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Kamelot - Silverthorn CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.53 | 77 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Kamelot have a strong sense of majesty and grandeur that they inject into their power metal and this separates them from the rest. One would sense a Gothic atmosphere in the music with grand cinematic keyboard swathes, and atmospheric howling wolves baying at a lonely moon. The dark forest that hides the secrets of powerful warriors that meet for rituals, or one may picture Valkyries riding through the gloomy night hunting the enemy down. The guitar riffs gallop like horses furiously being whipped to their rider's ultimate goal. The vibe is reminiscent of Manowar subdued with orchestral soundscapes, as they seek those who play false metal as each note they play may send a black arrow into their hearts. The lyrics are not about violent conquests though, but still have a sense that there is a mystical medieval concept hidden within and there is a quest to retrieve some ancient relic The secret of the iconic Silverthorn is a major component of the album, and one is never sure what power it holds or how it is integrated into the tale. The death of the sister is tragic as she fades in the embrace of her twin brothers, and one is compelled to learn more and perhaps it can be ascertained that her secret that died with her with the power of the Silverthorn that can bring life, perhaps her own. The lyrics in such songs as 'Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)' or 'Falling Like The Fahrenheit' are indecipherable within the story but therein lies a mystery to be unravelled.

The music itself races along with the likes of furious power riffs such as on 'Solitaire', and then settles into bells chiming, and preternatural sounds on 'Part III The Journey'. The essence of the music is encapsulated within the beautiful arrangements, the crystalline vocals are mesmirising emanating from the incredible Tommy Karevik. The metal is left to the accomplished guitar execution of Thomas Youngblood, who is well backed by a rhythm machine from Sean Tibbetts' bass and Casey Grillo's drums. The symphonic textures are courteous of the sweeping keyboard finesse of Oliver Palotai. It is not a heavy album by any stretch of the imagination but has the kind of Nightwish sounds where metal meets Gothic with embellishments of keyboards. This is certainly the style that is becoming more popular with the teenage obsession with Gothic culture, especially as a soundtrack to 'Twilight', or 'True Blood'; listen to Continuum at the end of the album and you will hear the Gothic references. It has angelic choral voice intonations, soul stirring violins, and a crescendo of sweeping strings that flow organically to the end of the album.

One glance at the Kamelot backlogue of albums is enough to cement their reputation as lovers of the fantasy realm and the surreal on a very dark level, usually adorned by witch like beings of dark beauty that glare out menacingly or curl up into the shadows with their serpentine bodies preparing to pounce, in a background of castle gates and birds flapping around them in the glow of the moonlight. There is a market for this enigmatic imagery and music for all the reasons outlined, though I am not personally as taken with the Gothic metal meets symphonic genre as some will be. The album races by quickly and I had to focus to work out where one song ends and another begins. However, I can appreciate that the music is well performed, the vocals are top notch and it will appeal to the Kamelot fanbase. 'Silverthorn' is no masterpiece but a decent quality album with some haunting atmospherics and a sense of grandeur with sumptuous musicianship and just the right amount of metal thrown into the cauldron.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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