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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2103 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Camel explores very unique territory with each release. This is their third album and perhaps their most celebrated when it comes to pure progressive content, though Camel's first 2 and fourth album are better. The entire album is based on one concept, that of the snow goose story and the music reinvents the genre. It is difficult to digest at first as no songs are apparent, rather instrumental works that make up a whole.

As soon as the flute chimes in and those keyboards ring out on Rhayader, one is instantly transported into the beautiful ambience of one of the best instrumental albums of the symphonic Canterbury period.

Each track is beautifully, masterfully executed by the musical virtuosity of each member. It is best listened to as an entire work, rather than individual pieces, similar to a symphony orchestra. (Even my wife loved this and she despises most prog.) It features such a beauty it is calming and soothing on the senses.

Latimer's guitars are upbeat and his flute is cheerful and charming, perfectly balanced by Ward's drumming and the keyboard talents of Barden's. These talents are balanced by orchestral sections giving the work an overall epic majestic quality. The juxtaposition of orchestra and rock instruments works perfectly. At times their are subliminal vocals, no actual words, but more sounds that compliment the tracks.

Rhayader Goes To Town is definitely a highlight, featuring on many Camel compilations, and includes enormous keyboard motifs that stab in stoccato riffs,and all is augmented by the blazing guitar solos from Latimer.

Sanctuary is repetitive and focusses on Latimer's drifting guitar solo, that really slows things down.

The Snow Goose is the band in full flair that includes catchy ambient melodies. A very high pitched saxophone can be heard in the tracks to follow and is a welcome change in pace to all the strings.

Rhayader Alone is another highlight and is quite a melancholy piece with marvellous soloing from Latimer and an acoustic bass tone from Ferguson.

Of note too is the addition of bonus tracks on the Decca remaster version. Over 24 extra minutes of Camel is irresistible. The bonus additions are great single edit versions of Flight of The Snow Goose, Rhayader and Flight Of The Snow Goose. There are also two excellent live 1974 versions of Rhayader Goes To Town and The Snow Goose/ Freefall. This last track clocks in at 11 minutes and is one of the highlights as it blends seamlessly from Snow Goose to one of my favourite tracks in Freefall. I have played this track most of all tracks on the album and count it as one of the top 5 Camel live tracks in my collection.

Overall, I believe The Snow Goose is an inspired work that demands attention. It is not for everybody's tastes due to the content, and it is a peaceful, tranquil instrumental album, however this is one of those albums that tends to grow on you over time.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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