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Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 2087 ratings

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Sliver Lord
5 stars Mirage! The album that opened my eyes to progressive rock and music in general 2 years ago (along with Selling England By The Pound).

At that time I was completely amazed by Mirage as being my first contact with music and I didnīt care to listen to Moonmadness and other albums, since I could not stop listening to it and I thought no band could achieve another album as good as Mirage. Then I started listening to more Genesis material like Lamb and Pink Floyd, since my father showed me Dark Side of the Moon and I was amazed (not knowing it was prog, though I liked the complex atmosphere of DSOTM).

I had almost forgotten Camel when my cousin played Song Within A Song in the drums a year ago, with the song being played in the computer. I couldnīt believe I was listening to something like that song! I heard this album bit after bit and after I was completely overwhelmed by each song of the album, I finally decided to buy the album, not having heard Lunar Sea at that time!

This is one of my favorite albums, and listening to this album in a summer night looking at the stars and the moon is an experience only few live to know how it is like. Each album is to listen at a certain environment or mood and it can totally change the way you listen to the album, or whether if you like it or not. The cover of the album is also one of the things that makes this album so good, I always get lost in the landscape of the cover while listening to Moonmadness...

"Aristillus" - one of the best intros to an album ever! Fully symphonic and instrumental, it has a dreamy atmosphere that fits perfectly the main theme of the album: the moon! Basically it is a synthesizer playing a recurring theme and from here you can see that although this album is an instrumental based album, it is very different from The Snow Goose . It is also important to note the great bass pedals all over the song and the also great bass played in the small bridge that leads to the same theme 'till the end of the song. Perfectly done! - 7.5/10

"Song Within A Song" - one of my all time favorites! Every part of this song is perfect, again a very dreamy feel that makes Camel's music pure magic. I swear I cried the first time I listened to this song. Emotional flutes and voice in the first part that takes you to the sky, and then it builds up a climax that ends in a synthesizer that immortalizes this song as one of the most incredible songs out there! - 10.5/10

"Chord Change" - a very laid back instrumental piece, very relaxing, that kind of reminds me my vacations in Jamaica in the first part where the main instrument is the guitar. Then it begins the second part where a more emotional guitar takes place and then the keyboards "enter the scene" to create an even more emotional piece. Oh, and that finish! A solo containing elements of both parts - 9/10

"Spirit Of The Water" - a very relaxed song where only piano and voice are present. Latimer uses voice effects to create a dark and calm feel, like he is singing underneath water, which fits well with the lyrics. There isnīt much progression, but still a great song! - 6.5/10

"Another Night" - this is a overwhelming song that could have perfectly been taken from Mirage as this is a more rocking song. However it continues to have that epic mood of Moonmadness and the combination of those two elements is what makes this song so good! It is a song that also reminds me the concept of the album (the moon) and it is an high quality track! - 8/10

"Air Born" - one of the masterpieces of Camel, Air Born is a song that starts with a very touching flute and piano that leads to one of the most heartfelt guitar solos ever! The voice is again distorted but what makes this song special is really the flute and the atmospheric feel the synthesizer gives to the song. Then it ends the same way it begun, but in an even more majestic way! - 9/10

"Lunar Sea" - for most this is the highlight of the album. Well, it is also one of my favorites and it deserves an honorable mention, since I didnīt like this song the first time I listened to it and it grew on me in unexpected ways. Now, after I understood the concept and the complexity of this song, it is for me one of the best songs in prog. It begins with a synthesizer and some bubble effects (is just Fergusson with his head in a bucket of water) for about 1 minute, then drums begin to speed up and finally a unique guitar solo comes in (one of the best guitar solo I've heard). What would be the follow up to a solo like this? Of course it could only be a keyboard solo as good as that. Here Peter Bardens has the chance to show his virtuosity as he travels with is hands through the keyboard from one side to another. Then it leads to a more bass driven part more like Mirage and this song ends the same way it begun, in a powerful way - 10/10

On to the bonus tracks:

"Another Night [Single version] " - this version of the song is nothing particularly special, it is a 3 minute version of a 7 minute song! It doesnīt even repeat the refrain... anyway, it is not a complete waste of time as it also has variations from the original song, but we could live without this single version - 5/10

"Spirit of the Water [Demo] " - in this demo version Bardens also plays the voice and the synth effects in the piano. It doesnīt change much though and because of that it doesnīt turn out to be an outstanding version of the song (it isnīt like Can-Utility And The Coastliners played in Genesis For Two Grand Pianos, where a song with few piano is all changed to that instrument and it turns out to be damn good!). Anyway, the song doesnīt lost qualities so it doesnīt deserve a bad rating - 6/10

"Song Within A Song" - one of my favorite songs from this album played live was a bit disappointing, mainly because they switched the flute with guitar (it does all the difference), but also because the sound isnīt very good generally - 7.5/10

"Lunar Sea" - this live version of Lunar Sea is even better than the studio version. The sound is very good and I prefer the synths in this version of the song - 10/10

"Preparation/Dunkirk" - two songs taken from the culminating moment of The Snow Goose that have a very good sound live, though this version of Preparation is a little different of the album version. Anyway, two great songs taken from one of their Masterpieces but unfortunately they are not the songs that describe the feel of The Snow Goose - 8/10

Well, what can I say more? Go and buy it!

Sliver Lord | 5/5 |


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