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Kamelot - The Black Halo CD (album) cover

THE BLACK HALO

Kamelot

 

Progressive Metal

4.09 | 310 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stonebeard
4 stars I'm not predisposed to be a metal fan or a power metal fan, and I don't have any desire to headbang at all. What I look for in music, metal included, is catchy melodies and hooks. And Kamelot has these in spades. I'm not going to fake knowledge of the Prog- Metal genre, for I know very little. So I suppose you can look at this review as a Symphonic Prog/Neo-Prog fan reviewing a Prog-Metal album.

Now, I very much enjoy The Black Halo, regardless of how many prog elements is actually has. All of the songs have an epic feel even though the average song length is only about 4:30. So much seems to be done in that short amount of time! Perhaps this is typical of the power metal genre, but it is still very impressive and enjoyable. The songs are generally up-tempo with catchy, sing-along choruses and driving rhythms. The Black Halo also has three short interludes scattered throughout the album to emphasize certain parts of the storyline, and all are used effectively.

I must also say that I am very impressed with Khan's vocals. He is never overly dramatic, and can adjust to the demands of the music very well. If the song is soft and gentle, he will never spoil the mood, only enhance it. And when the music is thunderous and epic, he will wail lyrics as if they were battle cries.

Some of the songs that made an impression on me above the rest are "The March of Mephisto," the heavy, tribal opening number with a particularly effective use of growling vocals, which I usually dislike, and "Memento Mori," the 9 minute epic which showcases Kamelot's more progressive tendencies. "Abandoned," a ballad in which the narrator, in a fragile and broken voice, questions God and fate, is an exceptional display of Kamelot's softer side. My personal favorite is "Serenade," which starts off with swirling synthesizers and quickly pumps up to a galloping speed to end the album.

I highly recommend The Black Halo to fans of power metal, and also to fans of heavy progressive rock in general.

stonebeard | 4/5 |

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