34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
At The End of Time is beautiful and sad abstraction,
This review is from: At the End of Time (Audio CD)
Although Robert Fripp's soundscapes series has always been interesting, very few of the CDs have been particularly listenable or coherent all the way through. The honourable exception to this was "Blessing of Tears" which used a predominantly sad mood (Mr Fripp had recently lost his mother)and subtle variations on a relatively limited theme to create a remarkably moving piece.
At the End of Time (Churchscapes)is definitely a step forward for Fripp. Although played live in several different churches, it is brilliantly edited into a cohesive whole. Whereas at times, his soundscape CDs have varied between being rather muzaky (unlike the tape-looped Frippertronics there are times when you can hardly tell that a guitar is generating the sounds) followed by almost violent outbursts of noise, this CD flows like a series of suites and definitely benefits from subtle soloing over the back-washes of sound. It is a bit like his collaboration with Brian Eno on Equatorial Stars but rather more lively and more involving with Fripp (and a bank of computers) somehow creating the whole soundpicture. It would be pointless to single out particular pieces except to say that the chiming effects and coda pieces magnificantly frame the ethereal movements between them. Fortunately you don't need to be religious for this to work on an emotional level.
Let's have more pieces like this released as carefully composed (i.e. improvised and edited) CD releases. Also,it would be great if Fripp didn't leave it another 30 years before fully collaborating with Eno again.