, and even the same vocalist, who is the mighty Greg Lake (I say the last fact because Crimson had a thing for switching bassists/vocalists in their hayday). Like Mirrors is to Schizoid, 42nd at Treadmill is to this song, a faster off-shoot of the track using saxophones, and fuzzed out guitars, and not to mention Treadmill sounds very much like Mirrors.

Cadence and Cascade is an acoustic, mellow song, not what you'd expect of a band like King Crimson. This is not an example of a song that was "stolen" from their first album, In the Court, but it is certainly influenced by it. The band's playing hasn't really changed, so a lot of the things on this album seem identical to Court, except for Gordon Haskell's surprising lead vocal duties on this song. Haskell's voice is very distinct from Lake's voice, so you can hear when it's not Lake and it gives the album small amounts of diversity.Saxophone and flute player Mel Collins plays a wonderful flute solo near the end of this track, which probably influenced many artists to follow.

In the Wake of Poseidon starts with a mellotron and once you hear it, the song In the Court of the Crimson King pops into your head. The verse resembles Court, and it is not a good thing. As I said and will say many times throughout the review, this sounds like a complete copy of In the Court. Michael Giles' drum work on this track is innovative, and like Collins' solo on Cadence and Cascade, it has influenced many drummers to come. There is heavy mellotron use on this specific track, and Fripp's acoustic guitar also bears an important part. The song ends with the part Libra's Theme, which is actually the begininng of the song, and like the beginning, it showcases Michael Giles' drumming skills.

Now comes the next "theme" song,and the second part of the Peace trilogy, Peace - A Theme. I don't know what made Crimson think of this idea, but it is certainly not an idea I enjoy. This track is an acoustic guitar piece which has no special section, just chords, and chords, and chords.

Cat Food is a jazz song with an insane piano solo played by Keith Tippett, which consists of nothing reasonable, or even melodic, except for the correct chord here and there. This song is a fun song, sounds like a jam song, but jam songs aren't always good. "Cat Food, cat food, cat food" is a line that will get stuck in your head for a long while, because it's funny, and ironic, but sadly, that is not what we expect from a band led by Robert Fripp. The song then becomes more and more jazz non-sense as you progress further into the song, with Fripp's odd use of guitar octaves and Tippet's unconventional piano solo which keeps going all 5 minutes of the track. The song ends with the previously mentioned things, and Michael crashing his cymbals again, again and again.

Now starts The Devil's Triangle. which is supposedly the "epic" of the album. The song starts with what sounds like a minute of silence, with a few instruments playing in the background, barely audible, and then a mellotron part slowly fades in, and at around 2:30 minutes into the song, the song actually begins. A military march-like timpani part is played in the background while the mellotron plays what seem to be random chords.It then starts a riff-like chord sequence, with a 2nd mellotron playing harmonies on top of it. The mellotrons then get louder and speed up until we hear something which sounds like a boat honking, and then it goes back to the mellotron riff, now with a snare drum military march and a bass part, played by Peter Giles on top. After a few seconds of this, we start hearing a piano in the background, which is playing non-sense. This song goes absolutely nowhere, it just adds more and more instruments playing things which are totally unrelated. It may seem like a good song to Fusion fans, people who are heavy for King Crimson, and experimental music fans, but to me it has no appeal. We are half-way into this annoying song and there is nothing but more instruments, and guess what, more non- sense. This song is, sorry to say this, rubbish. People who only like KC, but do not absolutely adore them, and have no heavy Fusion or Experimental tendencies, will probably not like this song, and are less likely to like the album. The song breaks for a second, and then goes back to the mellotron riff, but now with the background instruments stronger than ever. This is the "epic" part of this so-called "epic", and it is not epic at all. Each player plays what he likes, and the only thing related to the mellotron riff is the tempo. Even though the song features prog instruments we all probably like, be it mellotrons, flutes, clavinets, or pianos, it still doesn't do it for me. This song, as I said earlier, might appeal to the heavy fusionists and experimental fans, but not people who like KC as one of "those bands". As the song ends there is a glimpse of the In the Court of the Crimson King riff, and oh, what irony it is.

Peace - An End is the only "peace" song that has vocals in it. It is an a capella of Greg Lake's mellow vocals, and is a great ending to a not so great album. It takes you back to the feel of Lake's vocals in the previous King Crimson album. An acoustic guitar joins in in the middle of the song, but it is barely audible, and is only used as a means to an end, to end the album with a good track.

3/5, as you could have done way better Crimson, could have done way better.

The Runaway | 3/5 |


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