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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1863 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A phenomenal, awe-inspiring work from King Crimson. After the long hiatus following the release of the masterpiece Red, fans were left to wait for 8 years until they would here from King Crimson again. Originally, the lineup went by the name Discipline instead of King Crimson, but Robert Fripp decided it was time to bring back the name, so instead of the band name being Discipline, the album title became Discipline. And that is exactly what this album is, a much disciplined work that is drastically different from anything that Crimson had done up to that point. Gone are the improves and never ending instrumental sections, and they are replaced with rather tight and cohesive shorter works that are just as great as the tracks they did 10 years before. The debut of the lineup consisting of Adrian Belew, formerly of Frank Zappa and the Talking Heads, Bill Bruford, of Yes/Genesis/King Crimson/UK fame, Tony Levin, who had up to then worked with Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, and David Bowie, and finally guitar mathematician Robert Fripp. This album features aggressive intricate stick lines from Levin, accurate and precision drumming from Bruford, outstanding vocal work and guitar synth work from Belew, and then great guitar work from Fripp. From a musical standpoint, you couldn't get any better musicians together to create such utterly original music before. The sounds created on this album were unheard of at the time, and they soon became the King Crimson staple during the following years.

The album opens up with Elephant Talk, which features aggressive guitar work from Fripp, a commanding and catchy bass line from Levin, spot on drumming from Bruford, and a standout performance from Belew. His rough spoken vocals are very reminiscent to Greg Lake's vocals on 21st Century Schizoid Man all those years ago. The guitar synth work from Belew on that track successfully mimics elephant sounds, which is a great addition to the band's overall sound. Other stand out tracks are Frame By Frame, which features a catchy and aggressive bass line from Levin, some very soft guitar work from Fripp and soft drum work from Bruford, and some great emotional vocals from Belew. This song, along with Thela Hun Ginjeet, feature polyrhythms as in the guitars are playing in 7/8 and the rhythm section is in 4/4. The next stand out track is Matte Kudasai, which features soaring guitar work from Belew, who's guitar work swells in and out from the slide he uses. Thela Hun Ginjeet is also a great track which features some very jungle inspired rhythms (the guitars are in 7/8 while the drums and bass are in 4/4) and great vocals and spoken dialogue from Belew, who retells a story of an encounter he had with a gang while he was recording the track. It in the end had total significance with this track. And the final stand out track is the Sheltering Sky, an over the top instrumental which is Bruford's highlight of the album, his percussion is quite simply some of the best he's ever done.

Overall, this is a superb effort from this incantation of King Crimson; more good things were to come from the group in the following years. This is one of my favorite Crimson albums, and it deserves no less than 5/5 because every track is utterly perfect in my opinion. They hit the ball out of the park with this one. 5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |


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