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Kamelot - Ghost Opera CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.44 | 138 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Bombastic, anthemic, pompous, symphonic, operatic, chorale, heavy, metallic, melodic, powerful.

If these are the sort of words you look for when investigating new music, then I have just the album for you. Kamelot's latest release at time of writing has all of these in absolute truck loads. The intense power of the album prevails throughout, but is balanced by some of the strongest melodies the band have ever come up with. Take "The human strain" for example, a song which catches the ear straight away. It is mid-paced, devoid of the double paced drumming which characterised much of the band's earlier work. Likewise, the following "Blucher" has an epic arrangement with a fine guitar break and complex vocal structures all combining to create something quite stunning.

In the period between the release of "The black halo" and this album, keyboard player Oliver Palotai was adopted as a full member of the band, demonstrating Kamelot's commitment to developing the depth of their sound. While Palotai's main role is to strengthen the overall sound, he does occasionally step into the spotlight with solos such as that on "Silence of the darkness".

The prog metal sounds of bands such as Symphony X and Rhapsody are still very much in evidence, but the counterbalance of a slightly softer style with greater emphasis on the strength of the song writing sets this album apart from its peers in that genre. We even have a quite remarkable prog metal ballad in "Love you to death", the swirling strings being reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir".

It is perhaps the orchestrations which define this album in the Kamelot catalogue. This is of course not the first time they have enhanced their sound in this way, but here those orchestrations become an integral part of each song, rather than an afterthought.

"Up through the ashes" has some wonderful operatic vocal embellishments, which will particularly appeal to those who enjoy the music of bands such as Therion. The most beautiful song of all here has to be "Anthem", a lavishly orchestrated burst of pure emotion. There are no epic tracks on the album, the longest is a mere 5 minutes. The songs however blend together to form a continuous whole, thus creating a compelling atmosphere throughout.

In all, this for me is Kamelot's best album to date. Given the quality of their previous releases that is no mean achievement. If I was being pedantic, I would still have liked to see one epic number included, especially given the relatively short total running time. This is though, an album which flows as a continuous piece from start to finish. Highly recommended.

The Japanese version of the album has a bonus track "Season's end". This is NOT a cover of the Marillion song of that name, but an original Kamelot number. The song is a mid-paced power ballad with an anthemic chorus.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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