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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 2778 ratings

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5 stars Camel's 'Mirage' album is quite an anomaly in the band's discography; it's their heaviest album by far and has this thick and moody heavy jazz (hard)rock sound. Of course there's the symphonic progressive rock side as well. This album is perhaps the closest to sounding like Kahn's 'Space Shanty' from 1972. On the track listing we find the track 'Supertwister', which actually is a wink to the Dutch Canterbury inspired group Supersister - which may explain the up-tempo jazzy rhythms 'Mirage' offers. Listening to live performances of these songs it becomes apparent this recording is quite different from the sound of the band at that time, but I don't mind; this is a perfect and unique sound. On this album the fast paced drums of Andy Ward are at its most impressive; tasteful, always fitting perfectly in the compositions and very tight. Doug Ferguson's bass pumps out some great heavy lines during the jammy parts, whilst adding warmth en texture to the melodic parts. Peter Bardens' collection of keyboards here would be a standard pallet for a lot of retro prog we now hear; think of Jordsjo (Sweden) or Malady (Finland). Andy Latimer plays beautifully on all his records, but here he seems to have been driven to the extremes by the breath of the performances. His vocals are still a bit drowsy and geeky, but on most of these songs they fit perfectly due to the great mixing. The album is one big high-light, but among point of interest are the nine minute 'White Rider', which is a Lord of the Rings inspired song. On side two the thirteen minute 'Lady Fantasy' would prove to be a fan favorite. Camel's 'Mirage' proves that progressive rock can benefit a lot from the high energy performances we get to hear way too little.
friso | 5/5 |


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