KAMELOT – Silverthorn [2012]

So… how amazing is this new Kamelot release? In my opinion, it is the best since the EPICA/BLACK HALO concept releases [EPICA, IMO, being the stronger of the two]. SILVERTHORN is a return to brilliant form for Kamelot. The last 2 releases [The Ghost Opera & Poetry for the Poisoned] were ever so dark and, well, heavy. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE HEAVY. Though with Kamelot, it seems the morbid melancholy usually associated with the band was lost in favor of just dark themes.

One of the criticisms I have heard leveled at Thomas Youngblood [guitarist] the  brainchild behind Kamelot, is that the new vocalist, Tommy Karevik, sounds very much like Roy Khan, and not like the way he sounded with his former band, Seventh Wonder. In answer to that, I would suggest that fans of Roy Khan go and listen to the 3 releases by his former band, Conception. Khan sang in a higher register [like Tommy] and because of the writing style of Kamelot, Roy adjusted his vocal style to a lower timbre to fit the music [like Tommy]. Speaking of Tommy, I can’t wait to hear him sing the older Kamelot material. He has a beautiful voice and his vibrato, as well as his dramatis persona, is just exquisite.

SILVERTHORN is an absolute masterpiece. No filler, just one beautiful creation after another. My standouts are the lead single “Sacrimony [featuring Elize Ryd of Amaranthe & Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist]”, as well as “Ashes to Ashes”, “Falling Like The Fahrenheit”, “Veritas [again featuring Elize Ryd, this time sounding like Astrid van der Veen from the band Ambeon]”, and the title track. The other tracks are amazing as well. The bonus “Instrumental” disc that accompanies the Limited Box Set Edition of the release features a bonus “Vocal” track as well entitled “Grace” which is also excellent. It is just so wonderful to hear the Kamelot I fell in love with on “Siege Perilous” [the first album I got by them] and idolized by the release of “Epica“. I hope Tommy’s time in the band is a long one because he has breathed new life into these guys and I look forward to what lies in the future.

Doomsday News [A NOISE Records Compilation] 1988

So, when I was 18, there was a little compilation album released by Noise Records entitled “Doomsday News”. I cannot put into words how important this compilation was to my Metal upbringing. It turned me onto bands like Coroner [Arrogance in Uniform, only available on this release] which made me go out and get “Punishment for Decadence”. I subsequently became a fan of, and a longtime collector of, the aforementioned Coroner,as well as the bands Deathrow [Scattered by the Wind], Rage [Before the Storm], Sabbat [Hosanna in Excelsis], & Kreator [After the Attack]. Even though I was already into Helloween, by way of “Keeper of The Seven Keys, Pt.1”, I had no idea about their earlier releases. On this compilation is the track “Starlight” featuring Kai Hansen on Lead Vocals. I absolutely loved it and got my hands on the “Walls of Jericho” release immediately. The compilation also featured “Mesmerized” by Celtic Frost off their “Into the Pandemonium” release. I was already into them via “To Mega Therion” which I got used, on cassette a year earlier, from a local record store (remember those)? The remaining tracks were Scanner [Galactos], Tankard [Total Addiction], Vendetta [And the Brave Man Falls], & Voivod [Cockroahes]. Great tracks for the compilation, though I did not get into them on a long term basis. If you get a chance to checkout this release, do it. The tracks that were chosen, and the sequence in which they were placed is Damn-near perfect!