Heaven & Hell Unleashed October 17, 2011
Written by TheMarkedMan
I’m not ashamed to say that when Thrak hit the retailers in 1995 and I purchased my copy I didn’t buy in to what I was hearing. Sometimes what we are seeking internally, perhaps even spiritually is not aligned with what we are hearing... or think we are hearing. At that point I pretty much hopped off the Crimso interstellar bus and, to coin a certain musical fellow’s term, "moved on". I still had tremendous respect for the driver but didn’t want to see the places he was driving through. Fast foward about 16 years - has it really been that long? I saw a copy of The Collectable King Crimson Vol 3 "Live at Shepherd’s Bush" in Fry’s Electronics here in Indianapolis and couldn’t resist having another go. Time does things to people and all I can say is wow. Wow Wow WOW! If I had to describe this in a single sentence I would say it sounds like Steve Reich meets Igor Stravinsky with 10,000 watts behind them - and that comments does this little justice. This show is taken directly from the band’s console and though you can hear the occasional ’moron in the audience’ the sound is wonderful. Without a doubt the most intense live recording I have ever heard. It’s like Zappa on steriods. This music definitely has eyebrows! The rhythms are hypnotic and the playing seems humanly impossible in places. What an amazing band this was. Shepherd’s Bush Empire sounds like Heaven and Hell unleashed. In places the music is incredibly barbaric and then suddenly it is achingly beautiful - but not for long, we are quickly plunged back into the sound of fire and brimstone. Sorry I couldn’t support the KCCC at the time but very pleased I was able to obtain a copy of this CD. Five Stars, absolutely.
Great mix for the download verison April 20, 2009
Written by gasmrv
Great care has been taken to do the mixing of this download version. Here you don’t get the volume drop you do get on the DVD version after the 2 track TCoL.
Perhaps since this gig was originally released as a double-DVD along with the more ’fancy’, multi-angled -footage which also included the then new material from the more successful The Power to Believe- Tokyo 2003 DVD, this 2000 London gig, I think, has always been somewhat underrated. I’ve always preferred the more intimate Shepherds Bush gig, both performance wise and visually - that was indeed great ’Bootleg TV’.
Thank you for this download
Another very ’intimate’ London performance I’d like to see released would be the 12th September, 1982 at the Hammersmith Palais
Only Slightly Ludicrous July 5, 2000
Written by Adam Sweetings
After a mere 31 years, King Crimson continue not only to survive, but to evolve. Not that the current line-up, or the music they plays, bear any resemblance to the original band that appeared with the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park in 1969. The single surviving constant is Robert Fripp, whose boffinly excursions on guitar in time signatures that would baffle students of Pierre Boulez or Archie Shepp still sit at the molten core of the Crimson crusade.
Always the theoretician, Fripp thinks of the current Crimson not as a quartet but as a double duo, in which the so-called rhythm section might at any moment stage a coup and take over. This was the band’s first UK performance for four years, coinciding with the recent album, The ConstruKction of Light. The new music is a heady mixture of steamhammer rhythms, howling mutant funk and passages of seething noise, though in live performance they introduce some welcome light and shade. With Fripp seated stage right like a technician monitoring a complicated experiment, the frontman function devolves on to co-guitarist Adrian Belew, while Pat Mastelotto mans the drums and Trey Gunn plays "bass touch guitar" like an octopus tormented by fleas.
Musically, nowhere is off limits. Pieces might begin with slow, treated percussion and synthesised voice samples, separated by chasms of silence, then kick up a couple of gears into a smooth, flowing motion with Fripp sailing along in pastoral mode. Crimson’s version of funk resembles a multiple air crash, shaking the floor with enormous syncopations before uncaging interludes of freeform mayhem.
If there’s a question-mark, it’s over Belew’s singing, which is never entirely convincing, perhaps because he always looks as if he’s about to burst out laughing. He growled out ProzaKc Blues like a Howlin’ Wolf impersonator on amateur night, but was barely audible in an otherwise laudable take of Bowie’s Heroes. His finest moment was his solo treatment of Complicated, where he managed to remember all the words while finger-picking a fiendishly tricky pattern on acoustic guitar. Overall, Crimson 2000 are brainy, brawny and only slightly ludicrous.
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