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Peter Hammill - Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

4.04 | 328 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Peter Hammill - Chameleon in the shadow of the night (1973)

With Van der Graaf Generator on hold after some significant artistic successes Peter Hammill and the other VdGG bandmembers returned in the studio accompanied with bass-player Nic Potter to record the second Peter Hammill 'solo' album. But where to go from the frenzied and intensely innovative 'Pawn Hearts'?

On 'Chameleon' the focus lays on Peter Hammill performing solo in intimate, but not less intensive settings. Instead of heavy instrumentation the impact of the use of a context of silence is exploited. Other bandmembers often play background roles, whilst Hammill openly explores his vocal capabilities in a pioneering fashion. Additional he uses some reverb and delay effects for maximum impact. The song-material is extremely intensive with great harmonic findings and great sounding lyrics and an often dissonant and dark vibe. The song structures are complicated and sometimes troubling in order to get the maximum out of the psychedelic style. Melodically the music shows a strong link with VdGG, but you won't find many slightly distorted organs and impressive drums. Instead the acoustic guitar en the piano play major roles. When present sax and flute player David Jackson has brilliant, yet subtle contributions.

Every song on this album is quite good, but all tracks have moments of excellence. The material is extremely moody and expressive, so it won't be an album friends and family will enjoy - this is the treasure for fans of Peter Hammill. Perhaps I will never know myself what makes the confronting style of Hammill so fascinating, but the music and its expression definitely sound 'relevant' to my ears.

Conclusion. Hammill at his best and his most pure. I'll have to throw around some yellow blinking pentagrams here.

friso | 5/5 |


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