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(52 min, 'Noisy')
I wonder why DAVID CROSS is labelled as a jazz rock/fusion musician at Progarchives. I can only imagine how many potential fans of his solo work (which has almost nothing to do with that genre, unlike King Crimson circa 1973-‘74), have closed the musician's section there right away after seeing this nonsensical statement. Three friends of mine would probably never have known that most, if not all, of the albums released under the ‘moniker’ of David Cross Band represent classic symphonic progressive rock with elements of prog-metal had I not explained to them what is true and what is wrong. There are three David Cross Band albums in my collection, namely “The Big Picture”, “Testing for Destruction” and “Exiles”. The first two of them are both masterpieces of the said genre(s), whereas the latter, while being an excellent album overall, is slightly inferior to either of its two predecessors. I like it much more when there is only one lead singer on any album, but not two, especially when such different as Peter Hammill and John Wetton, this factor a contrast to the album's stylistic conception. Also, David's – instantly recognizable – almost monolithically unique atmosphere gets here distorted by two very Crimsonesque compositions, the title one (which was originally written by Cross himself for the "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" album) and ‘Tonk’ (with its heavy, typical Frippian guitar riffs), and also an anthem-like ballad ‘This is Your Life’. It is a good thing that the instrumental arrangements are interesting almost throughout the album, including the ‘Crimsonics’. Either way, David Cross, this outstanding English violinist and composer, remains one of the few Prog-veterans who still create music of the quality of the 70s.
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