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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.55 | 3350 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars After the post-psychedelia of their groundbreaking debut, 1974's "Red" is surely the next best thing Crimson have produced in the long and varied career of their enigmatic leader Robert Fripp. Featuring John Wetton(bass) and Bill Bruford(drums) as the only two other core members of the group - but with contributions from several members past including David Cross(violin) - "Red" is a ultra-heavy, proto-metallic, operatic prog masterpiee that has more in common with the discordant soundscapes of Van Der Graaf Generator than with likes of Yes and Genesis. The eponymously-titled opening track features a crunching metal riff that souds like you've heard it a thousand times before, and that's because you have been hearing the likes of Metallica, Black Sabbath and Tool all mimicking the blistering guitar conjured up by Fripp. Compared to their aforementioned debut, and albums such as "In The Wake Of Poseidon" and "Lizard", "Red" does show some simlarities. The epic-yet-maudlin instrimental sections the band are famed for juxtapose almost perfectly with this new, streamlined, metallic incarnation of King Crimson, with this mixture beautifully evident on the yearning "Fallen Angel". "One More Red Nightmare" rocks things up a bit more, throwing a faint hint of boogie rock 'n' roll into the sonic blender and stylistically reminiscent of their early single 'Cat Food" which was released post "In The Court...". The one disappointment on "Red" is the indulgent "Providence", a track that forgoes melody in favour of eerie experimental noises, seemingly-random drum licks and lots of pointless noodling. However, the albums closing track, the superb "Starless"(a reworking of a track from their previous album" amps up the progress-o-meter to the hilt, throwing a violent jazz-rock workout into a dramatic twelve-minute- plus operatic epic that features achingly-beatiful vocals from Wetton. Despite their longevity, and the fact that Fripp has continued to make albums well into the 1990's, King Crimson's peak was from 1969 to 1982. During that period they produced a series of classic albums filled with Fripp's trademark flourishes that appealed to Progressive Rock fans AND fans of Indie, Metal and Jazz. Undoubtedly one the grouo's finest achievements, "Red" is a darkly-honed classic and a key album in the development of both metal and prog-metal that saw Fripp stripping down, vamping up and rocking down.... STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2009
stefro | 5/5 |


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