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Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.39 | 2424 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I can't believe it's another symphonic prog album!!!!!

Moonmadness is the last album released from Camel's best period in the 70's. After the incredible "Snow Goose" the record company put some pressure to the band so they would not release another instrumental record again. There is not a change of direction for the band in the sonic department since the style is typical symphonic prog ( a little bit watered down may I add) with Camel's features: Emotional guitar parts , athmospheric keyboards and equal participation from every one of the band members.

Aristillus is a short instrumental drenched with synthetizers , although I don't think it will be revered as a masterpiece , there is nothing annoying about it as well. The second number is a typical Camel song it starts with very nice flute by Latimer. Unluckily , this song features vocals and these are quite uninspired. But that's the only flaw I can find on " Song within a Song" since it features very well made athmospheric parts both with synthetizers and guitar. The melodies are memorable as well. As a note , I can add that both Latimer and Bardens share the vocal duties here. " Chord Change" is not as strong as the previous number , I have heard loads of instrumentals like this one. Probably the wrong thing about it it's that on the previous number the song felt like we were on a space voyage and suddenly we are taken back to a jam section with the next tune. Still , this song has an interesting middle section that reminds me of the Snow Goose which is good in my book . " Spirit of the Water" was originally intended to be a keyboard solo but it features some really depressing vocals instead.

"Another Night" starts strong , with interesting riffs. But soon the band runs out of ideas , the song feels almost like a leftover from another recording session. And on top of that we have our classic "vocals" issue. Finally , the song fades away without having achieved anything.. The weakest track on this record by far. " Air born" , in comparaison is a much stronger song: Starts with flute , emotional guitar patterns and spacey synths much like "Song within a Song". The vocals feel the mood of the tune right now which is quite a compliment. As a disgression , am I the only one to find similarities between the middle section and Beatles " Flying"? Finally the record ends with the majestic "Lunar sea". Camel really goes space rock here! There is some heavy syntherizer work by Bardens all over this song , but also Andy Ward offers his best drumming performance on the record. This number is by far the most energetic of the album. After the synths there is some frenetic soloing by Latimer pretty much like Mirage's wildest moments. I think this album couldn't have had a better closer than "Lunar Sea"

"Moonmadness" is sort of a mixed bag: A couple of exellent tunes , another good ones and finally some forgettable ones. I don't think this record may sound annoying to anyone's ears but I don't think of it as the most thrilling record you'll find on the site either.

crimson87 | 3/5 |


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