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Camel - Camel CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 1238 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 3.75 Stars

Impressive debut from Camel. It is instrumentally very raw and passionate; one can say full of sexual energy as some 70s classic rock acts like Led Zeppelin. I may go ahead and say it is one of Latimer's best guitar albums, even if the songwriting is not as mature as many later works.

Songs generally do not have a lot in common with progressive rock, so it takes a 70s classic rock fan to enjoy the raw energy here. The opener in particular has fierce guitar and organ playing that sound absolutely phenomenal all the way through. Andy Latimer's vocals try to sound like Jim Morrison but only partially succeeding. My personal opinion is that the vocals are typically not Camel's strength. Luckily the band knows their limits as singers and don't overstretch themselves. Also, they focus on instrumental sections, tho the scatting halfway through works great.

Great guitar and organ playing continue on the slower, but spirited 'Mystic Queen'. 'Six Ate' and 'Separation' speed things back up with plenty of riffs varying in quality, the latter showcasing Latimer's soloing skills once again. The songs seem to have some resemblance to The Doors and Santana, but they already sounded confident with their own voice this early on. 'Never Let Go' has a positive drive and would have worked great with a better singer as it is the only part of the album where I feel the vocals really detract from a song (it's not Andy singing). The extended mellotron solo is excellent and redeems the track. Oh, and another great guitar solo at the end.

'Curiosity' has a brief vocal segment leading into an extended instrumental section with jazz leanings. One of the more progressive songs here along with the instrumental closer 'Arubaluba' which brings the fiery energy present on 'Slow Yourself Down' and is simply awesome all the way through.

4.5 Star Songs - Slow Yourself Down, Arubaluba

4 Star Songs - Mystic Queen, Separation

3.5 Star Songs - Never Let Go, Curiosity

3 Star Songs - Six Ate

Zitro | 4/5 |


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