Album of the Week: In The Court Of The Crimson King


Maddox Wolfgram, Staff Writer

The first official album of the week is In The Court Of The Crimson King by King Crimson. This album was released in 1969, and started a movement of progressive rock. The albums intro, 21st Century Schizoid Man, instantly draws you in with massive horns, guitar riffs, and drums. The song then progresses into its first verse, where the vocals are extremely distorted. The mid-section of this song is filled with guitar solos, saxophone solos, and plenty of fast paced drums. The arrangement of this song is incredible; it sounds almost orchestral at times. The final section of the song slows down the pace a bit, before exploding into madness. Overall, 21st Century Schizoid Man is an excellent opening track that instantly brings you into the atmosphere of the album.

The ferocity of the ending of the intro track transitions into a softer, more delicate track in I Talk To The Wind. The song is stripped back of all intense drums, guitars, and horns, in favor of the flute. The vocals are also sung in a delicate tone, rather than the harsh, distorted vocals of the first track. Overall, I have less to say about this song because it is simple, and fluent throughout the song.

The third track on the album, Epitaph, dives into a darker, more depressing tone. It adds back in more grand drums but keeps the lighter guitar from the 2nd track. Epitaph does an incredible job of meshing the themes and feeling of the first 2 tracks, into a unifying halfway point for the album.

Unfortunately, I feel the album takes a slight dip in quality with its 4th track, Moonchild. It starts out as a very beautiful ballad, which is stripped back even further than I Talk to The Wind. However, as the track moves past the 2 minute mark, it develops into mostly ambient nonsense.

The final title track of the album, The Court Of The Crimson King, brings everything back for an epic finale. This track successfully brings together the album to a close, including many pieces from other tracks. It contains a light flute solo throughout the midsection, hard drums, horns, and dark vocals. It does this all while managing to keep an insanely catchy chorus.

Overall, I would give this album a solid 8/10. It would easily be my first recommendation for anybody looking to get into the progressive rock/psychedelic rock genres.