King Crimson — The Power to Believe
(Sanctuary Records 06076-84585-2, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01The majority of King Crimson tunes since Vrooom consist of the following sections: interlocking guitar parts reminiscent of the Discipline era, done in varying speeds; chunky, stuttery chords offsetting the two guitars; dramatic power chords in unusual intervals topped by single notes, usually in a high range, but sometimes low; drifting soundscapes of guitar or guitar synthesizer (usually on a Mellotron-like string sound). Throw in an occasional Belew ballad, and you can cover virtually everything they’ve recorded on three studio albums and innumerable EP’s and live releases. All you need to do is mix up the parts. As far as I can tell, The Power to Believe throws two new tricks into the bag. One is the warped heavy metal riffing of “Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With” and “Facts of Life,” the other is the slow buildup of “Dangerous Curves,” which is a bit like “Talking Drum.” My guess is that most people who have liked recent Crimson releases will also like this one, but it’s not likely to win many new converts among those who haven’t, or prefer other eras of the band’s work. That being said, I have to admit I find this CD eminently enjoyable, sort of a distillation of the essence of current Crimson art. I don’t know if I’ll be willing to accept another CD of variations on these same themes, however, so I hope a change is coming.
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more