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Kamelot - Karma CD (album) cover

KARMA

Kamelot

 

Progressive Metal

3.85 | 145 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The fifth legacy?

Karma followed on the heels of the great The Fourth Legacy from the previous year. The musical direction remains basically the same as on that fourth album and the band could even be accused of merely following their previously established formula on this album. However, there are also some noteworthy differences. The symphonic or even orchestral aspect of the band's brand of Symphonic Power Metal has become stronger while the very appealing Folk and World-Music influences that, for me, made The Fourth Legacy such a thrilling experience are largely absent or at least pushed forcefully into the background. There are still some oriental and Celtic touches here and there, but these tendencies have largely been overtaken by symphonic bombast. Some may say that this album is more progressive than Kamelot's earlier efforts, but these people might confuse progressive with symphonic. I would rather say that Karma is less progressive especially in that it is less eclectic and thus closer to conventional Symphonic Power Metal. Kamelot still knew how to write good songs however, but Karma adds little to what they already had achieved at the time.

Like the previous album, the present one too starts with a short instrumental by way of introduction. Forever and Wings Of Despair are rather typical Power Metal numbers with catchy melodies and the characteristic rapid dual bass drum attack. The Spell slows things down a little bit with a more traditional Heavy Metal riff and some tasteful synthesizers in the background, this one could have been by late 80's/early 90's Black Sabbath while Roy Khan here sounding very much like Queensr˙che's Geoff Tate. Don't You Cry, based on acoustic guitar and strings, is the first ballad of the album. It is a nice interlude for sure, but the song itself is utterly conventional both musically and lyrically and it lacks the folky and medieval feel of the ballads on The Fourth Legacy.

The title track is the counterpart of Nights Of Arabia from the The Fourth Legacy with its slight "oriental" feel and personally I think this is the first song that is up to par with the previous album's material. It is also one of the more progressive songs here as it moves through both heavy, melodic and more mellow piano-based passages. The Light I Shine On You continues in the same vein, but at this point I feel it is basically more of the same. Temples Of Gold is another ballad - or, perhaps better, semi-ballad - that comes as a relief after the Metal onslaught of the foregoing tracks. This one is thankfully a lot better, and a lot less cheesy, than Don't You Cry, but it is not particularly memorable. Across The Highlands is, on the other hand, another strong track in the vein of Until Kingdom Come from the previous album with a slight Celtic feel.

The album ends with a three-part composition called Elisabeth parts I, II and III. The third and final part is, however, deceptively over ten minutes long while the majority of this time is filled with nothing for no good reason! Discounting this unnecessary silence, this three-part song is overall about 12 minutes long. "Progressiveness" is, of course, never to be measured in song length but this might still be the most ambitious composition by Kamelot (at least up to that point). It does, however, like most of the rest of the album, fit very nicely under the heading of 'Symphonic Power Metal'.

Overall, Karma is a good but quite formulaic album in Kamelot's typical style. For me, this one is less interesting than The Fourth Legacy which remains my favourite Kamelot album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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