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Citizen Cain - Serpents In Camouflage CD (album) cover


Citizen Cain


Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 104 ratings

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3 stars The excellent recent interview by toroddfuglesteg with Stewart Bell from Citizen Cain reminded me that I actually owned an album by the band and now to this overdue review!

I got this album by a mere chance when I was browsing a downtown record store, somewhere around 2001, and stumbled upon an album cover that I just couldn't ignore. This excellent album cover art belonged to Citized Cain's debut album Serpents In Camouflage and everything about it screamed progressive rock, a genre that I was only starting to uncover by that point in my life.

The album consists of six lengthy compositions ranging from 6 to 13 minutes in length. Listening to the album for the first time reminded me a whole lot of a band called Marillion, which I pretty much was discovering simultaneously with this new experience. Listening to the album today gives me more hints of the classic Gabriel-era Genesis with Cyrus clearly trying to sound like Peter Gabriel while Frank Kennedy's guitar reminds me of Steve Hackett but also a whole lot of Steve Rothery. Stewart Bell does a competent job with his keyboard arrangements and he's not really trying to sound like either Tony Banks nor Mark Kelly but does come off sounding very Neo-Prog to my ears with a distinct touch of the IQ sound.

Even though all of these tracks feature their unique moments, I don't really find any of the first five compositions to be memorable enough and the ones that are manage to overstay their welcome by a margin. There are definitely many instances that pay homage to prog classics from the past, like Liquid Kings's intro section that sounds exactly like the intro to Kansas' Song For America, while The Gathering reminds me a lot of Marillion's Garden Party. Fortunately, the albums magnum opus of a title track is something that is well worth waiting for and once it comes around the momentum pretty much sweeps away all the previous signs of unoriginality for me.

I do get a few fond memories whenever I listen to this album but ultimately I can't recommend it to everyone since the sub-genre that Citizen Cain were going for with this release is already overcrowded by many classic acts that this collective can't outmatch in the hook department. Good, but non-essential record that is well worth a listen if you're a fan of Symphonic Prog.

***** star songs: Serpents In Camouflage (13:23)

**** star songs: Stab In The Back (6:50) Harmless Criminal (10:31) Dance Of The Unicorn (6:28)

*** star songs: Liquid Kings (11:27) The Gathering (11:07)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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