Sunday, August 19, 2007

Song of the Week 19/08/07 Camel - Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider

Ever tried picking up your favorite song from one of your favorite bands? This is what I tried this week, and it was pretty hard.

After having a couple of international pop songs appear in my song of the week collection, I'm back to my adored progressive rock on this one.

Camel is a great prog. rock band, not very famous, but most of their early music is simply amazing. These British guys really knew how to play their stuff. After a pretty irregular debut album named Camel (it's good, I just never came around to understanding why it just wasn't so good to me), they launched Mirage. In this album they explored new styles including two ~10 min. songs, both of them great. One of them is Nimrodel~The Procession~The White Rider, and the other one is the Lady Fantasy suite, commonly known as just Lady Fantasy. While both songs are great, I find more progressive goodness from the first. Certain Camel fans would probably kill me by now, because Lady Fantasy is just great. If that is the case, please re-read my first sentence and try to feel my pain. Actually, one of the reasons I really don't like Lady Fantasy better is that its intro is somewhat repetitive to me. But that is just my opinion.

Anyway, if you ask me where the song name is from, I really don't know. You could go seek up a dozen interpretations if you want, but in my opinion it seems like something from Lord of the Rings. Wierd, huh? Well Nimrodel, the first part of the song, is the name of a river from Middle Earth, so I may not be missing the point. This part is very nice, slow, gloomy, and gradually builds up into the Procession. This second part is kinda odd, but it kinda gives some sort of ambientation for the next part of the song, as it's pretty hard to switch from the gently Nimrodel into the rock crazy White Rider. That being said, the White Rider explores melodic scales in a pretty interesting fashion, with a couple of keyboard and guitar solo's courtesy of Andy Latimer and Peter Bardens. Andy Latimer also carries the heavy burden of singing, and he wrote lyrics and music for this song. The White Rider probably means Gandalf, if you think about the title and lyrics.

After this album, they released The Snow Goose, which is another masterpiece (with great songs such as Rhayader, Rhayader Alone, Friendship and La Princesse Perdue). Also, Moonmadness (all of it) is great.

An incredible, classic progressive rock trip through the life of Gandalf in around 9:18.

Camel - Nimrodel~The Procession~The White Rider Lyrics from Mirage
(Lyrics and Music by Andy Latimer)

When he rides, my fears subside,
for darkness turns once more to light.
Through the skies, his white horse flies,
to find a land beyond the night.

Once he wore gray, he fell and slipped away
from everybody's sight.
The wizard of them all, came back from his fall
this time wearing white.

He has a certain air, as if he's never there,
but somehow far away.
And though he seems afar, like a distant star,
his warmth he can convey.

Note: I transcribed the lyrics, he doesn't sing much, so I can remember them easily :P

2 comments (Click to Show/Hide):

rover said...

You displayed a good number of Camel's decent old material, but maybe you would want to list newer albums with a bit different styles like Rajaz and A Nod and a Wink. The latter was dedicated to Peter Bardens, who died in '02. It is also very probable that we won't be seeing any Camel in the future. the band separated in 2003 and Andrew Latimer suffers from a very aggressive sickness. The news is in their website, in the form of a very sad news post.

Sooki said...

I've heard Rajaz. The song with the same name is not bad. A Nod and a Wink has a couple of interesting songs too, like Squigely Fair.

I do carry this unpleasant feeling that it's not the same Camel as the one with the original lineup. Lineup has changed too much and the years have gone fast.

The news about Latimer is really sad...