Kamelot - Karma

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Noise Records / Sanctuary
Catalog Number: NO3452
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:54:00

Picking up where The Fourth Legacy left off, Kamelot has come up with another winner in Karma. Some may say that there isn't much difference between the two discs, and this is certainly left for argument. In reality, Kamelot has always produced top notch, quality discs, and Karma is no exception.

I've always described Kamelot as a "regal", "royal", "majestic" band, influenced by a hybrid of old Crimson Glory, Queensryche and modern day Stratovarius, with a certain "royal sound" which is signature Kamelot. It's this warm, melodic, majestic sound that separates Kamelot from the rest. The band thrives on melodic warmth, while maintaining heaviness, certain amounts of speed, and lately they have been producing ballads, courtesy of the amazing ability of Khan to bring them to life. Karma is a nice mixture of speed, chugging metal, warm melting ballads, and all injected with some nice progressive elements and chops courtesy of the progressive nature of Thom Youngblood's style of guitar playing and songwriting. Karma has a certain surreal atmosphere this time around, thanks to the fantasy / ghostly songwriting this time out, including an intriguing 3-part song called Elizabeth which ends the disc in a 10:00 display of varied musical moods and an incredible vocal performance. The ballads are warm, fulfilling, realistic and haunting at the same time. Only Khan could make one weep during Kamelot ballads, although the music alone is melodic and sad enough to bring tears to the eyes of the deep listener. This is a nice follow up to the highly successful and accepted Fourth Legacy and Kamelot continues to release quality music on a regular basis, allowing fans to always have something to look forward to and expect the best from this great band.

Thom Youngblood, the guitarist and main songwriter for the band, has once again proven that he is certainly one of the most innovative guitarists on the scene, and despite his obvious ability to shred and make waves with the best out there, his playing is indicative of the way the music is written in Kamelot; that is, artistically, melodically, and creative. He plays in a manner that brings forth the music and lyrics, instead of being the showcase that he is capable of being. His solos are to the point, short, and precise.

Glenn Barry's bass playing is tight, speedy, and complements the speedy drumming of Casey Grillo perfectly. The two are in tight sync with each other, whetherit be one of the speedier songs, or one of the slower, chunkier tunes. The two hold down the bottom end solidly while the melodies and story lines unfold around them.

Miro, who has also produced the disc as well, provides the keyboards. With him comes orchestral arrangements, tons of strings, piano, and a myriad of synth sounds to complement the rest of the music, giving it the "regal" sound I always speak of.

Mr. Roy Khan has become one of the premier vocalists on the scene today. Having always been a favorite amongst Conception fans of old, he has certainly found a home in Kamelot, providing them with the melodic warmth in the vocals that complement their music superbly. While he can range from a soft whisper, and hit the high notes when he wants to, it's certainly his ability to bring a story to life, and make a ballad bring a listener to tears with his incredible emotion. He is without a doubt a storyteller, a gifted singer, and bringing him aboard the Kamelot train has brought many smiles to melodic metal fans worldwide.

The production is top notch ? as always with a Kamelot disc. It's a matter of how good the disc will sound rather than if it will sound good. Kamelot has always prided themselves on great sound, and Karma is no exception. Utilizing the services of Sascha Paeth and Miro, who seem to have their hand in every major great sounding release of many bands as of late, they bring a rich, full, majestic sound to the band. I do detect a bit of a "drier" sound in the production, possibly using less reverb and echo than in previous Kamelot discs, but where they have excelled is in the vocal sound. Khan is perfectly placed in the mix this time out, and just about every word he sings can be heard with ease while the huge, orchestrated sound abounds around him. With the large sound of Kamelot, his voice is brought right out into the mix so that we don't lose sight of the song and lyrics. The rest of the instruments are perfectly placed in the mix, and it's become a trademark of Sascha Paeth to be able to bring out the best in bands that have huge sounds and want everything heard clearly and precisely. With Kamelot, it's a match made in Heaven as both have always shared a love for BIG sound.

Once again, Kamelot has produced a quality disc and has brought themselves to the top of the melodic metal heap with this release. The Fourth Legacy had already brought them to where they needed to be, but in Karma, they have moved up even more notches with the varied song styles, writing, and incredible sound and performance. They have become of the few bands that continually release quality discs that you never tire of, and always have something to look forward to with each and every one. For beauty, warmth, passion and emotion, it's hard to beat Kamelot. This is essential for melodic metal lovers

Regalis Apertura (1:57) / Forever (4:07) / Wings Of Despair (4:32) / The Spell (4:20) / Don't You Cry (4:18) / Karma (5:12) / The Light I Shine On You (4:15) / Temples Of Gold (4:11) / Across The Highlands (3:46) / Elizabeth: I. Mirror Mirror (4:22) / II. Requiem For The Innocent (3:46) / Fall From Grace (4:15) (plus about 7 minutes of silence) / Ne Pleure Pas (US bonus) (4:14)

Khan - vocals
Thomas Youngblood - all 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: October 13th 2001
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.kamelot.com
Hits: 810
Language: english


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