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King Crimson - The ConstruKction Of Light CD (album) cover

THE CONSTRUKCTION OF LIGHT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.13 | 764 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
4 stars Time passes and different versions of King Crimson come and go through the years. The huge band that existed for the previous album "Thrak" is now down to 4 members. As always, the sound of KC changes with the release of another album. The basic sound is still there, the hard chugging rock is more apparent on this album, yet with a diminished line up, the sound strangely doesn't sound as cohesive as previously. But, that is not a major issue, because the new KC is now focusing on counterpoint, 12-tone style works, slower arpeggios to match the style of the 12-tone system. This gives a feeling of post-metal to me. This music paves the way for further exploration by the hundreds of post rock/math rock bands to follow. This is not to say that this album is responsible for the start of the post rock movement because there were some bands already out there, though somewhat obscure. I think what KC does with this album is make the movement a little more focused and dynamic. I know a lot of KC fans here don't consider this one of the best KC albums, but I think a lot of KC listeners expect a return to the sound of "Red" or "Lark's Tongue". I don't think it is in KC's plans to return to anything though. They have always been progressing to something else and that is what they do here.

This album is cold and metallic, no doubt about it. There is not much let up of the hard churning rock that bubbles out of your speakers. That is because this is the type of music that they are exploring. Now I have to agree that the first track "Prozakc Blues" is a little annoying in the change up of the vocals that are here, but it does sort of echo the feeling you get while under the influence of the chemical being sung about. Beyond the vocals on this track though, the instrumentals are still top notch KC brand smash and stomp music apparent through the album. On the 2 part "Construkction of Light", you hear the slow arpeggios being passed between the guitars that make the song sound like a study in the classical inspired 12-tone sound. Believe it or not, there is a melody going on there, and the most interesting thing is in the way the vocals take over a variation of that crazy tune when they suddenly kick in on the 2nd part. The vocals throughout the track and most of the tracks on the album are modified and harmonized to great effect that also match the cold metallic feel of the album. The lyrics here are more a series of words than they are phrases. Another proof of KC brilliance and a clear picture of how they never follow the norm.

The following tracks continue in the same vein, some instrumental and some vocal. "Frakctured", "Lark's Tongue Part 4" and "Oyster Soup" tend to stand out, but I love the entire album. This instance of "Lark's Tongue" sounds to me like a more accessible "Pelican" sound especially in the early days of "Pelican" when that band's music was more straightforward post-rock. The difference here is a better use of dynamic and phrasing, plus more of a "start-stop" sound that breaks up the grinding noise of the guitars. Then, once again, we are surprised with the first instance of vocals in any appearance of ":Lark's Toungue" in the Coda section.

Really the only relief we get on this album from the hard guitar and beat is the last half of "Heaven and Earth" which tends to work as a cool down for the album, though the sound is still cold and metallic.

I don't understand the low ratings given by other reviewers on the site. A lot of people tend to say that they don't get this album, but knowing that this is just another exploration in another realm of music and that it explores (what were back then) newer sounds of post rock and math rock, maybe that will help with the understanding. I don't honestly know if that was KC's intention or not, but it seems that they always unintentionally influence progressive rock every time they make a new album. Give this one a better chance everyone. It's not their best but it is still better than what you are rating it at. 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |

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