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Citizen Cain - Serpents In Camouflage CD (album) cover


Citizen Cain


Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 102 ratings

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4 stars Since Fish departed from Marillion in 1988, I practically left progressive music because I did not think there was such band that could create great music like Early Marillion. In 1998 I met with my prog friend's son who also a prog head, Ricky, and he introduced me the fact that prog was still alive with bands like IQ "Ever" and he handed me Cyclops catalogue that described list of prog rock releases. I was stunned with the list because many bands that I never heard before like Sinkadus, Citizen Cain, Flamborough Head, etc. Finally I ordered many CDs through Malcolm of Cyclops label. On band that paid my attention was CITIZEN CAIN (weird name?) because the music reminded me to Genesis at Gabriel era. Once I received the CDs of three albums "Serpents in Camouflage", "Somewhere But Yesterday", and "Raising The Stones" I practically played these CDs the whole year and I was stunned with their masterpiece "Somewhere But Yesterday" (1994).

"Serpents In Camouflage" was released a year before the masterpiece and as far as the music quality concern, it sounds a bit raw compared to the masterpiece. I know that this might be a mixing problem. But, overall, it does not hamper the overall music. The key to the music is on Gabriel-like voice line and significant use of keyboards throughout the album with some guitar fills. If you like Genesis Gabriel era, this album serves the purpose.

The opening track "Stab In The Back" (6:49) is truly an excellent symphonic prog rock with nice melody while rhythm section is dominated by beautiful combination of guitar fills and pulsating keyboard work. The song flows nicely from one segment to another, accompanying excellent vocal line of Cyrus. The song also provides nice musical breaks with catchy guitar fills and keyboard work. The combined work of guitar and keyboard is really stunning. The next track "Liquid Kings" (11:25) moves in similar vein but the electric drumming is more dynamic and electric guitar work reminds me to IQ, especially when it's combined with keyboard at intro part of the song. Guitar is now given more chance to perform melody in thin sound. The keyboard that follows reminds me to Marillion's "Garden Party". There are couple of breaks that demonstrate keyboard solo, reminds me to IQ music.

"Harmless Criminal" (10:29) opening showcases acoustic part of Genesis Gabriel era intro part of typical song. You will agree with me that Cyrus singing style is pretty similar with Gabriel. The song has interlude that reminds me to IQ kind of music. "The Gathering" (11:05) has a keyboard intro that reminds me to Marillion's "Incomunicado" even though it's more ambient and once the music enters it sounds differently. The guitar fills remind me to Steve Hackett. "Dance Of The Unicorn" (6:27) starts beautifully with catchy piano work combined with guitar fills accompanying vocal. The music moves combining high drive part with some breaks in Genesis style. The guitar solo with thin sound in the middle of the track is stunning - even though not that long. The part with flute section is really great. The album title track "Serpents In Camouflage" (13:23) is also an excellent composition that deserves much attention. The album concludes with "Nightlights - As The Wheel Turns" (4:06) in mellow style at opening and it then moves in upbeat mode. Unfortunately the recording quality is not that good. There is a bonus track, a demo version of "Stab In The Back" performed live, recorded in not that good sound quality.

Overall, this is "musically" an excellent progressive music collection even though the music is not that original, many influences from other legendary bands. The record quality is not that good. I merely rate the album from musical point of view, so it deserves four stars. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Gatot | 4/5 |


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