It’s a universal truth that not many contemporary metal bands manage to preserve their status and keep the adoration of the fan base as solid as it once was. The same unwritten law also abides to most twist and turns which, as natural as they may seem in the musicians’ own eyes, far too often have right the opposite effect on the listeners. We’ve heard it all before and it’s unlikely that we’ll live to see the revolutionary second coming of the genre’s Golden Age, considering the enormous amount of commonplace bands flooding up the industry market.
In any case, all people familiar with Kamelot
’s long-lasting musical career have passed right through it together with their favorite band which surprisingly (or maybe not?) came to strengthen the old saying that there’s an exception to every rule. Despite
the major changes in the band’s ranks, including that of a lead singer and a vigorous play style shift, that’s one of the formations which never fail to demonstrate with every new album that the tables have turned for good, opposing the abovementioned negative characteristics of the modern mainstream. If there’s still anyone out there wondering how the hell did they manage to increase the number of their fans so abruptly throughout the years, it simply means that the person in question hasn’t been paying enough attention, because one can never listen to Kamelot
’s works and stay indifferent to them. Still more, that’s what their music has always been about right from the very start – making a difference through honest entertainment and permanent pleasure delivered to their well deserved followers as a result of hard work, praiseworthy musicianship, neverending creativity and utmost professionalism. If you’re looking for a reliable band to confide in and music worthy enough of your personal identification, well, you just got your answer.
’s second era started to develop under the reign of album titles such as the pleasant surprise “Siege
Perilous” (in which Roy Khan made his flawless debut for the band), quickly followed by the convincing “The Fourth Legacy
” and the splendid jewel “Karma
”, marking the beginning of what later turned out to be the band’s personal climax. Both
” and “The Black Halo
” cultivated the brightest and the most complex side of the band’s nature, entwined in two conceptually committed albums. Despite
the latter immense success, “Ghost
Opera” refused to follow the same path, underlining the musicians’ oath to never mark time and rely on fame bygone, raising a yet unheard, eerie side of Kamelot
to the surface. Today, after two more changes behind their back – a bass guitarist and an entire new label company, the band is back to forge its new look that might just as well prove to be another Rubicon towards glorious recognition.
The name of the ninth studio record in their discography is "Poerty for the Poisoned" and it comes to show that Kamelot
are here to stay for sure and ready to satisfy even the slightest whims of their fans, as they have always done. Combining the best features of the band, the new magnum opus pays the necessary courtesy to the past, but the similarities get pretty much exhausted at this point. At times even more intriguing than the concept duo “Epica
”/”The Black Halo
” and certainly more darker than its “Ghost
Opera” predecessor, “Poetry for the Poisoned” opens an entire new chapter in Kamelot
’s history with a promise of a fascinating, diverse and by far most complex soundtrack to the adventure up to date. Providing its different compositional approach and the new scales of musical ideas, the album might prove to be a little bit too hard to comprehend for starters, but with each next spin the CD begins to sound more and more persuasive.
“The Great Pandemonium
” sets the tension high ever since its very first tones with several winks to “Rule the World” or even “March of Mephisto
”. Roy Khan’s melodious vocal lines are deliberately divided in two parts – his well known glides are supported by eerie, mystical whispers in the refrains under the sound of aggressive riffs, bombastic general direction, typical chorus winner and growls of Soilwork
’s mainman, Björn "Speed" Strid
, bursting off before the grand finale’s steadfast crescendo. Followed by “If Tomorrow Came”, one of the most progressive compositions there, the band successfully shapes the perfect opening couple of the album. Its twisted, heavily slowed down and enriched with prog-rock elements melody dissolves into a keyboard supported power metal chorus that inevitably sticks to your mind the second you hear it, leaving you hungry for more. Short, yet refined string solo precedes the run-off double-chorus theme, leaving the fans under the impression that they just got into Kamelot
’s most unexpected and surprising effort so far. As if summoned by request, the interlude “Dear Editor
” comes to prove this with intimidating, artificially filtered voice, directly quoting the letters of a serial killer whom some of the readers might be familiar with. The trademark of Savatage
– Jon Oliva
, enters the shoes of the infamous Zodiac Killer
in the homonymous track and makes a stunningly brilliant performance, slightly reminding of Nevermore’s vocalist Warrel Dane
in his craziest days. Remember the disturbing feeling you had after hearing Alice Cooper
in “The Toy Master
” of Avantasia
? Well, “The Zodiac” sounds as its evil brother with angry vocals, utterly melodic chorus and provocative lyrics. “Hunter
’s Season” is one of the few Kamelotesque songs in the album, crowned with a quickened rhythm staccato and one of these melodies created with the sole purpose to get under your skin, once again shifting the focus on the catchy power of the album’s choruses. There’s a really virtuoso guitar solo before the ending of the song with a shredding riffage work similar to the favorite touch of Gus G
., having in mind he’s one of the guest musicians here. A well-known singer in the person of Simone Simons lures the listeners to a “House on a Hill”, entering a whole new touching duet; gentle, heavily emotional and with a striking contrast between both solid guitar basis and bombastic melody now and then, the song absorbs its fans into a silent embrace in the vein of the most stylish ballads you might have heard up to date. “Necropolis"draws a dark picture of the well-known city of the dead with the help of a broken tempo, more progressive motifs and Khan’s extraordinary intonation – yet another evidence that this album contains his most passionate vocal performance; Logically, “My Train of Thoughts” rushes in with energetic dynamics calling up the image of a locomotive, traveling through a complex musical landscape system with many switches between speedy riffs and general calm tempo, followed quickly by the atmosphere of “Seal of Woven Years”, full of tolling bells, violin background and Khan’s own distant chanting before the song springs out in its entirety. The ultimate culmination of the album, however, is the homonymous quadrilogy “Poetry for the Poisoned” which deals with a vampiric saga, as was the entire album first intended to be. Here, Kamelot
remind us that they’re masters of the conceptual music, creating it as something special and never boring. The four parts merge into a 9 min. long composition, fitting together perfectly despite the fact that each of them has its own multi-facet character. The red-haired angel Simone Simons makes another appearance on the second part with just a few lines that nevertheless shine out as her most magnificent performance ever, leaving “House on a Hill” and even “The Haunting” far beyond. Progressive, heavy, power metal and pure rock sound in unison with orchestrations and choral lines, conducted with the help of Her Vocal Majesty
Amanda Somerville before the end of the fourth, most instrumental oriented part, created by Oliver
Palotai. The thrilling nocturnal tale is closed by “Once
Upon a Time” that casts a glimpse to albums such as “Karma
” or “Epica
” with its melodic power metal direction, establishing a most fitting curtain fall to one extraordinary and totally unforgettable experience.
deliver something unique for every fan out there with the album of the year, worthy enough to be listed amongst their highest achievements and beyond. “Poetry for the Poisoned” is a musical treasure which, given the necessary time and attention, will repay its debt a thousand times over the imaginary, tearing all possible expectations to pieces with tons music, capable of leaving the eventual critics unemployed for a long time to come.