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Caamora: She
A Progressive Rock Opera
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Caamora represents the collaboration between English musician and composer Clive Nolan (Arena, Casino, Neo, Pendragon) and the, until now unknown, Polish singer Agnieszka Swita. The duo spent two years writing and composing what would become an epic rock opera based upon the H. Rider Haggard novel of the same name. Even before the full work was complete and hitting the stores, Caamora released 2 EPs and debuted 'She' before a live audience Katowice, Poland. The later is destined to become part of a DVD package with the studio version (which is reviewed here).

Caamora's 'She' spans two discs and so requires a significant commitment of time to enjoy; but you will not be disappointed. 'She' is an impressive accomplishment full of rich music, intriguing lyrics and fine musicianship. The music traverses the genres of melodic hard rock to melodic, symphonic metal. Overall, the compositions are strong though often predictable as you enter the second half. However, what seems to be of more importance than the music is the story itself. Therefore, the vocal elements are raised higher than the rest. Even if you have never read the Haggard novel, through the clear and expressive lyrics you will get a strong sense of the story. Finally, regarding the third point, Caamora features a very gifted cast of musicians who perform well together.

I alluded earlier to some predictability in the music. You certainly get a full sense of the breadth of the music if only by listening to the first CD. When you reach the second half, you will have a certain amount of deja vu. The second part definitely fulfills its purpose in bringing this rock opera to a conclusion, but I felt it to be musically anticlimactic. So for me, some of the best songs are on the first disc including the 'Overture' where we are introduced to 'She who must be obeyed.' Other standouts to listen for on the first half are 'The Bonding,' 'Shadows,' and, what I think is the best song of all, 'History.' On the second disc give ear to 'Murder' and the satisfying conclusion 'The Fire Of Life.'

Caamora's 'She' is a majestic accomplishment for Mr. Nolan and Ms. Swita. Epic and sweeping in scope, I found it immensely satisfying. It is definitely a significant and worthy addition to the rock opera category. Very recommended.

In Short

Caamora's 'She' is a rock opera of grand and sweeping proportions. It tells the story of H. Rider Haggard's novel in a lyrically intelligent and musically beautiful way. There's a bit of musical redundancy as you move from the first disc to the second. However, I believe 'She' will keep you interested throughout and leave you pleased in the end.

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