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Kamelot - One Cold Winter's Night CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.54 | 61 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Disc one contains the entire Kamelot live concert recorded at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway, on February 11th, 2006. The show begins with a short atmospheric introduction before we are treated to a brilliant back to back performance of "The Black Halo" and "Soul Society", two very good yet short energetic tracks to get the crowd into the mood right away. Since Kamelot was touring to promote the release of their seventh studio album in ten years, it's no wonder we find seven tracks from The Black Halo not counting the intro. There are three tracks from Epica, three tracks from Karma and one from The Fourth Legacy.

The band was in excellent shape and Khan had a crew of 3 back up singers standing at the back of the stage. He also got some help from Mari Youngblood (Mrs Thomas Youngblood) who makes a guest appearance all dressed in white as the character Helena on "Center of the Universe" and "Abandoned", and again as the dark mistress Elizabeth Bathory on "Elizabeth Part I, II & III." He gets more help from one Elisabeth Kjaernes on "Nights of Arabia" and "March of Mephisto" and from Snowy Shaw (Dream Evil & King Diamond) who also makes a guest character appearance as Mephisto. Khan even gets a little help from special guest Simone Simmons of Epica, who makes an engaging appearance midway through the show as Marguerite on "The Haunting."

Some Winning Features:

There can be no discussion about Khan's vocal abilities, but his beautiful falsetto during the intro to "Edge of Paradise" demonstrates just how much control he has of his voice. Even though he sings his heart out on each and every song, IMHO, he gives his best vocal performance on "Elizabeth Part I, II & III".

Every guest appearance was a treat. Every theatrical moment was a treat and watching the show from an array of 18 cameras was a treat as well. Though I wasn't there, the $30 I paid for the DVD was the best money I've spent on a concert in decades.

The show included a lot of theatrics. For instance, the snowfall during the ballad "Abandoned" was unexpected and a very nice touch. Mephisto (Snowy Shaw in disguise) makes a very effective guest appearance VIA large video screen during "March of Mephisto." Very impressed with the band and what they've done here.

More theatrics during the 12 minute epic "Elizabeth (Part I, II & III)" with Mari Youngblood playing the part of Elizabeth in front of a large mirror. Very huge moment of the show, interesting role playing theatrics and the bands performance is truly incredible, starts slowly and builds tremendous momentum and energy right to the very end. Again, great stuff!

"The Haunting" was definitely a highlight with Simone Simmons joining Khan and the boys on stage. "Moonlight" was another highlight with guest guitarist Sascha Paeth (Heavens Gate) performing a superb solo midway through the song.

Best song performance of the concert:

They're all so very good. But, if I have to choose only one, I'd go with "Center of the Universe." The band was gaining momentum from the first three songs and everything peaked for "Center of the Universe," the crowd was hot and so was the band!

Worst song performance of the night:

Hard to pick since the performances were all so very good. Though some may consider "Soul Society" and "Moonlight" filler material, the band does get a most generous response from the fans indicating that those were far from being their worst performances of the night. I certainly enjoyed them as well.

"Karma" followed the theatrical "March of Mephisto" and although a great performance, it seemed to have a huge hurdle to cross and without all the glitter and glam, it just seemed like a weaker moment during the show. Proof that it's always tough to follow a great performance especially on a song like "March of Mephisto."

But, if I have to pick a weaker performance without selecting an intro or individual solo, I will go with the toughest track on hand and say, "Nights of Arabia" followed by "Abandoned." Like I said before, very tough to follow a great performance like the one they pulled off on "Center of the Universe." On any other metal night, those two songs could likely be the highlights.

There are no bad features to talk about, but the things I did wish the concert did contain was another 2 or 3 Kamelot classics from earlier material and maybe if the show had been recorded in a larger venue with a bigger stage and audience. But this takes nothing away from this very special night.

Disc 2 contains 87 minutes of bonus material.

Interesting facts learnt during the Halo Vision; Roy Khan went from being an Opera singer to fronting a metal band. He spends a lot of time in Florida with his band mates but his principal home is in Norway.

Thomas Youngblood uses a 15 year old Ampeg solid state amp. He also uses Line 6 gear and Boss effects. Curiously, in 10 years, I've never heard anyone complain about his sound until now? Tube purists have something to learn about good old fashion dependable gear! Anyway, with a few sound effects "sweetners", Youngblood has proven that one might just find his signature sound. Thomas, you play flawless and with much energy and conviction, you got all my appreciation! :)

Although Oliver Palotai is the new recruit, he already has a great signature move and it didn't take him very long (10 days) to prepare for the tour. What a great introduction to this musician.

The bonus material includes 6 music videos. I can't go without mentioning the live video clip of "March of Mephisto" at the 2006 Sweden Rock Festival. That was one dynamite performance!!

There's been a lot of talk about the recording and how perfect it sounds. No doubt this is one of the best live recordings I've heard in a while if not the best from a metal band's perspective anyway. There are moments during the concert where I question if Khan's vocals weren't recorded during post-production of the audio? Difficult to ascertain, but Khan does get a little help from his backup crew when he ventures into the higher registers such as during some moments of "Forever" and "Center of the Universe."

Matter of fact, I enjoyed the show so much that I used my DVD audio extractor program and converted the DVD audio to MP3 audio format and burned myself an audio CD to listen to in the car. It is that good! To bad I couldn't burn the full 90 minutes, I had to cut out the intro and solos and one song... :(

Musically sound, visually stunning, an overall great entertainment package!

Vanwarp | 5/5 |


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