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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.55 | 3248 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Red was the last Crimson album of the 70s, and was intended to be the final KC album period. Thus, Robert Fripp went to great lengths to craft a fitting swan song. The result was one of KC's greatest works. Red marks the first time the King travelled with so few minstrels: David's departure reduced Crimso to a trio. However, each member works overtime to fill the gaps. The album also is perhaps the heaviest in Fripp's discography. The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal dubbed Red the greatest heavy metal album made by a non heavy metal band. The album seems to be founded upon the tritone, which had been successfully resurrected by Sabbath's Tony Iommi.

The title track opens with a very Sabbath like tempo and a profound heaviness. It is one of Fripp's best instrumentals (IMO trailing only behind Larks' Tongue).

"Fallen Angel" features great vocals by Wetton and is a beautiful track that balances the heaviness of the opener. Very effective use of horns.

"One More Red Nightmare" has an addictive percussion pattern with a great riff. This is the most accessible song on the album, but even that is too weird for most.

"Providence" is a misstep. The in-studio improv tends to drag in some sections. It is still a decent track and worth a listen, but the versions of Great Deceiver are better in my opinion.

The album closes with the mighty "Starless". John Wetton is usually ignored for his bass skill since he was replaced by the greatest prog bassist ever, Tony Levin. However, this track should disprove any opinion that he is lacking. His vocals are powerful as well. This is on of KC's finest tracks, and it was a fitting send-off

Red is probably KC's third best album after the debut and Larks' Tongue. Providence's meandering jams prevent it from being a five star album, but it comes oh so close.

Grade: B+

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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