Exposé Online banner

King Crimson — Level Five
(Discipline DGM0518, 2001/2008, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01

Level Five Cover artInitially a limited edition live CD, Level Five joins the set of other interim releases prior to The Power to Believe. The process for airing new King Crimson material again is to rehearse a piece for live performance then take the track into the studio to capture a “best essence” of the piece. Songs that fit this process are “Dangerous Curves” and “Virtuous Circle,” which show a heavier and predictable direction for the four-piece line-up since the last studio outing, The ConstruKction of Light. The pulsing rhythms of the former track create a dire scenario along with the tension-building title track and the battered-fly-like guitar solo from Adrian Belew that ends the song. Fripp’s crystalline bells play against Trey Gunn’s ominous bass line to huge consequences. “The Construktion of Light” benefits from a friendlier groove and clearer separation between Fripp and Belew’s cascading guitar lines than the live recording from the 2000 European tour. In contrast, another live version of “The Deception of the Thrush” that shows how the piece is still morphing from the sterile studio version. Mastelotto seems to really be finding his rhythmic niche, as much of his time-keeping anchors, as well as propels the ensemble. It’s curious to note what response the modern hard rock crowd has had when seeing this veteran metal group live. Where live refinement is the standard mode of operation, Crimson clearly prevails.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 27, 2008 releases, 2001 recordings

Related artist(s): Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, King Crimson, Pat Mastelotto, Trey Gunn

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - A Bead to a Small Mouth – Each track on this compilation integrates spoken text and sound manipulation, with results both mysterious and captivating. On "A New Dress" Nurse with Wound layers shifting, hypnotic metallic tones...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues