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Peter Hammill - Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night CD (album) cover

CHAMELEON IN THE SHADOW OF THE NIGHT

Peter Hammill

 

Eclectic Prog

4.03 | 226 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Peter Hammill's second solo album, Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night is the first of a three classic albums, all very much in the sound of Van Der Graaf Generator. The majority of songs on this album are just Peter Hammill with his piano or guitar, no complex dissonance like The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage and In Camera here, despite some small exceptions.

First, I'd like to mention that this album is very consistent. There are no bad tracks on it at all. The true solo performances, with just Peter and him playing only one instrument, vary from good to incredibly haunting and intense. And example of the first is for example "Slender Threads", not a stand out song, but it's very nice. An example of the second, the haunting, intense music, are songs like "In The End", and the magnificent "Easy To Slip Away". Truly dark and astonishing songs.

There also are some clear similarities with Van Der Graaf Generator on this album though. The first is "German Overalls", which most of the time contains just vocals and guitar, but now and then is joined by sax and organs. A great song, slightly better than the fierce "Rock And Role". The song is very diverse, exciting and striking; a brilliant piece of music. The biggest highlight of the album is the longest song, (In The) Black Room/The Tower. (In The) Black Room has some of the best composed verses ever that when combined with the marvelous VDGG like instrumental parts sounds incrediblily striking and stunning. The Tower is less instrument based, but is more ambient and features some powerful expression by Peter Hammill. The song ends with a brief reprise of the Black Room verses, though slightly different.

This is a great album from Peter Hammill. The album has some very emotional minimalist songs, while others are extremely bombastic and epic. This album is not quite a masterpiece in my opinion, but is not far from that.

The Sleepwalker | 4/5 |

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