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Peter Hammill - In Camera CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 452 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Imagine my wonder as a sixteen year old walking into a record store in the middle of Nebraska and finding this fantastic gem of an album. I had never heard it before, yet I was a fan of Peter Hammill's work from hearing The Silent Corner and various other works of his from his K group, but none of that prepared me for this dark progressive masterpiece.

The album kicks off with the very loose, calming "The Ferret and the Featherbird", a reworking of an earlier Van der Graaf piece, its a short little piece that consists of calming ethereal synthesizer work, acoustic guitars, and lovely vocals. This then leads into the next track, a dark, doom laden synthesizer dominated dirge with deep, thought provoking lyrics involving childhood and the loss of innocence and imagination as one grows up. Another excellent track. Then comes "Tapeworm" a rather rocking number with a fascinating a Capella part in the middle in alternating 9/8 8/8 time. Then comes "Again" which almost sounds to me like Peter Hammill's version of "Still You Turn Me On" From BSS, but once again, a very moving synthesizer laden acoustic guitar ballad. Then comes one of my favorite PH pieces "The Faint Heart and the Sermon", an epic piece based around synthesizers and a piano, and this is truly one where the synthesizer really shines, giving the piece an almost futuristic orchestral feel. There are even some parts where the synthesizers sound like a brass section. There is also a rather loose ethereal middle section, which reminds me of the noise between songs you find in Frances the Mute by TMV, albeit a lot shorter. The next track, "The Comet, the Course, the Tail" is another guitar based ballad, yet manages to be just as powerful and moving as the other ballads on the album.

Now comes the fun part of the album. Kicking off with one hell of a menacing harmonium chord progression, we get one of Peter Hammill's darkest offerings in his entire career. "Gog", the first part in one of the most interesting epics in prog history, consists of a menacing harmonium, throbbing bass line, and Guy Evans' rather jazzy percussion work, which works incredibly well in context with the piece. After about 8 minutes of this hellish ecstasy, a droning synthesizer sound leads you into the world of "Magog", the second part of the epic. Magog is certainly not for the faint hearted (no pun intended) for it is pure sonic experimentation. There are no verses, choruses, any of that stuff, nothing but a pure hellish soundscape with chanting thrown here and there, and it is absolutely fantastic. The aura this piece gives off is incredibly haunting and hellish, it belongs right in a horror movie. Peter Hammill takes a very experimental and intelligent approach to songwriting, and I believe this is his greatest accomplishment, it manages to be incredibly experimental while totally enjoyable at the same time. If you are looking for an adventurous, dark, and totally unique progressive listening experience, give this album a whirl. I can't give it any less than five stars.

jazz2896 | 5/5 |


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