KING CRIMSON — In The Wake Of Poseidon (review)

KING CRIMSON — In The Wake Of Poseidon album cover Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"In The Wake Of Poseidon" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act King Crimson. The album was released through Island Records (UK) and Atlantic Records (US) in May 1970. It´s the successor to "In the Court of the Crimson King" from October 1969. There have been quite a few lineup changes since the predecessor as Ian McDonald (keyboards, reeds and woodwinds) and Michael Giles (drums, percussion, backing vocals) both left King Crimson following the band´s first US tour in late 1969 and Greg Lake (vocals, bass) was also on his way out the door to form his own band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Lake agreed to record vocals for the album though, and he performs vocals on all tracks but "Cadence And Cascade" (where the vocals are performed by Gordon Haskell, who would subsequently replace Lake as the band´s lead singer/bassist). Michael Giles was recruited as a session drummer, and brother Peter Giles, who was part of the earliest King Crimson lineup recorded the bass parts. Also as a session musician. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" also features guest/session appearences by Mel Collins (saxophones, flute) and Keith Tippett (piano).

McDonald leaving was the main catalyst for Giles and Lake also jumping ship, as McDonald was the main composer of the material featured on "In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)" and there were doubts in which direction guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield would take the music. As it turned out the material on "In The Wake Of Poseidon" are in many ways very similar in style to the material on "In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)". The heavy and saxophone driven "Pictures Of A City" sounds like a sibling composition to "21st Century Schizoid Man" and the title track has a similar melancholic and epic atmosphere and a similar structure to "Epitaph" from the debut album. "Cadence And Cascade" is this album´s "I Talk to the Wind". So there is no arguing Fripp and Sinfield played it safe as far as sound and style goes. Fortunately they also challenged themselves and produced two tracks which are quite different from the material found on the debut album in the jazz rock influenced "Cat Food" and the slow building multi-layered 11:38 minutes long ambient/atmospheric instrumental "The Devil's Triangle", which is like listening to a gloomy, simplistic, and ominous sounding "Bolero". It´s a bit too long for its own good, and slightly uneventful and tedious too, but at least the band tried something new and different here.

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a well produced affair and the production provides the music with the right conditions to shine. Considering the relatively short time between the debut and this album, and the fact that the band´s main composer left (although he is credited as co-writer on "Cat Food" and "The Devil's Triangle") along with half the lineup who recorded the debut album, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" actually came out pretty great. It´s a ultimately a strong release, featuring high quality material, and stellar musical performances, and if you can look past the fact that many of the tracks on the album sound like they are made from blueprints of tracks from the debut album, there is a lot to enjoy here for a fan of progressive rock. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
Tupan wrote:
2 days ago
Jonas, you simply mentioned two of my favorite albums by them, Red and Discipline! I'm a great fan overall, but still need to listen to In The Wake of Poseidon.
UMUR wrote:
5 days ago
I feel just about the same about them. Some great tracks and some that are a little too experimental for my tastes.
5 days ago
Indeed, how could I forget to mention Red! I am a fan but some of their stuff I find a bit challenging. All of their albums have tracks I enjoy but some I cannot listen to in their entirety. I saw them live in Glasgow a few years ago and they were incredible.
UMUR wrote:
5 days ago
I like King Crimson but I´m not a huge fan. I like Discipline too though :-)...and Red.
6 days ago
Nice review. Always loved this album but I prefer the debut and the very much different Discipline.

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
BLACK SABBATH
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Obsidian Industrial Metal
BLUE STAHLI
Buy this album from MMA partners
Chimaera Monstrosa Avant-garde Metal
HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
A Espera Da Cura [Live $ession] Metalcore
SEA OF MONSTERS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Alias Metalcore
SLEEP WAKER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Seeking Vengeance (2021) Metalcore
THE CURSE WITHIN
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Six Reasons To Kill / BleedingStereo /
SIX REASONS TO KILL
Bosh66· 10 hours ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us