Camel
The Snow Goose


4.5
superb

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
October 29th, 2009 | 555 replies


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist


Music, whether it be classical, mythological, or grunting, has always been used as a herald to tell tales. One could argue that due to the evolution of music each successor improves over the last. Though, once progressive music exploded from nowhere, concept records became “the thing” to release, but as usual the hype made it so that only 1/10 of them were really any good or purposeful. Camel’s The Snow Goose, a record based on the book of the same name, is certainly overlooked, and easily one of the best concept records the genre has ever been graced with. It’s not nearly as complex as prog would imply, however the actual detail is what makes it what it is.

Possibly the most appealing quality of this record is the amorphous atmosphere and use of themes. Throughout the record, the moods change very often and still retain the same overall ambience, one of nature, all her seasons, and all the fog, wind, and oak that goes with it. The atmosphere is able to do this because the band implements a lot of woodwind instruments and, thankfully, restrain from doing any senseless prog jams. There’s hardly any room to do so what with each song being no less than two to five minutes, hence the sixteen tracks. The use of themes is also important to this conception because, like any good concept piece, the multiple themes are malleable enough to be used more than once and employ alterations of how the theme is emotionally presented as illustrated by the mad happiness of Rhyadar compared to Rhyadar Alone.

Because the album is based on a book, you will find no lyrics whatsoever. This instrumental record does contain a very small handful of vocals but are merely performing na na na’s, and truthfully this record would be terrible with vocals as the music does a breathtakingly good job at storytelling, which works well since you can either read the book or create your own story. The title track is a good example of how the album paints images with incredibly inspired guitar leads and dual drawbar organs, and soon enough you will be questioning whether Koji Kondo was inspired by this record due to tracks like Friendship (Kolkiri Forest soundtrack anyone"). It flows straight into Migration, probably the one “progressive” sounding track with poppy organ chords and freeform jazz drums. Flight Of The Snow Goose defines layers with fast piano movements, very upbeat drums, octave guitar leads, Dunkirk shines above the rest with its characteristic composition with walking basses, prominent horns, a signature guitar line, and marching snares acting as a crescendo with the organ’s volume, and Epitaph’s drone of strange percussive sounds and low rumbles flows seamlessly into the beautiful piano solo of Fritha Alone. The album covers so many sounds it’s ridiculous.

With the grand closing of La Princesse Perdue and The Great Marsh, within the frantically excited violins a nostalgic organ solo preceding a slower tempo for a bittersweet, almost orchestral finale and the surprisingly dark texture to silence the record, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer audacity and creativity you have just been subjected to, but honestly there’s no real way of describing this record in words. Words are the biggest barrier in the world, and because of this I can only implore that you let the album speak for itself.



Recent reviews by this author
Thrice Major/MinorMournful Congregation The Book of Kings
Blut Aus Nord 777 - Sect(s)Nightwish Imaginaerum
Tom Waits Bad As MeDevin Townsend Project Ghost
user ratings (561)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
e210013 (5)
This was the real Camel’s breakthrough album. It definitely defined Camel’s musical style in the...

Nagrarok (4)
Unique and skillfully composed, The Snow Goose is a journey rather than an album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
October 29th 2009


6832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was extremely hard to write, I don't know if I'm happy with this

Fugue
October 29th 2009


7371 Comments


Wow, a non-2.5 fireaboveicebelow review.

It's well written, I still need to hear the majority of stuff from these guys.

jrowa001
October 29th 2009


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice!

yas666eer
October 29th 2009


281 Comments


good review matey... always preferred mirage over anything they have put out

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20146 Comments


More people on Sputnik need to hear these guys and stop wanking over the usual. About time someone reviewed some awesome prog rock.

Digging: Selbst - Selbst

Jethro42
October 29th 2009


15141 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

^ Agreed.

Nice review for a masterpiece of prog rock. Andrew Latimer is one of the most inspired guitarist. This is my fav album tied with Moonmadness.

Waior
October 29th 2009


11630 Comments


I came into the review expecting to ask 'how on earth do you find the time to review so often' but I realized, upon reading, that I'd probably really like this. Awesome.

When was this released? It isn't listed in the database.

Athom
Emeritus
October 29th 2009


17241 Comments


1975

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20146 Comments


'how on earth do you find the time to review so often' but I realized, upon reading, that I'd probably really like this.

I don't understand how the two thought patterns relate hahahaha.

Waior
October 29th 2009


11630 Comments


"I don't understand how the two thought patterns relate hahahaha." Mysterious mental patterns or something.

Checking this out.

jrowa001
October 29th 2009


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i agree wizard, more people need to listen to Camel. ive been recommending them left and right for 2 years now and still it seems like theres only a limited number of users here that listen to them

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20146 Comments


From the number of songs I've heard my dad blaring throughout the years, I always thought these guys were better than 95% of the progressive rockers out there.

jrowa001
October 29th 2009


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i wont argue with that. theyre my all time favorite progressive rock band (King Crimson not far behind though, if you count them as prog rock since some dont). as much as i love Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes, and Genesis, they were never as consistent as Camel.

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20146 Comments


In the Court of the Crimson King will always take top spot in that genre. I think you've just inspired me to check these guys out more thoroughly.

jrowa001
October 29th 2009


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the only Camel albums that i thought were ok but not bad were The Single Factor and I Can See My House From Here. Breathless has some good more poppy songs. Harbour of Tears has a nice little irish tinge to it. the rest of their discog is some amazing prog rock.

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20146 Comments


Thanks for the recs dude. Will be looking into those.

jrowa001
October 29th 2009


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no prob, have fun!

Jethro42
October 29th 2009


15141 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I am now preparing a list on Camel. Their top 25 songs or something.

See ya there gentlemen. ;)



ferrum
November 3rd 2009


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is sooo good, but the version on A Live Record sounds much better.

Also one of the best live albums ever and a good starting point for Camel.

Jethro42
November 3rd 2009


15141 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

^Desagreed.

After thirty years of listening, my ear is acustomed to 'Snowgoose'.

But don't get me wrong, 'A Live' has a nice setlist and its strong

moments but it's not flawless. First track 'Never Let Go', for example

is pretty mediocre compared to the original version (a top 3 of mine).

edit: ''After thirty years of listening'' Correction: I still listen to it thirty years later.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy