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Kamelot - Poetry For The Poisoned CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.55 | 129 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Poetry For The Poisoned' - Kamelot (6/10)

While I'm of the belief that the speed and grandiose leanings of power metal has been to-date, a game for the Europeans to dominate, there are usually exceptions to any rule. Although they possess a very European sound about them, American act Kamelot are one of the few bands on the Western side of the Atlantic that I care about, and one of even fewer that rank as being kings in power metal. With each new album now, the expectations of their fans are always high, but the band generally manages to uphold their level of quality. 2010's 'Poetry Of The Poisoned' offers nothing new to Kamelot and shows very little development to their sound, but as usual, this band creates a very melodic, epic piece of work that should please the majority of their fanbase, and possibly catch the ear of a few more fans.

As with many of Kamelot's releases, there is the impression here that the songs are bound by a concept and storytelling narrative, although the lyrics and subject matter seem to dart around quite a bit more than usual for the band. Opening with the single-worthy 'The Great Pandemonium,' the listener is instantly brought on a dark, yet very melodic journey. The musical highlight here and throughout many of the songs is always the beautiful operatic tenor voice of singer Roy Khan, whose voice shows little sign of aging, and belts each note out with either grand force, or a vulnerable beauty. A soaring chorus, an exotic central riff and plenty of effective melodic hooks baked into the symphonic structure of the music works very well. Most of the other great songs on 'Poetry For The Poisoned' share the same strengths as the opener, including the intense second track 'If Tomorrow Comes' and the beautifully dynamic 'The Zodiac.'

Unfortunately, there are a handful of tracks here that don't share the same memorable quality, and therefore pale in comparison to the tracks that came before, despite the majority of the songs here sharing a similar formula. The fact that there is little variety beyond the operatic, melodic and chorus heavy anthems can lead to the album feeling a bit too one-tracked for it's own good, despite the fact that the band uses the formula very well. Towards the end of the album is the four-part title track, which despite efforts to give the appearance of being an epic suite, unfortunately isn't. Each track comprising the 'Poetry Of The Poisoned' suite generally sits around the two minute mark, leading one to wonder if it was really necessary to break the piece into sections. In any case however, the suite is welcome due to the fact that it allows the band to break out of their typical song structure, and try something a little bit different, although the suite is no far cry from the rest of the album.

'Poetry Of The Poisoned' is far from an excellent album overall, but the high marks here rest very high indeed, making the album a good addition to their consistent discography. There's no denying that the members of Kamelot are very skilled in their craft, and as one might come to expect by now, their skills and distinct brand of power metal continue to work pleasantly. Now, if only the band would break out of their comfort zone and do something a bit different, something absolutely astounding might be in store.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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