Kamelot - Epica

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Noise Records
Catalog Number: NO3772
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:17:00

Kamelot is back with yet another disc, and it's a killer. The band has taken its melodic metal mixed with speed sound and have created a concept disc this time around, giving the band a chance to expand their horizons somewhat. Still present are the Stratovarius / Rhapsody influences found on the last few Kamelot releases, and also present are Kamelot's signature power ballads, which I feel are their finest moments. This time out the band has woven their music around a concept, complete with sound effects and interludes that provide a very eerie and atmospheric background. The music is fast and furious at times, slow and powerful at points, and downright beautiful at other times. Kamelot has found a comfort zone in blending these styles and sounds together, and have continued on where discs like Karma and The Fourth Legacy started, but it's evident that the songwriting and performance have been kicked up a notch, which has always been one of Kamelot's strong points. The band is at their strongest when they inject a Middle-Eastern / Egyptian sound into the songs, as they did on The Fourth Legacy and Karma. Here on Epica they also use this sound to inject an added power to the songs as they plow through the story with speed, beauty and power. Go directly to "The Edge Of Paradise" to hear what I refer to.

Khan once again proves himself to be one of the premier vocalists in the world, gaining more and more respect with each release, and with each live performance. On Epica, he continues down the path of beautiful vocal melodies, belting out the power when called upon as well as taking their power ballads to a new level with his soft, velvet-like voice which makes the songs come to life at times. Khan seems right at home no matter what the power level of the song is, and keeps the story moving right along effortlessly and convincingly. I can't think of a voice in metal at the moment that matches the class and tone of Khan. He has been a fan favorite since his days in Conception, and has found a home with Kamelot. His voice matches the classy look and feel of the band, whose presence is always represented by glorious purples and wonderful graphics.

Sascha Paeth once again takes over the helm in the production dept, and brings the Kamelot sound and story to huge, epic proportions with his emphasis on orchestral arrangements and musical additions. He manages to bring out Khan's voice perfectly, yet all the while being able to bring out the huge keyboarded orchestral sounds at the same time. Guitar tones are crunchy and crisp as always, and the bottom end between bass and drums are once again heavy and tight.

Kamelot continues to release brilliant discs, each one with its own identity, yet each one drawing from a tried and true formula that Kamelot seems to be comfortable with. The songwriting on Epica shows that Kamelot has not run out of ideas, and with each release the band kicks up every aspect of their playing. I have always described Kamelot as "regal" in sound, majestic, huge and epic, and Epica continues to portray that description. For sheer melodic class and power, it's hard to beat Kamelot. They have taken melodic metal to a new level, a new class, and it appears that Kamelot is on a mission as each release brings them to new heights. This is absolutely essential to melodic metal fans who want to hear music played on a higher level.

Prologue / Center Of The Universe / Farewell / Interlude I (Opiate Soul) / Edge Of Paradise / Wander / Interlude II (Omen) / Descent Of The Archangel / Interlude III (At The Banquet) / A Feast For The Vain / The Coldest Winter Night / Lost & Damned / Helena's Theme / Interlude IV (Dawn) / The Mourning After / III Ways To Epica

Roy Khan ? vocals
Thomas Youngblood ? guitars
Glenn Barry ? bass
Casey Grillo ? drums

Eternity (1996)
Dominion (1997)
Siege Perilous (1998)
The Fourth Legacy (2000)
The Expedition - Live (2000)
Karma (2001)
Epica (2003)
The Black Halo (2005)
One Cold Winter's Night (2006)
Ghost Opera (2007)
Ghost Opera - The Second Coming (2008)
Poetry For The Poisoned (2010)
Poetry For The Poisoned & Live From Wacken (Limited Tour Edition) (2011)
Silverthorn (2012)
Haven (2015)

One Cold Winter's Night (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: May 4th 2003
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.kamelot.com
Hits: 885
Language: english


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