Album Reviews

King Crimson – Live In Vienna Review

Released by: Discipline Global Mobile

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Prog Rock

Links: https://www.facebook.com/kingcrimsonofficial/

 

Line Up:

Mel Collins: Saxes & flute
Robert Fripp: Guitar & keyboards
Tony Levin: Basses, stick, voice
Pat Mastelotto: Drums,
Gavin Harrison: Drums
Jakko Jakszyk: Guitar & voice
Bill Rieflin: Keyboards
Jeremy Stacey: Drums & keyboards

 

Tracklist:

Disc One:
First Set: (Vienna, 2016)
1 Walk On: Soundscapes: Monk Morph Music Of The Chamber
2 Hell Hounds of Krim
3 Pictures of a City
4 Dawn Song
Suitable Grounds for The Blues
5 VROOOM
6 The Construkction of Light
7 The Court of the Crimson King
8 The Letters
9 Sailors’ Tale
10 Interlude
11 Radical Action II
12 Level V

Disc Two:
Second Set: Vienna, 2016
1 Fairy Dust Of The Drumsons
2 Peace: An End
3 Cirkus
4 Indiscipline
5 Epitaph
6 Easy Money
7 Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row
8 Red
9 Meltdown
10 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Two
11 Starless

Disc Three:
Encores and Expansions,
1 Fracture
2 Heroes
3 21st Century Schizoid Man
4 Schoenberg Softened His Hat
5 Ahriman’s Ceaseless Corruptions
6 Spenta’s Counter Claim

 

King Crimson is one of those bands I will forever hold near and dear to my heart. I was turned on to them while in college by some good friends of mine. They learned I loved Prog Rock and had never even heard of Crimson. Quickly they rectified this egregious error in my life, and I have since become incredibly infatuated with their unusual, highly proggy rock music. I definitely have my preference of what era of KC I love (Red and Discipline are easily my top favorites from this band,) I feel a kinship with the bulk of their catalog. Robert Fripp’s insane precision and quirky guitar bits, the oddball time signatures, and the brilliant syncopation they are capable of sends them into the stratosphere of talent and ability, and most of the things I love are why most people are turned off by them. I will admit that King Crimson has always been one of the most Progressive of the Prog Rock bands, making it very tough for a regular music listener to “get,” but I’m glad I get them. They haven’t released a new full-length album under the name since 2003’s The Power To Believe, but are now putting out Live In Vienna, a mind-blowing three-disc set chronicling a 2016 show of the band running through a career spanning set.

THRAK is probably the last album that truly got me fired up for their music so everything up to that point I’m fairly familiar with. The set is a perfect mix of the classic stuff dating back to their debut In the Court of the Crimson King to more recent fare. For me, the highlight of the set was hearing stuff like “Red,” “Epitaph,” “21st Century Schizoid Man,” “Indiscipline,” “Fracture,” and my favorite of all “Starless.” Though I miss Adrian Belew, Jakko Jakszyk handles the vocals of so many different and great singers nearly flawlessly. He also provides some guitar accompaniment for Fripp, whose playing is astonishing. The discipline he has for the instrument and the true passion for it and exploring its capabilities is still quite evident. Plus the fact Tony Leven is still in the fold delivering bass lines like no other. Mel Collins brilliant sax and flute work, matched with the percussionists in Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, and Jeremy Stacey and on top of that keyboards from Bill Reiflin, you have a collection of performers whose abilities singularly are incredible, but when combined to play this complex music…it’s astronomical. I love the juxtaposition of newer material versus old, all of it flowing together so seamlessly.

Without a doubt, it was a pleasure getting to review King Crimson’s Live In Vienna. The brilliance in this legendary catalog of songs performed live on stage by this caliber of musician would surely have been a religious experience to behold. Perhaps someday I will get the chance to stand in the presence of the mighty King Crimson. Until then, this recording will have to suffice.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10

 

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