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Camel - The Opening Farewell - Live At The Catalyst (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 81 ratings

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4 stars Strangely, with Latimer as the sole remaining member of original Camel, this performance is riding high on largely Bardens-era compositions. Well, perhaps not so strange after all as the band's first incarnation remains the most preferred by many, Yours Truly included.

The song selection is pretty good, perhaps designed to afford Latimer to play as much as possible. He has always been an excellent guitar player, only getting better and better over the years. Here, he plays with his trademark precision and attention to detail and perhaps a bit more harder edged way than usual. This is a bit of a surprise as by this time he has embraced Gilmour-like, soft elegance as heard on the last few studio releases.

Convincing performance by all, although the usually emotionless Colin Bass always represents a degree of irritation. But he can play his notes and that's what really matters. The performance is riding along well, until we get to "Echoes", a tune from the excellent, yet grossly underrated album "Breathless". Sadly, on this rendition the band fails to recreate the dynamics of the original tune and half-way through even makes a mess of it. This is a blot on the landscape that as a long time Camel fan I can not disregard.

"Ice" is a reasonably nice instrumental piece with all the notes in the right place, alas - as always - I find it too drawn out and boring. In comparison, "Stationary Traveler" is a sensational piece that never seems to be long enough.

Special mention is due to Tom Brislin on keyboards. He is perhaps the best keyboard player employed since Bardens departure and able to fill those rather big shoes with relative ease. The rich tones he creates especially in a live environment is truly a pleasant surprise.

Had it not been for "Ice" and the botched "Echoes", I'd rate this work as a 5, but as is, 4.5 will have to do. Still, highly recommended.

Anon-E-Mouse | 4/5 |


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