Year of Release: 2001
Label: Noise Records
Catalog Number: NO3452
Total Time: 55:54:00
Rhapsody, Stratovarius and Royal Hunt are the names that spring to mind when you listen to the brand new offering by Kamelot. Opening with lush symphonic textures during "Regalis Apertura" we immediately get the feel of the music, which turns towards a heavy direction once Thomas Youngblood slings his battleaxe guitar into the classically inspired "Forever". Once again fantastically produced by Heaven's Gate member Sascha Paeth, Kamelot's music has grown over the years, as is apparent during the powerful "Wings Of Despair," sporting a superb guitar solo back to back with clavinet and real orchestral sounds courtesy of the Rodenberg Symphony Orchestra. Interspersed with synth sounds from the Miro household, who also signed for the orchestral arrangements, the intro for "The Spell" holds a certain industrial feel before it's once again "all systems go," including a very strong chorus that seems to be one of the trademarks of this band!
Without any doubt "Don't You Cry" is one of the nicest songs ever to emerge from this side of the rock fence. Kicking off with a tasty classical guitar immediately followed by an intimate string ensemble, singer Khan illustrates what a wonderful singer he is by means of the brillant singing throughout this medieval inspired song. The melody is so powerful the hair in the back of my neck stood up which, as experts dare to say, is THE proof for a hit record ! It also kind of reminds me of Dream Theater's more intimate moments. Arabic singing introduces the charming title track which once again contains some heavy guitars and splendid orchestral arrangements to match, apart from out-of-this-world drumming. Another acoustic delight can be found in "Temples Of Gold" which also holds the rare shakuhachi performed here by Farouk Asjadi blending very well with the gentle nature of the song. Very, very Rhapsody-like has to be "Across The Highlands," what with the drums trying to find their way through the walls of symphonic layers and hammering guitars.
The final three songs make up one whole called "Elizabeth" clocking in at well over 19'. "Mirror Mirror" is a very solemn song which kind of holds the same atmosphere as the current Blackmore's Night material. The Devil Doll like outro gives way to "Requiem For The Innocent," which includes the opera vocals of Liv Nina Mosven. For my liking these tasty vocals could well have been mixed way in the foreground as opposed to the back where they are right now. There's some tasty piano before the final part "Fall From Grace" kicks in. But then something strange happens as the song stops with nearly seven minutes left on the clock whilst nothing, I repeat NOTHING further happens. So instead of the aforementioned 19' epic you're in fact left with a mere 12' and seven minutes of pure silence. Kamelot goes ambient? Sadly it looks more like "Kamelot rip off their fans" which is a very sad ending to an otherwise outstanding album. No doubt this has been one of those record company marketing strategies that means that, once you put the CD in your machine, you see there's more than 55' worth of music but in fact you "only" get 48' worth. Maybe there's one copy out there with a secret message hidden in that silence where a voice suddenly pops up saying : "you are the lucky winner who has won a gigantic mansion with swimming pool in Florida!" Next time my friends be honest and either leave it the way it is or add a lullaby sung by your grandmother for all I care but don't treat your fans this way. Very bad for one's Karma!
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
Siege Perilous (1998)
The Fourth Legacy (2000)
The Expedition - Live (2000)
The Black Halo (2005)
One Cold Winter's Night (2006)
Ghost Opera (2007)
Ghost Opera - The Second Coming (2008)
One Cold Winter's Night (DVD) (2006)
Genre: Progressive-Power Metal