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Kamelot - The Fourth Legacy CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.77 | 114 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Symphonic Power Metal

So why do I remove the word "progressive" and replace it with "power"? Quite honest with you, I was not sure whether this can be categorized as prog album or not. If you happened to read (or at least skim) my review of the band's "Epica" album, I did mention that "Epica" is the only prog album from the band. But, if I look into detail - track by track observation - on the "progness" of this album, I certainly find those tracks with prog elements, but it's not that much. If I have to quantify in numbers, probably this album is approximately 40% prog. Definitely, when I browse through the entire album, all songs were composed with a power metal vein. [I use the term "power metal" interchangeably with "melodic metal" - it's basically the musical style that was pioneered by Germany's Helloween].

Put aside the categorization of music, this album is worth collecting and it may become an all-time favorite for you. The band has put a concerted effort to bring their best ideas and crafting them into materials that combine various elements, i.e. metal, orchestra, classical music, eastern music, ballad - and blend them together into an immaculate composition. As an album, "Fourth Legacy" is cohesive. Fans of EVERGREY, RHAPSODY, ICE AGE, HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, BLIND GUARDIAN, DREAM THEATER, IN FLAME, SONATA ARCTICA, STRATOVARIUS, ROYAL HUNT or other bands in "metal" vein would enjoy this album. As usual, Kamelot music has always been melodic even with their fast tempo tracks.

The Tracks

As in a tradition of power metal music, the album always starts off with a short instrumental piece, usually in the form of symphonic orchestra. This album is by no exception, it opens with "New Allegiance" which was composed wonderfully. Quality- wise, it's at par excellent with the opening of the band's previous album "Karma" through "Regalis Apertura". "New Allegiance" has more energy and it fits really well to welcome the second track. "The Fourth Legacy" blasts off the power metal vein through fast tempo music with speedy double pedal bass drum, bass line and electric guitar. The powerful voice of Khan enters the music nicely and it flows with the fast tempo music. The melody of the voice line is really nice and catchy. It's really a killing track, melody-wise! The keyboard played at background is used to accentuate the "symphonic" nature of the music. There is a break into quieter music passage featuring the orchestration work and female choirs. It's a wonderful break. Overall .. this is a powerful and very uplifting melodic track!!!!

"Silent Goddess" has a slower tempo but it still maintain the high level energy. The composition is more straight forward power metal music compared to previous track. It's still a song with catchy and memorable melody. It's an enjoyable track and it's probably Accessible to vast majority of music buffs.

"Desert Reign" is a short track (1:39, used to create Islamic cultures and nuances through the use of eastern music instruments with light orchestra. This is set to create an appropriate atmosphere for the next song with eastern nuance: "Nights of Arabia". This fifth track may be considered as a prog track as it combines many elements of music and not really a straight forward structure in terms of composition. The orchestration work has helped a lot in creating dynamics of this song.

The sixth track "The Shadow of Uther" is a power metal song with excellent orchestration - especially during transition or at the background of voice singing. Until this track, I can still see that this track has a strong and nice melody. The track is closed by an orchestra with flute / oboe sounds.

"A Sailorman's Hymn" reminds me to "Don't You Cry" of "Karma" album - it's almost the same. It also uses acoustic guitar - augmented with piano - performed in ballad style. The light orchestra helps create a wonderful background music. Album wise, it's a break having listened to high level energy tracks previously.

"Alexandria" is a typical power metal tune with some flavors of Arabian music which the band has blended it into rhythm section. Female backing voice appears softly. The interlude part that features guitar solo is backed nicely with a light orchestra.

"The Inquisitor" is a nice track performed in medium tempo with strong melody and light orchestra work at background. Again, in some passages the orchestration is performed in Arabian style that sometimes appear in crescendo - followed with guitar solo. Orchestration plays key role in the image creation of eastern music textures.

"Glory" is another track in the vein of "A Sailorman's Hymn": acoustic guitar fills, voice line, beautiful orchestration and touchy (and killing!) melody. Even though these two tracks (and also "Don't You Cry" from "Karma" album) are performed in sad nuance, all the three tracks actually have had a potential to be a hit single - if the band put commercial efforts on them. Well, I remember Kansas' "Dust In The Wind" when became hit in the seventies.

"Until Kingdom Come" is an energetic track in the vein of "Fourth Legacy" (second track) - it has a powerful fast tempo, very uplifting - and strong melody especially through the voice of Khan. I also like speed drumming of Casey Grillo, combined with Glenn Barry's bass line that then followed with stunning guitar solo of Thomas Youngblood. Oh mann .. This track is so powerful!! I like to emulate the melody even after I listen to this track.

The album is closed by last track "Lunar Sanctum" in relatively medium tempo. Structure- wise, this track is different from other tracks as the opening part does not seem like a power metal tune - it's like a prog tune. [Even, in some passages - it reminds me to the music of PALLAS - the neo prog band!]. Indeed, this track has more prog elements as well. It has shifting time signatures. It's also more complex with an excellent interlude exploring many classical music influence: the use of string and flute. It's a wondefully crafted track - and it's enjoyable.

My Overall Recommendation

It's very difficult for me to differentiate these three albums of Kamelot: "Karma" (my first introduction to the band), "Epica" (the prog album), and "Fourth Legacy" - all of them are the albums with immaculate composition. Especially, if I observe on the basis of enjoyment with each track of those three albums - all of them have, in their own ways, ultimately satisfied my mind. Each album has approximately the same "spin share" (it's my term that corresponds to "market share" in modern business world) in my CD player. But I think, this album has a little bit lacking of variety in its entire album compared to the other two. So, I would give 4.5 stars rating - highly recommended! - HAIL ..

Progressively yours,

GW - Indonesia

Gatot | 4/5 |


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