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Kamelot - Epica CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.86 | 168 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Rhapsodies and ballads

Kamelot came of age with their previous two albums, and even dabbled with incorporating a concept on the three part "Elizabeth suite" which closes "Karma". With "Epica", they go the whole hog and present a full blown concept album, based on the first part of Goethe's "Faust". Lyrically, this is a brave choice of theme, the rather complex fantasy based story placing significant demands on the song writing.

The now traditional album overture "Prologue" is rather different here, devoid of the pomp which greeted us on previous albums. It does however lead to a couple of melodic up-tempo numbers, "Centre of the universe" and "Farewell" being very much in the fine traditions of the band. While the frantic drumming of the band's genre of choice is still in evidence, these songs have a slightly lighter feel, perhaps due to the strength of the melodies.

The album includes a number of "interlude" pieces which serve as links between the main tracks. The inclusion of these brief instrumentals enhances the prog experience of the album. Tracks such as "The edge of paradise" further develop that feel, the song moving though different tempos and moods, while including operatic vocals.

The band's softer side is once again brought out in their fine ballads such as "Wander", a highly accessible number with some highly effective guitar work. "On a cold winder night" is a delicate acoustic song with fine orchestration and a great vocal performance by Roy Khan.

The distinction between Kamelot and Rhapsody (of Fire) is at its most blurred on "A Feast for the vain", a wonderfully infectious but totally accessible romp (Luca Turilli actually appears on one track on this album). "The mourning after" continues the Rhapsody feel, with choral harmonics and striking guitar work.

The principal progression here is not in the music itself, but in the adopting of a concept to cover the entire album. Musically, there is slightly more subtlety overall, but those familiar with the bands albums up to this point will have no difficulty recognising this as a Kamelot album. In all, another excellent album.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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