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King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 2040 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars As a followup to the earth-shattering debut, King Crimson manage to still capture the innovative musicianship that gave them a cult reputation on their second album "In the Wake of Poseidon", though this is not as phenomenal as "In the Court of the Crimson King". After a few listens it really tends to grow on the listener and features some of the Crim's finest compositions.

After the 'Peace - a beginning' intro the album begins in earnest with a grinding chord structure and Fripp's angular guitar riff. Greg Lake is excellent on vocals as good as he was on the stunning debut's '21st Century Schizoid Man'. However, the wild jazzy sax is not as omnipresent. The track 'Pictures Of A City (including 42nd At Treadmill)' is a highlight though, with its dark textures and dissonant time sigs.

'Cadence and Cascade' is a beautiful ballad from Lake, a precursor to his ballads with Emerson Lake & Palmer.

'In The Wake Of Poseidon (incl. Libra's Theme)' is a glorious mellotron soaked song with Lake towering on vocals, sounding like his early Emerson Lake and Palmer days. The slow tempo and Michael Giles' measured percussion are wonderful. Fripp is masterful on mellotron creating a strong ambient atmosphere.

'Cat Food' is perhaps the most well known song on the album and is quite a quirky infectious song that has some sardonic vocals and a great Frippian riff.

A wave of serenity is generated with more mellotron on 'The Devil's Triangle', a mini epic at about 12 minutes in three sections. 'a. Merday Morn' begins with Giles' war-like marching percussion, and a melody that is Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst. There is an avant- garde slow build up intensifying till it breaks into a howling wind; 'b. Hand Of Sceiron'. Finally the music segues to 'c. Garden Of Worm' with atonal jazz patterns and gaudy keyboards with discordant brass blasts. The final track, another variation of 'Peace' has the prayerful compressed vocals of Lake acapella style until a minimalist acoustic guitar chimes in.

Overall the album is an incredible array of music but is quite uneven when it comes to King Crimson. There is more improvisation than usual and it features some highlights but quite a degree of unpleasantness with out of tune sections and off beat rhythms. It is a difficult album to listen to but is nonetheless an important one for the Crims who were branching into very experimental territory. They attempted to capture the emotional resonance and virtuosity of the debut but it is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle, and it simply cannot be replicated, not even by the Crims. It would all come together on the next few albums that would reach classic status and become quintessential to the band's revolutionary reputation. 3 and a half stars - but rounded off to 4.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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