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CAMEL

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.94 | 898 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The debut album from Camel is a pleasant listen. Allthough Iīm not the biggest fan of Camel I do like their first 4 albums a lot. Camelīs debut is a bit different from the next three which are pretty symphonic. This one has one leg in the Caterbury scene and the other in the symphonic prog rock scene. I like the warm and almost lazy sounding Caterbury influences but also enjoy the symphonic tendencies.

The music is very pleasant and warm and there are lots of soloing throughout the album from both Latimer and Bardens. The vocals are the weak point here obviously. Itīs actually quite funny that three of the members sing two songs each and they sound so much alike that it sounds like it is the same person singing. The vocal lines and the vocal perfomances are actually pretty inoffensive and pleasant but they donīt excite me. The music is generally very melodic and this is were Camel have their force. Sometimes they remind me of Caravan without being clones at all though. Camel doesnīt reach the same intricate hights as Caravan though on this debut album. There are no bad songs here but on the other hand only a few stand out. I like the beautiful Never Let Go and the Canterbury influenced Slow Yourself Down, but the rest of the songs are pretty much average prog rock tunes with almost the same mood.

On the remastered version from 2002 that I have there are 2 bonus tracks. Itīs the Single version of Never Let Go which I find superfluous and the long live jam song Homage To The God Of Light which will be a treat to some but for someone like me who isnīt too excited about endless jams this isnīt that interesting. Since these are bonus tracks I guess I should just be happy to get some additional tracks no matter what the quality is.

The musicians are all competent and especially Andy Latimer gets to show of his solo skills throughout the album. Iīm not that fond of his solo style though even though he is a good musician. His style is way to easy listening and melodic to please me. I need some more bite to satisfy me fully. Peter Bardens, Andy Ward and Doug Ferguson are also great musicians. Andy Ward has a soft drum style that I have always liked and Peter Bardens play lots of nice organ passages.

The sound quality is pretty good but would get even better on the next couple of albums. This production is way above average for the prog rock scene in general though.

This is a nice debut album from one of the most prominent bands from the seventies. Itīs not an excellent album by any means though and Iīll rate it 3 stars. Itīs close to 4 stars when Iīm in the right mood, but most of the time this is a 3 star album.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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