April 4, 2023 Kamelot – Awakening (Album Review)
When it comes to Symphonic and Power Metal, Kamelot has been trailblazing for decades. Their powerhouse performances piqued the ears of Metal fans and captivated a diverse audience of various genres. Founded in 1991 by Guitarist Thomas Youngblood, Kamelot has a journey and career as epic as their cinematic discography. After parting ways with Original Vocalist Roy Khan in 2012, they started a new era when Swedish Vocalist Tommy Karevik was featured on the album. silver thorn (2012).
Now, after a five-year recording hiatus, the band is back with their 13th studio album. awakening It was released on March 17, 2023, through Napalm Records. continuation of 2018 Shadow TheoryThis new album is the band’s debut with the current lineup of Thomas Youngblood (guitar, backing vocals), Tommy Karevik (vocals), Oliver Palotai (keyboards, guitars), Sean Tibbets (bass) and newest member Alex Landenburg (drums). , percussion). Is it true to their legacy or does it leave fans yearning for the old days?
Fans who want to return to grand, symphonic orchestrations, awakeningKamelot reveals a lot in its quest to offer something new yet familiar. “The Great Divide” opens it all up with heavy percussion that literally pulls the ears into the heart of the song, with Karevik’s vocals there to lead with steely determination. It is a driving anthem that explores light and darkness. “Eventide” is an interesting up-tempo track that makes it surprisingly almost fun and inspiring.
Then there’s “One More Flag on the Ground,” which feels like Kamelot thinks they have to do it to win some radio play. It has vague, quasi-political calls to action that are aggressive enough for most metalheads to accept and sing, yet generic enough to be plug and play. It’s energetic and delicious, with a catchy chorus of the kind that garners a neat bow for most bands. Probably his worst crime is that it doesn’t feel Kamelot as unique as any generic Metal band.
They make up for it a bit with “Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem)”. Here, the audience is greeted by the endearing and ethereal presence of Cellist Tina Guo and a captivating cello/guitar duel between her and Youngblood. Guo’s guest appearance combined with the ghostly chorus ringing in the background in the second half of the song, Guo’s guest appearance is ghost in the opera (1943) or Repository: Genetic Opera (2008). Dark, complex, fascinating and addictive. “Midsummer’s Eve” dances to Guo’s more magnificent accompaniment. It’s soft, romantic and enchanting, like something straight out of a fairy tale. The grace and beauty in this song is captivating and paints a picture with a sound that evokes images of lush greenery and medieval castles. The displays and ambiance are charming and cute.
Meanwhile, “New Babylon” features the vocals of Ad Infinitum’s Melissa Bonny and brings some balance to Karevik’s rather charged and darker vocals. Like a hymn to war or revolution. Chorus and background vocals combined with intense strings and percussion create an all-encompassing deep and cavernous feel. Things really heat up when the bass rises in the choir and the chords sharpen as the song progresses. The guitar solo on the bridge is eclectic and fiery.
Continuing, “My Pantheon” has the distinction of having a beautiful guitar solo in its final third to add some sparkle to a track that normally feels like you’re trying so hard. As Karevik’s vocals explore different areas of his range, there are moments when he falls short and there is a sense of tension. The rest of the song seems to explore a variety of dynamics, jumping from soft to hard percussion to crunchy chords in a way that may sound more confusing than interesting. He has good moments and they are sad and temporary. Overall, it’s an interesting exploration of sound that occasionally feels like it lacks harmony.
There is something hauntingly beautiful about Kamelot’s masterful creation of music. It is the essence of Symphonic Metal. Fascinating orchestrations of Youngblood’s dexterous strings, Palotai’s gorgeous layered keys, Landenburg’s violent drums and percussions, and Tibbett’s powerful bass combined with Karevik’s soulful vocals to create songs that can captivate or seduce listeners. For every stroke of shine on it awakening; however, there also seems to be a misstep or overproduction. The fickle thing about genius is that sometimes it knows no bounds when it really should.
Comprehensive, awakening Another captivating and attractive Camelot record with a few taps that need tightening. So for the most part well composed, artistically aesthetic and return to form, Cryptic Rock, awakening 3 stars out of 5.