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Caamora

Neo-Prog


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Caamora She album cover
3.38 | 52 ratings | 12 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1
Act 1
1. Overture
Scene 1:
2. The Storm
3. The Veil
4. Covenant of Faith
5. Rescue
Scene 2:
6. The Lost City
7. The Bonding
8. Ambush
Scene 3:
9. Judgement
10. History
Scene 4:
11. Confrontation
12. Vigil
Scene 5:
13. Shadows

CD 2
Act 2
Scene 1:
1. Fire Dance
Scene 2:
2. Cursed
3. Closer
4. Disbelief
5. Murder
6. The Eleventh Hour
Scene 3:
7. Resting Place
8. Sands of Time
Scene 4:
9. Embrace The Fire
10. The Night Before
Scene 5:
11. The Fire of Life

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Clive Nolan / keyboards, backing vocals
- Agneiszka Swita / vocals
- Alan Reed (Pallas/Neo) / vocals
- Christina Booth (Magenta) / vocals
- John Jowitt (IQ, Neo) / bassist
- Mark Westwood / guitars
- Martin Bowen / guitars
- Richard West / keyboards
- Steve Williams / keyboards
- Scott Higham / drums

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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SheShe
Extra tracks · Limited Edition
Massacre Germany 2008
Audio CD$13.71
$22.03 (used)
EmbraceEmbrace
Single · EP · Limited Edition
Massacre Germany 2008
Audio CD$6.19
$19.14 (used)
Walk on WaterWalk on Water
Single · Import
Massacre Germany 2007
Audio CD$6.24
$8.38 (used)
JOURNEY'S END - AN ACOUSTIC ANTHOLOGYJOURNEY'S END - AN ACOUSTIC ANTHOLOGY
METAL MIN2 2008
Audio CD$13.72
$17.10 (used)
Embrace [Limited Edition EP]Embrace [Limited Edition EP]
Metal Mind Productions
Audio CD$23.98
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CAAMORA She ratings distribution


3.38
(52 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

CAAMORA She reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "She" inspires him

With She Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena etc.) returns with his most ambitious project to date. Under the name Caamora, he and Polish vocalist Agnieszka Swita present this lavish double CD production based on the novel of the same name by H Rider Haggard.

Both Nolan and Swita assume vocal characters, with Alan Reed (Pallas) and Christina Booth completing the cast. Instrumentally, an impressive array of familiar names support Clive's symphonic keyboards and orchestrations. The entire project is composed and produced by Nolan, with Threshold's Karl Groom lending a hand on the technical side.

The album takes the form of a modern opera, being lyrically intense while telling the entire story in significant detail. Anyone who has read the book or seen the classic film will have no difficulty in following the tale here. Those who have not will find all they need by way of support in the lavishly illustrated booklet which accompanies the package.

There is inevitably an Arena or perhaps Strangers on a Train (much more than say Pendragon) feel to many parts of the album. The intro to The storm for example has galloping lead guitar layered upon a wash of symphonic keys. Melodically, the album contains some of Nolan's strongest material ever, the diversity of vocal styles serving to emphasise this well. Covenant of faith is strongly reminiscent of a classic Moody Blues style, Clive delivering a vocal worthy of Justin Hayward no less.

If there is a minor flaw to the package, it is the lack of instrumental interludes. With album being spread across 2 CDs, the space was available for more in the way of keyboards and lead guitar breaks. The detailed nature of the story-telling however leaves little room for such indulgences. Listening to the album overall, I find myself reminded of rock operas such as Jesus Christ Superstar. Nolan tends to avoid the habit of Rice/Lloyd Webber to over use repeated themes though, although tracks, such as History do rework earlier melodies.

In all though this is a hugely ambitious and very enjoyable album. It serves to confirm that Clive Nolan remains highly motivated while continuing to enjoy a level of insparation others can only dream of.

Recommended.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#163204) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you, like me, were expecting something like a neo prog record when you heard about Clive Nolanīs latest release, forget it. Although some of neo progīs best muscians and vocalists are featured here, like bassist John Jowitt (IQ, Jadis), guitarrist Mark Westwood (Neo), the new Pendragon drummer Scott Higham, singers Chtistina Booth (Magenta) and Alan Reed (Pallas), among others, there is almost nothing really neo here, or even prog. She is much a rock opera in the tradition of such famous plays like Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair or The Phantom Of The Opera. And in this field Clive Nolanīs double CD is highly successful.

Although Iīm not really a big fan of broadway musicals or even rock operas (both of which seems to be the best references for She), no one can denies Nolanīs talents and the power of this work. It is his most ambiotious project to date. The music is linked to the storyline, so there is no instrumental interludes or even real guitar or keyboards solos. And thatīs the only fault I can point in the whole record. It could be even better if a little room could be given for the musicians involved to stretch their muscles once in a while.

The vocal perfomances are the highlight of the entire work: both Christina Booth and Alan Reed are perfect in their roles, while Agneiszka Swita is definitly a great find. Even Clive Nolanīs voice work very well here. Prodution is spotless, the orchestral arrangements are great and the mixing is very well done. there are no fillers, even though, as a double CD, some parts are better than others, depending mostly on your taste, not the quality of the tracks.

All in all a great record. Just donīt expect anything like Pendragon or even Arena. Clive Nolan has done something quite different and bold. She only proves he is one of the msot outstanding and talented songwriters around (prog or not prog). A masterpiece, specially if yoiuīre a fan of musicals.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#165489) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars She is quite something...

Originally reviewed for Progressive Ears.com

Background:

The collaboration of Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena) and Agnieszka Swita has taken the form of Caamora and has brought us this impressive rock opera based on the novel She by H. Rider Haggard. As the press release says, the process of creating this epic release took many months and has culminated in this live show featured on the DVD release taking place in Poland in Katowice at the Wyspianski Theatre. The lineup consists of the vocalists Clive Nolan, Agnieszka Swita, Alan Reed (Pallas, Neo) and Christina Booth (Magenta). Musicians are John Jowitt on bass (IQ, Neo), Mark Westwood on guitars (Neo), Martin Bowen on guitars, Richard West on keyboards (Thrashold), Steve Williams on keyboards and Scott Higham on drums (Pendragon). Ewaryst Nowinowski on oboe, Tomasz Wojtowicz on horn and Tomasz Starzec on cello. There is also a choir but I will not give the detailed lineup.

As for the synopsis of the story, you can either read the book or look it up on the Caamora website. In short, She (Agnieszka Swita) who must be obeyed is a queen called Ayesha with special powers and more than two thousand years old that awaits for the reincarnation of her love, an Egyptian priest called Kallikrates. She ruled over a tribe called Amahagger in eastern central Africa, among them a young woman called Ustane (Christina Booth). When two Englishmen arrive to the tribe, Holly (Alan Reed) and Leo (Clive Nolan), She is caught up with one of them, Leo, and believes he is the person she has been waiting for all those years. Since Ustane has fallen for him, confrontation between the two women arises and She kills Ustane. Leo, who is now love struck with the queen doesn't let the murder to come between him and his new love. She then persuades him to pass through Fire of Life which will render him immortal. Despite Holly's pleas, Leo is drawn after the queen and she then proceeds to go into the fire first (her second time as she is already immortal) but since one can only bathe once in the fire, she dies. Leo is overcome with grief and enters the fire himself to become immortal and await his queen reincarnation.

The music:

The music sounds like what I had expected it to be. Though bearing the markings of neo-prog, a bit of metal-ish riffs (power-metal style) and the style of Nolan's previous bands, it is more than just that, as the scope here is much bigger, grandiose, covering a story that goes on for more than two hours. The album/show features great musicianship, wide range of instrumentation, anthemic choruses, rhythmic and catchy tunes, beautiful voices and backing vocals, majestic and bigger than life feel; all these are abundant here. I find that there is good balance between the story telling and the parts where the music is "allowed" to play though it doesn't go roaming "free" too much. There is a variety of styles, tempos, emotions shown here - from grandiose and theatrical tracks (like the opening song Overture) to prog-metal like songs (such as parts of The Storm) to neo/symph-prog (like The Veil and Ambush) to slower, quieter and emotional songs (Closer). The variety is also achieved by the instruments found on the stage: the usual rock instruments plus an oboe, horn and cello that enhance the beauty of the music; fronted by the four lead vocalists and a choir. As for the vocalists, all do a wonderful job but I have to single out Agnieszka Swita which has a spectacular and powerful voice. The sound is rich and full, and for those who have a good surround system, you'll enjoy the 5.1 version of the show. This piece will please neo-prog fans, as well as those who like a well done orchestration and building of a story into a full-blown rock opera.

The show itself - DVD:

I never liked seeing shows. I find the playing to be embarrassing and amateurish. I prefer to imagine in my mind what's going on. I find the visual aspect to mostly detract from the experience and also to take away from the charm of the music. This is why I recommend listening to the album first and then watching it, if you have the DVD. The stage is quite small, and the musicians are set on the two sides of it, and the vocalists and actors stand either in front of them or between them. The singers and actors are dressed accordingly to the story, but as for actual playing, this is where a true opera differs. There is some playing (with regards to body movements, acting etc.) but to me it mostly looks forced and artificial (except for Agnieszka Swita). I can't understand why someone would want to watch this again after the first time (and even that is too much). I much prefer to listen to it and imagine it in my mind. I have to say that for me actually watching the show and not just listening to it, takes away much of the joy of listening. But as the crowd in the concert seems to like this a lot and from the reviews I've read of the DVD, I guess many people like it and so do not rely solely on my words with regards to it; but do be warned if you do not like simple theatrical presentations or find them boring then I would avoid it and stick to the cd version. I can appreciate the effort of making such a show, and there's obviously a crowd that likes it, so I reckon that if you like this sort of staging, then go for it. I for one, will not be having a second look at this.

To sum this up, this is a well done rock-opera, which will appeal to fans of neo/symph-prog with some "brushes" of prog-metal. If bands like Arena, Pallas, Pendragon, Magenta et al. are your "drug", then this release is definitely for you. As for which particular format to choose - I personally don't like watching DVD's, but I am in a minority and therefore recommend reading what other reviews say of the DVD. A sure bet, if you're willing to invest in it, would be to get the box set which includes the double studio CD, double live CD, DVD, bonus DVD with 6 acoustic tracks and extra interview footage.

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#171215) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 16, 2008

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Please, not again.

I have to explain my starting phrase, haven't I? I've always been a huge fan of Clive's activity, both compositional and musical, but seriously, the more I've been learning the less excited I was. Solo works didn't grab me, some other bands he produced didn't as well, so I gave a chance to over-too- ambitious project entitled CAAMORA. I beg pardon, but I haven't found anything that would make this work more significant than any of SHADOWLAND albums I own, for instance. Leave alone comparison - the whole material sounds forced and flat, songs are boring and simple, the whole idea is great but the realization is below medium level. 'Shadows' was the only song that inspired me to give some more spins to this Prog-Opera...and 'Shadows' may be the only reason why I'm giving two stars instead of one. To each his own, sorry. Not recommended, even for huge Nolan/ARENA/other projects fans

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#183632) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars So much input to process!

Wow, this is a big project. Really big. This was predictable: Clive Nolan simply cannot do anything and the bands he was in never released a double album. The time has come for the busiest man of the last decade.

If you love rock/metal operas, this will be Christmas for you. There's plenty, and I mean it, of material to get into. Divided in 2 acts, the whole plot is clear, the music is sparkling clear, the production is sparkling...it's like the whole thing was done with Mr. Clean. Crytallic material designed to hit hard and impress by it's grandeur.

The music won't let you down as Clive never released an half-assed product. This is no exception, this is straight in the path of Arena's Opera Fanatica: Dramatic-Victorian-19th century-Night at the opera. Oh, and underline the word victorian with a Sharpie. For the fans of the classical/metal style, you will drool!

Big voices, great voices (including a surprisingly good Clive Nolan himself), huge choruses, huge violins lines, immense keyboard and crash cymbals. One thing though: I heard it before in the Hounds of Baskerville. With more bombastic textures, this is mostly the same approach.

I snatch a star off because of the repetition of the House of Baskerville and the whole thing is just soooo long. Apart from that, you have fantastic replay value, dramatic ambience and a guaranteed trip back in London in 1870.

The whole nine yards.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#184909) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 06, 2008

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars I've been following Clive Nolan's career for many years ago, and even when considered most of his works more than average (Except Pendragon who are usually outstanding), there was something missing, he required some extraordinary piece of ambitious music to fit his excellent technique and brilliant sound, an album of epic proportions....Well, here it is, She is an epic, pompous and well elaborate PROG OPERA, just what any typical Proghead would love.

But of course CAAMORA is not Clive Nolan alone, after listening Agneiszka Swita, and having the chance to see her, enjoy her voice, great charisma and sympathy, you will probably fall on love, she provides exactly what Clive isn't able, the human and charismatic side plus a wonderful voice (despite the fact that Clive's vocals were surprisingly good).

The music itself goes from simple and melodic to pompous and self indulgent (something I love); frantic and brilliant, with radical changes separate acts where the strength of the composition and performance can be appreciated, there's something for every taste and a party for those of us who love radical variations and versatility.

The whole structure and arrangements are almost perfect, but if I had to point a highlight, I would stay with the magnificent choral work, it's just brilliant.

Now, for those worried for the genre.........I'm sure you will find something you like, because She moves from classical Neo Prog and pristine Symphonic to Hard Rock that borders Prog metal, so you will find something you like.

It's also notice to listen the fantastic voice of Christina Booth (Magenta) as guest in this album, plus the strong lineup formed by musicians of Pallas, Pendragon and IQ, not a single weak link.

Won't go to a song to song analysis as I usually do, because this is a conceptual album and must be appreciated as a whole, and believe me it's worth to listen the two CD's from start to end.

Four solid stars for a very solid album, ideal for older Progheads and anybody who miss the excesses of early Prog, and a nice story to complement.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#187592) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 01, 2008

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A fantastic neo-prog opera, if maybe a little bit too long.

She by CAAMORA is the first true neo-prog opera I've ever heard. The sound is clearly based on the foundations of the genre that Clive Nolan himself helped build with his band PENDRAGON and his side project ARENA. With the latter it shares that distinct metal-ish flavor that at times makes the separation between neo-prog and metal harder to detect. Powerful riffs as leading motives in the music are the primary example of this.

The music sounds like ARENA-meets-PENDRAGON-meets-AYREON-meets-Broadway. At times the work, divided in two discs, resembles the music mostly prepared for the stage, and under that light this is truly a rock opera. There are only four characters (plus the chorus) but they manage to carry the whole weight of the music. Clearly, the stars here are Alan Reed of PALLAS and the two female singers, Agneiszka Swita and Christina Booth of MAGENTA. The music, extremely melodic and very accesible, is memorable.

The only flaw in this release is the excessive length of the work. The second disc, less energy- driven and more sedated in its narrative, drags the rating down a little bit as it starts to get boring and tiresome halfway through. If She was a one-disc album, I would have no doubt on awarding it 5 stars. As it is, 4 will be the right rating.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#229067) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Little bit weaker than expected, but still fine neo-prog opera. Even neo genre is just sporadically present here. Because more than anything, this is opera. With great vocal lines (all of them as far as I hear. Great advantage is Christina from Magenta, improving everything where she appears (or does she participate in good projects only ?).

As somebody already said, it is long. Far too long, at least I wasn't able to listen it whole, both parts (CD's). But given proper treatment (first part, then second after some time), it's enjoyable.

4(-), barely, because of not so much progressiveness I'm afraid.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#248245) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 05, 2009

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars My review of Caamora's She is not going to be much different from the other prog reviewers. Many stated that this album contains actually no neo progressive music but is more of a rock opera.

And then I can be brief with this one. I don't like opera so it was a mistake by me to buy it. I was blinded by the fact that Clive Nolan had composed the whole thing and he hardly ever did anything disappointing in his career as far as I'm concerned so I was hoping for something great anyway (like Strangers on a Train for instance). I will have to be more demanding in the future and more critical towards my personal needs where the sort of music or album is concerned.

Does that mean this is a poor album ? Absolutely NOT, it's a piece of art that will please many fans of Rock opera's but alas I'm not one of them. My biggest problem overall is the huge domination of the vocals on this album. I'm a great fan of impressive instrumental contributions so then this aspect is disappointing. Besides this the female contributions are much better than the male and the division in time is almost 50-50 here so half of the singing is not really appreciated by me. The instrumental parts are minimal and solos are hardly there at all and since we're talking about over 100 minutes of music here this doubler is almost torture for me.

This is how it all works on me personally, if I look at this piece of art more objectively It could even be a masterpiece or is at least worthy of four stars. And since my personal (subjective) judgment would probably be two stars I will decide for the average this time because it seems the fairest thing to do here so three stars.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#249916) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars Too many singers, too many songs

Clive Nolan is a very talented person, both as a songwriter and as a keyboard player. He is also a more than decent singer. This time around he wanted to do a "Rock Opera" and this is indeed close to a genuine Opera. Even if there are also Rock elements like guitars, keyboards and drums, this music is very, very different from Nolan's other bands and projects; Arena, Shadowland, Pendragon, etc. While Caamora is just Clive and Polish singer Agneiszka Swita, they have invited a whole cast for this theatrical affair. In addition to Swita we have lead vocals by three other vocalists including Nolan himself playing the roles of different characters. One of the voices heard is Alan Reed of Pallas fame. We also have three keyboardists, two guitarists and a drummer in addition to a full orchestra! There is really no need to add that this is over- the-top, bombastic and, in my opinion, overblown. There is certainly no lack of talent here; on the contrary, I think that there might be too much of it - there are simply too many people involved.

The material is party strong but with a running time of over two full hours, it becomes a tedious listen. I have listened to the whole thing, but never in one go. I am certain that Nolan could have used the best of this material to make a shorter and more cohesive album and more Rock-based album, but that was not what he wanted to do this time and I respect that. I enjoy some of these songs, but some of them I can hardly stand at all. It often becomes too bombastic for my taste and I wholly loose sight of Rock and see only Opera. I must say that I enjoyed Caamora's EP Walking On Water more than this.

She is possibly Clive Nolan's least interesting musical project ever. I would not call this music progressive in any way. However, it is by no means a poor product, there is indeed much talent involved in it and, like all the things Nolan is involved in, this is a very professional recording. But I can really only recommend it to two groups of people: Clive Nolan fanatics and people with a very special interest in Rock Operas. The rest are bound to find this a bit tedious, overblown and bombastic.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#256896) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 19, 2009

Latest members reviews

2 stars When I heard about this album, I figured it was going to be a real mind blower. A double CD rock opera that Clive Nolan had been working on for a good long time. A wonderful main vocalist with some famous guests, including my favorite, Christine from Magenta. A cool storyline that would help m ... (read more)

Report this review (#234861) | Posted by johnobvious | Monday, August 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Disappointing... A very ambitious project which ends up being pretentious and boring. Oh yes, musician play well, oh yes they sing well, harmonies are perfect and so on, but the music has no inspiration. Its a juxtaposition of over worn musical themes. I would say it is maybe a good craftsman wo ... (read more)

Report this review (#190049) | Posted by Ubart | Friday, November 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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