Kamelot's one of those bands that's so good at the particular sound they're doing, you naturally confuse them with other bands. And by that I mean their symphonic metal sound is so European-sounding (a very good thing), I was genuinely surprised to find out they're from Tampa. And yet, I've been listening to them since Siége Perilous back in 1998.
Now that they have Swedish vocalist Tommy Karevik, who joined them back before Silverthorn, German keyboardist Oliver Palotai (who's been with the band since 2005), and guest vocalists from Nightwish and Delain, the European connection is stronger than ever.
And things start off nicely with Fallen Star, as the band's expert technique gives a taste of what to expect: moody keyboard-driven backdrops to songs about restlessness, oppression and subsequent rebellion sharpened with the aggressive metal edge of Thomas Youngblood's meaty riffing. This carries throughout the album with slower ballads like Under Grey Skies and Here's To The Fall to provide dynamics. I'm really digging the power of Liar Liar(Wasteland Monarchy) with Arch Enemy's Alissa White-Gluz providing some of her bad-ass growl. All in all, things are falling in to place with Karevik after the loss of erstwhile vocalist Roy Khan, who was with them for a really great run. Haven isn't perfect by any means, but it's clear Kamelot is on a comeback trail, and I couldn't be happier about it.
The Bottom Line: Haven shows a steady improvement of the band's symphonic power metal sound since the loss of Khan as new vocalist Karevik explores the soundscape a bit more over the band's world-class rhythym section. I'm looking forward to future albums from one of my favorite old school bands.
- Genghis missed seeing these guys thanks to Rush's R40 tour (not complaining)...