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Kamelot - Karma CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.81 | 176 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Featuring the story of "The Blood countess"

With their previous album, "The fourth legacy", Kamelot came of age in prog terms and created a truly outstanding album. The question when it comes to "Karma" is therefore was "Fourth legacy" a one off, or does the band go on to even greater things? The reality is that we are quickly reassured that "The fourth legacy" was indeed no fluke. It would be misleading though to assert that "Karma" is better than its predecessor, the two albums are essentially from the same mould.

The familiar overture type opener "Regalis Apertura" certainly has all the pomposity and majesty required to provide the reassurance we sought. As is customary, it leads into a blazing riff driven piece of melodic metal, "Forever" having a killer melody and superb harmonics. There is clear evidence that the epic Hollywood metal which Rhapsody would adopt as their hallmark originated with albums such as this. "Wings of despair" continues in a similar vein but the mood changes rapidly for "The spell". Here we have a fine ballad whose mood alters towards the end into something altogether more disturbing.

"Don't you cry" continues the softer, reflective mood, the track being primarily acoustic with strong vocals. The song features a genuine string quartet, further emphasising that while Kamelot's prog metal classification may be the most appropriate, it does not tell the whole story by any means.

The title track is a mini-epic in 5 minutes. The song features sweeping orchestration, chorale vocals and a frantic rhythm. Things become rather predictable if no less enjoyable during the later tracks such as the ballad "Temples Of Gold" and the highly accessible "Across The Highlands".

As with previous albums, Kamelot find that they can say all that needs to be said in each track in four to five minutes. There is once again no feature track here, and no overall concept. We do however find the band's first attempt at putting something together which goes beyond a set of individual tracks. The album closes with "The Elizabeth trilogy", which draws together three (surprise!) songs with a linked theme. These songs tell the true story of Elizabeth Bathori, a 16th century countess from what was then part of Hungary. She was known as "The blood countess" on account of her murderous activities for which she became notorious. While her co-perpetrators were duly tried and found guilty, the countess was imprisoned but never formally tried.

The three tracks which make up the trilogy effectively stand alone, one being another delicate ballad and two being prog metal excursions. While they are linked by the theme, musically they are simply the closing tracks.

In all, another superb album from Kamelot. It disappoints only in that the progress which has been apparent on each of their previous albums seems to have largely stalled here. Had "Karma" pre-dated "The fourth legacy" it would be hailed as the breakthrough album. It does not though, and is thus simply a fine piece of consolidation.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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