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King Crimson - The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1 (Live in Mainz, 1974 + Live in Asbury Park, 1974) CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.59 | 99 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars These two live concerts are my favourite live discs from KING CRIMSON. The lineup of Fripp, Wetton, Bruford and Cross playing live is almost a religious experience. I still can't get over the sheer power and heaviness demonstrated by this band. If you've heard the song "Level Five" from "Power To Believe" you'll have a pretty good idea of what i'm talking about. Bands like ANEKDOTEN and TOOL and their heavy rhythm section come to mind, but especially ANEKDOTEN because the mellotron storms that wreak havoc throughout these two concerts. Both Fripp and Cross play mellotron. I'm going to review the first disc only which was from a concert in Mainz, Germany March 30th 1974. Some three months later we get the other live disc here from Asbury, New Jersey recorded June 28th 1974. So the same lineup and even four of the tracks are the same. The one from Asbury is one and the same as the "USA" live album, at least it is if you have the 30th anniversary edition with the bonus tracks. I have already reviewed that one.

They did four improvs during this concert in Germany and we get one right off the top with "The Savage". It opens with deep bass sounds from Wetton as Fripp plays these angular melodies. Violin comes in.It starts to get more intense as Bruford pounds away. It blends into "Dr.Diamond" as these sounds continue until the song kicks in before a minute. Vocals are theatrical at times as Wetton puts on a vocal show here and still adds some huge bass lines. Angular guitar before 3 minutes with fat bass and drums. It settles with vocals and violin after 4 minutes. The second improv is "Arabia" with the growly bass and other sounds that come and go. "Exiles" eventually kicks in with violin, bass and light drums as John comes in vocally. The mellotron is flowing until we get a storm after 2 1/2 minutes. The guitar sounds so good. Majestic mellotron after 5 minutes as the bass throbs. Nice. Here comes Fripp ! "The third improv is "Astria" as different sounds come and go. This is dark and the intensity rises and falls. The guitar is screaming 5 1/2 minutes in. It blends into "Night Watch". Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in with violin.The mellotron a minute later sounds so majestic. Guitar 3 minutes in is angular as mellotron continues.

"Starless" opens with mellotron and percussion as violin comes and goes. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. At 4 1/2 minutes it sounds like it's quiet, too quiet.Something is lurking in the dark. It starts getting closer until Fripp is absolutely ripping it up 7 1/2 minutes in. My God ! Cross comes in on his violin shredding 9 minutes in. Check out freaking Bruford ! An all out assault after 10 minutes. Pure emotion to end it as mellotron storms in. Huge applause from the crowd including me. "Lament" opens with reserved vocals as mellotron joins in. Huge bass when the vocals stop. It kicks in around 2 minutes. It's ANEKDOTEN-like 3 minutes in (haha). "The final improv is called "Trio". Mellotron throughout and guitar and violin take part too. "Easy Money" is heavy to open with mellotron. Vocals join in as it settles. It gets heavy duty again. Just a killer sound. The bass, drums and mellotron are beyond words here.

It's an album like this that confirms why KING CRIMSON is synonymous with Progressive music.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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