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Kamelot - Silverthorn CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.53 | 77 ratings

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5 stars Please do NOT trust my rating 'coz it's too personal. Kamelot is a BIG thing to me - JRENG!

I don't think people are quite interested with this band as this might not be considered as prog band and it tends to be a metal band with bit of prog elements (not that much, actually). This band introduced me to my love to power metal music when I first listened to Kamelot "Karma" album sometime in early 2000s - I do not remember exactly when. I was so amazed with how neatly-composed orchestration of classical music "Regalis Apertura" opens the album that flows beautifully into a melodic power metal track "Forever". Oh man ... since then I pledged myself as a great fan of Kamelot even though I only had "Karma" album. Later I got the "Fourth Legacy" that also blew my mind at first spin, followed with "Epica" album. Having got three great albums I was so convinced that this is THE band for me as the music is really me. Why? All of Kamelot albums are melodic in nature with many memorable segments in their compositions. For example, "Karma" was to me like when I got hooked with Marillion's debut "Script for a Jester's Tear" - I always spun the CD barely everyday and in any typical days I spun the album more that one time in its entirety. I was really falling in love with Kamelot like I did with Marillion in 1983.

As some of you might have noticed from my previous reviews that I am a great fan of Fish- era Marillion and gave full five-star rating for each of their early four albums as the music is melodic and well-composed. The next question is how does it make sense for someone who loved symphonic prog music like Marillion, Genesis, Yes turned his mind into a power metal one? The answer is simple: the memorable melody and tight composition that really made me hooked to the music. Somehow, I love the combination of memorable melody and upbeat tempo like "Forgotten Sons" (Marillion) and "Forever" (Kamelot). Musically both are different in genre but .hey my friends .... music is emotion. Both songs really stir my utmost emotion and they elevate my motivation. And I do not exaggerate this. Music, especially prog rock has been around my life since I was 14-year boy in a small city, Madiun, east Java, Indonesia.

Let's focus on Kamelot - let's talk about this masterpiece work (my view) ...

Since Karma, Kamelot has never released mediocre albums. They always released excellent to masterpiece albums as far as my taste concerns. I was almost disappointed with "Poetry for The Poisoned" album at first listen. But it grew steadily on me even though it did not reach what so called "masterpiece" album for me. But the album is prog and is excellent one that I would not put aside from Kamelot music history as the album was an important milestone for the band. People might say the band is mediocre as the are (the members of the band) not individually skilled musician - sorry to say. Or put it in a right perspective: they might be a skilled and technically competent musicians with their music instruments; only that they do not make a show of force on their technical competency. But ... the most important thing is that they are great composers as their albums have always been excellent to masterpiece quality.In business and management world we can say that the great companies are those who can produce extraordinary results through ordinary people. In the case of Kamelot actually I can see Youngblood , Palotai and Paeth are great composers even though their individual skills with their instruments are not dominating the overall musical scene they make.

As Wiki says "Silverthorn is the tenth studio album from metal band Kamelot. The album was released on the Steamhammer label, a subdivision of SPV on October 26, 2012 in Germany, three days later in the rest of Europe and one day after that in North America. It is the first album to feature Tommy Karevik as the lead singer. It will also be their third concept album.The story is original, about a little girl in the 19th century named Jolee who dies in a tragic accident, witnessed by her twin brothers. It deals with an affluent family that handles tragic events leading to coverups, secrets, and betrayal. The cover is Jolee, the main character and angel of afterlife, as an adult". It's clear that Kamelot is now having a new singer replacing Roy Khan whom has left the band according an interview with Kamelot sometime in August 2012. But I don't think this has changed the music style of Kamelot as this album is pretty similar with previous albums.

Manus Dei (2:12) opens the album wonderfully with really amazing piano touch of Palotai supported with great orchestral work. Pattern-wise it's typical in any Kamelot album like The Fourth Legacy where it starts beautifully with orchestra music that sets the stage for the next high-energy music. This opening orchestral arrangement reminds me to Regalis Apertura or The New Allegiance of previous albums. As a stand-alone track, this short orchestra is very inspiring as at it creates colossal nuances and I always play this LOUD or using Senheiser headset to get subtleties of the music. It ends with excellent transition piece that connects to next wonderful track Sacrimony.

Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife) (4:39). I do really enjoy this track. Having heard that the vocal department would be replaced by new guy I did not expect much because the vocal quality of Roy Khan really matched with Kamelot music. But as the single version was out already, I was amazed (overall) with the fact that this one is musically really excellent and I enjoy this track from start to end. Come to think of similarity, I can only reckon that this track is in the same vein of "The Fourth Legacy" or "Forever" from their previous work. The good news is that the new singer - despite it's not someone I had been familiar with - proves that he does not let down Kamelot's fans base. Oh man, this track is really beautifully composed and I do enjoy it very much. I like the upbeat tempo and the orchestral arrangements at the back as sometimes are represented by Palotai's keyboard work. "Sing for me angel of afterlife calming me down / Chaos inside my nebula / And make the wrong turn to right in a celestial light / Forgive my sacrimony" followed beautifully with interlude that starts with vocal mumbling and great yet simple keyboard solo and guitar solo.

Ashes To Ashes (3:58) sounds at first like a straight forward power metal vein. But when I look into details it has great transition pieces. One thing I notice is that the drumming style of Casey Grillo which really characterizes the music of Kamelot. His drumming work is really solid and powerful. There is a very nice shot at minute 2:20 until 2:35 which has great riffs and break that brings later to the excellent interlude with keyboard solo followed with guitar solo. Both musicians Palotai and Youngblood seem to agree that their musical instruments were both mixed thinly so that when the solo appear in the music they do not dominate. I think, this is a great approach frm them. They don't want to show force on their music instrument skills.

Torn (3:51) sounds similar in structure with Ashes to Ashes but this time the keyboard orchestration is flavored with middle east melodies. As the music enters the interlude part, the meddle east melody appears clearly through the music produced by keyboard followed with guitar solo, mixed thinly. "A call to rebel to the vision still stand Like a shadow" .....

Song For Jolee (4:33) is a mellow and melodic song that initially starts beautifully with piano and orchestra that back up the vocal line. For some reason, I really love this track, emotionally. At approx minute 3:20 the drums enter the music backed wonderfully with excellent orchestra. This track really blew me in many ways. In local term it's mbrebes mili (tears in my eyes) enjoying this track. First, I like the vocal clarity of new singer Tommy Karevik especially his deep rooted understanding and delivery of the song. Second, I like there are many curved notes as the melody goes with the music - it does not sound like a straight forward melody. Third, this song has brought me back or in in some ways remind me to the story when Prophet Mohammed was in a very sad situation after her wife (Khatidjah) and his uncle who always defended and supported him passed away. The story was very well known for moslems around the globe with the event called as Isra' Miraj - i.e. the occasion where the Prophet transcended a travel horizontally from Mecca to Baitul Maqdis mosque and vertically as it's clearly stated in the Koran. Some lyrical verses might match with the sad situation he was facing: "I'm sorry but I can't stop the bleeding. Crying and it's all because of you." ...oh what a wonderful one!

Veritas (4:34) starts beautifully with soft piano work backed with violin followed with riffed-music typical of Kamelot in medium tempo. The vocal then enters the music nicely. Composition-wise this one is quite straight-forward. The strong point is on the background music which I believe because the touches from Miro and Sacha Paeth who are the masters in orchestration of many power metal bands. The break of this song features female vocal by Elize Ryd. It's a very nice track.

My Confession (4:33) starts with a musical riff produced by keyboard followed with symphonic style music and followed with vocal work. The music flows in medium tempo with memorable keyboard work combined with piano touches and guitar that represents like rhythm section during vocal work. The interlude is nice, it starts with music riffs using bass guitar, guitar and keyboard. After that the keyboard solo. Silverthorn (4:51) opens beautifully with a combined work of piano and background orchestra. It's a great introduction before the music enters into medium tempo riffs that feature vocal line. The riff is memorable in nature as it's simple and enjoyable.At first spin I thought I would get bored with this track. But then I realized that Kamelot is smart as the music then turns into mellow one with the succeeding track below:

Falling Like The Fahrenheit (5:06) is a melancholic composition with excellent orchestration while maintaining the basic power metal music style through soft riffs. Like "Song for Jolee", this one reminds me to "Don't You Cry" of Karma album. I think most people would love this melodic song with mellow style. "Give me the secrets that you keep. I'll save them for no one else to see".....

Solitaire (4:56) is a typical Kamelot power metal style with strong melody and heavy riffs dominated by bass guitar and drum work. Youngblood performs his stunning guitar work in a thicker sound compared to previous tracks where he played solo.It's good to have this song near the end of the album. Some segments sound very similar with "Forever" from Karma album.

Prodigal Son is actually a short epic with approximately 9 minute duration, comprises three parts. It starts with an ambient organ work that features people mumbling sounds. Tommy Kaverik vocal then enters the music in slow style followed with choirs. At the end of vocal verse Youngblood gives his stunning guitar solo, mixed thinly, backed wonderfully with an orchestration. It ends up with much more dynamic arrangement where guitar still plays important role. The song moves its tempo from slow into the fast one nicely. It finally ends with great and powerful Grillo drumming.

Continuum (4:17) serves like an ending chapter for the story with orchestra music plus keyboard that feature the choirs, closed with nice piano touch by Palotai. But it's not the end as there is violin work at the very end of the album after several seconds quiet.

You might discount my rating

What I have just explored is actually what I consider a wonderful music that really matches my taste - that's why I can write a novel-long view abut this album. You do not have to trust my rating as I said that Kamelot is a BIG thing to me. It's a very personal and very subjective view of this album. The thing is that I have no option to downgrade this high-impact musical composition as their albums have already made me hooked to their music. I really love how the heavy riffs that comprise the combined work of bass guitar, low register notes electrical guitar and jaw-dropping drums backed nicely with excellent orchestration. I am really hoping, in fact, that Kamelot will do South East Asia tour and make a concert right here in Jakarta, Indonesia. Many great bands already perforned here including Yes, Dream Theater, Helloween, DragonForce, Lamb of God, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple etc. If Kamelot plays in Indonesia, I will definitely see them on stage. Yeah!

The reason I give five star for this album is mostly due to its wonderful composition where they can create a nice combination of melody, change of styles and tempo as well harmonies among musical instruments and vocals. For those of you who are newbie to Kamelot, I am sure you would give a minimum of four star rating - at least on some tracks. Keep on proggin' ...!

(Uhm long review with 2,225 words!)

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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