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(Sanctuary Visual Entertainment SVE3034) (2003)
Random improvisation from legendary prog rockers ...

King Crimson

This could be the definitive DVD offering for fans of this legendary and influential band. Crimson, or perhaps more accurately, Robert Fripp, have stretched prog rock barriers over the years and influenced more recent bands such as Nine Inch Nails.

The first disc features a band performance in Japan in April 2003 and trawls nineties albums, mostly 'Power To Believe'(2003), and 'Larks Tongues' is the only concession to their seventies catalogue. With Trey Gunn playing a "touch guitar" with lute-like headstock, Pat Mastelotto on drums, and Adrian Belew on guitar and vocals, the band make a formidable and dense noise which may not be to everyone's taste. There is not a lot of contrast, it's all pretty heavy and intense. Strangely, this much-needed contrast appears as a bonus outtake, the track that gives this package its title. 'Eyes Wide Open' actually appears in rehearsal form and is brutally truncated. Why wasn't it included in the proper concert footage?

The main attraction of Disc 2 is a rather unique feature which allows you to obtain different improvisations to various tracks. The second disc will not play in the same order every time because it randomly inserts these different improvisations, giving an element of surprise.. This performance at times recalls the wilder excesses of Steve Hackett (Vrooom), the frequently desolate soundscapes and essentially industrial metal flavour of the pieces. Throughout both these sets Robert Fripp, the natural leader, takes back seat, a sort of ethereal and knowing father figure - his glistening dome the only giveaway that he is, indeed, working.



Review by David Randall

© 2003 All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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