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Kamelot - Ghost Opera CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.44 | 138 ratings

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2 stars 2.25; Something is missing... and it feels wrong... terribly wrong...

Let me say this before anything else I say about this album: Kamelot is one of my favorite bands, and definitely my second favorite metal band, right after Symphony X (and before Dream Theater). I simply love the way they blend power prog metal with classical music, and in such different ways, if you compare the two bands. I've especially loved the direction the band had been going with their music, each album better than the last. And after Kamelot's incredibly captivating masterpiece, The Black Halo, one of my favorite metal albums of all time, many of us were expecting something close to as good as that. And, this album being their lowest rated album since Siege Perilous during this review, many of us were quite disappointed, including some of the friends who actually got me into Kamelot. I can't say exactly what it is, I can hardly logically think of what it is... but something feels wrong, something others seem to be feeling as well.

When I first listened to the album, I found it incredibly difficult to not simply turn off my CD player and go do something else. I figured the music would just take time to sink in; I'm quite familiar with the concept of multiple listens of an album (at least three or four) to understand its quality, so I figured that would work for this album. The thing is, no matter how hard I tried to like it (and I can like almost anything if I try hard enough, even hardcore opera, which this album has little to do with despite the name; nor was I really expecting it to) and no matter how many times I forced myself to enjoy it from start to finish, I would always get a bad sinking feeling in my stomach, a very strong feeling that there was something missing that was quite abundant in The Black Halo. Who knows the reasons why we all enjoy the albums that we enjoy and dislike albums we dislike, that's something that could use some intricate studying. I really wanted to like this album, but the bad gut feeling never really left, and after the fourth full listen I simply gave up, and listening to it just now, I feel worse than ever. I have some theories why this might have been.

Of course, this album isn't a complete abomination. It definitely has its moments. The first three tracks feel the most enjoyable of the album, though even the album title track still had that strange thing about it that sounded wrong - just not nearly as much as the rest. Some of the songs throughout the rest of the album have little parts that lift my already bleak spirits up. I saw the band on their last tour to California, the Ghost Opera tour, and somehow some of the songs, mainly the Human Stain, kind of came to life when I saw them perform it in person. They were at least tolerable, maybe even kind of enjoyable. I suppose I could blame the albums production quality on this. To me, at least, it sounds kind of cluttered, the drumming is pretty good, but the strings I think are overused a bit, and combined with the very heavy guitar and keyboard, the word that comes to my mind when I even try to describe it is sludgy, kind of like there is potential energy and power behind the way the songs were written, but somehow, I can't come close to saying how, it became overloaded and lost it. Something about the melodies doesn't spark anything in my mind either. Maybe the band tried to do what they did with The Black Halo and make it more accessible, maybe they were struggling too hard to progress their sound and lost sight of the song writing, who knows. It's more heavy symphonic power metal with some progressive moments, but even that could be potentially well written... I just don't know. Somehow all of the songs blur to become quite similar, with little to distinguish it from the others. The musicianship is hardly showcased to help fill what feels like a pretty empty album. These are potential reasons for disliking it, but... not quite it. I just don't know.

Well it's clear what my opinion of the album is, and I would discuss the music more if there were more to discuss. There are almost no moments that stand out in my mind, other than the chorus of Rule the World and Ghost Opera. I really did want to like, even love this album after falling in love with The Black Halo, but somehow it just never clicked. Get this album if you're a Kamelot fan - you just might like, even love it. For some reason this fan just can't.

Draith | 2/5 |


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