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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover

MIRAGE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 1746 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Ace Face
3 stars An ok album from Camel which would show their capabilities on future albums.

Freefall: A fast start with lots of heavy organ and guitar licks, showing off Latimer's chops. When the singing comes in, its just plain bad. it would get better on other albums and later on this one, but a band like Camel should not have ANY lyrics including Oh yea. they're too serious for that. after the short vocal stint, the guitar takes a great lead for a while, with good organ backing. This goes through several sections, with the drums keeping pace with plenty of fills. Then we are taken back to the beginning guitar part and back to the vocal part. Again, with the corny, down, down, down down down, oh yea. What is that? I wanna puke. the musicians are so talented, but Latimer did not write that vocal part well.

Supertwister: more in the vein of a true Camel song, with flute and electric piano opening. Then we get some interesting time signatures, with the flute taking lead over it all. Then it turns into a 6/8 jam with flute and organ fluttering around. Then it slows once more with the flute taking an amazing turn into awesomeness. Latimer can keep pace with the best of them: Gabriel, Anderson, Jackson, the lot. Then it turns back to 6/8. this song is like chord change from Moonmadness in that its very complex and packs a lot into a little bit of time. But then it ends with a disgusting sound, ruining the mood.

Nimrodel/Procession/White Rider: A Tolkien-themed epic, this song is a classic Camel track. Some spacey guitar and synth tones opening into a multitude of sounds, sounding like a march eventually, with trumpets and drums. the melody is eastern-tinged, and the flute comes into solo over the main theme. Then the mellotron jumps in, with the guitar taking the lead. then what sounds like an Oboe comes in, followed by Latimer singing. this is a step away from the junky singing he did on Freefall. The lyrics are mystical, describing someone whom the narrator admires. The flute takes the lead again, followed by guitar again. Then the drums kick is up as the organ jumps in to take the lead. organ turns to synth, and the soloing gets more intense. After a while of this, the guitar starts to solo again, but soon the song slows down with acoustics and the singing starts once more. The Wizard described is quite clearly Gandalf the White from the Lord of the Rings books. An evil sounding synth riff comes in to lead us to the end with odd guitar sounds popping in here and there. the song ends with a slide guitar solo.

Earthrise: some wind and tinkling leads us into the main guitar theme. the drums then jump in and the organ takes the melody. a bright melody is introduced with lots of snare drumming behind it. a mini drum solo follows, and then a mini guitar solo, followed by organ and synth lines trading off. then the song really picks up. after a bunch of high speed strumming, the guitar takes the lead in a spectacular solo. the organ then takes the lead again. as you can clearly see, they like to show off their chops, and it starts to get a little old on this album. They are much more restrained and musically talented on Moonmadness and the Snow Goose.

Lady Fantasy: An octave-jumping synth riff brings us into this masterful song, best on the album. the guitar and drums combine to give a dramatic feel, like an overture of sorts. Then it drops into straight 4/4 with the guitar taking lead. Then the vocals come in with epic organ fills in between. soon the organ takes full lead and blows us away. it almost sounds like a guitar, but it is clearly organ. After this, a slightly faster section comes in, with guitar taking lead, but this then slows down once more into the main theme. this mellows out into a slower section with acoustic guitar and some really high electric leads, while the organ carries the chords. the lyrics are just as mellow, but when Latimer sings Lady Fantasy, I Love you, its the cue to go wild. the drums and organ kick it up, and then the guitar starts to solo frantically. the organ switches in after a bit with a great solo from Bardens. the solo continues for a while, and its clear that this is the closest Camel will get to a side long epic with a massive keyboard performance, like Nine Feet Underground, Close to the Edge, Supper's Ready, Thick as a Brick, etc. the solo slows down and the song ends with a shimmering mellotron outro.

Overall, a good album, but not on par with the great ones yet to come. There is too much chop blasting here, and while its awesome on Lady Fantasy, the rest is not particularly good, but the song structures are great. The follow up, the Snow Goose, would give the world a taste of Camel at their Finest.

The Ace Face | 3/5 |

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