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Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 2153 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
2 stars There is something I dislike on this album. It could be the sometimes spaceous structure, the annoying emotionless vocals (sparse, but nonetheless) and vocal effects OR the knack for repetition this band seems to have, especially when it comes to basslines. Most likely it's a mixture of all of these elements, paired with the lack of enthusiasm I think that some bands seem to emit.

In short: Moonmadness just doesn't offer me much of a thrill.

The reason to why I decided to get this record was Aristillus, and Aristillus alone. I heard it once and really liked it. Great powerful keyboard-driven tune with a cold, crisp atmosphere to it. Some distorted, electronic bass sounds make it even colder.

Song Within a Song is a perfect example of what I can't appreciate here. It's not that it is bad per se, but the intro reeks of something I can only categorize as blandness. My first thought was 'MIDI!' and the next was 'polyphonic phone tunes!', production- and otherwise. Not very exciting, eh? After the intro finishes, there is this Floyd-esque spacey part that will repeat itself a couple of times during the song. I've never been a big fan of that, making this a STRICTLY subjective objection (but even I like the introduction of Lunar Sea, where this feels natural and really builds up the atmosphere of a cold, moonlit night. Bullseye!). I'd also appreciate a more powerful organ sound, instead of the often meandering performance. The rest of the songs are all somewhat close to this one, at least big parts of them, when broken down into individual passages. So chances are that if you like this song, you'll like the album. But if you don't...

Another Night is more powerful and classic rock-ish. But I still feel that it suffers from overuse of to few musical ideas, drawn out for 7 minutes. Or perhaps that the ideas don't get time enough for development.

All this makes it sound like I despise this record, but I really don't. Found here is also some very emotional and enjoyable guitar solos and nice flute and as I said earlier, nothing is actually bad, as in sloppy, or untalented. I think there's a fair amount of material for three stars, even the rare four/five star-thingy. But I can't let go of that feeling that this is a band trying really hard to sound like a lot of other bands, all at the same time, somewhat lacking in a clear musical direction.

Taken as a whole: 2.5 stars (going down), as I'm sure fans of this musical blend (obviously, just look at the rating!) will enjoy this.


LinusW | 2/5 |


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