Kamelot - The Black Halo

luigiluigi NZ
edited April 3 in year-2005

ARTIST: Kamelot
ALBUM: The Black Halo
LABEL: SPV/Steamhammer
SERIAL: 085-69572
YEAR: 2005

LINEUP: Roy Khan - vocals * Thomas Youngblood - guitars * Glenn Barry - bass * Casey Grillo - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 March Of Mephisto * 02 When The Lights Are Down * 03 The Haunting (Somewhere In Time) * 04 Soul Society * 05 Interlude 1 - Dei Gratia * 06 Abandoned * 07 This Pain * 08 Moonlight * 09 Interlude II - Un Assassinio Malto Silenzioso * 10 The Black Halo * 11 Nothing Ever Dies * 12 Memento Mori * 13 Interlude III - Twelve Tolls For A New Day * 14 Serenade

RATING: image


I got hooked on Kamelot when I took a punt and picked up 'The Fourth Legacy'. I had never heard the band but the reviews for the album were too good to ignore. Since that day I've been a believer in the Kamelot approach to metal. A band revered in nearly every corner of the earth, they continue to build in stature from album to album.

'Karma' was a progression in quality from 'The Fourth Legacy', as 'Epica' was to 'Karma'. However, the leap was never as great as it is between 'Epica' and this new one: 'The Black Halo'. Don't misread me, 'Epica' was an excellent album, but 'The Black Halo' has something that takes it beyond special. Enlightened, perhaps.

The Songs

So, where have they gone the extra mile, so to speak? Well, the first hit comes in Khan's voice. Is there a limit to this man's ability? I doubt it. He is singing the best he has ever done with power, passion and extreme emotion.

Though Thomas Youngblood has restrained the shredding a little, he has enhanced the melodies which are instantly memorable. Thanks to those melodies the songs are very catchy, atmospheric and emotion driven, thanks to Khan's vocals.

Another distinct difference to the previous albums is the opening track. While the past 3 albums began with an intro and then a speedy track, 'The Black Halo' dispenses with the intro and rages with the mid tempo 'March of Mephisto'. I can't stand Dark metal but the inclusion of Shagrath's (Dimmu Borgir) growls hear and there add a darkness not previously heard on a Kamelot album.

Another extra special track is 'The Haunting', which includes guest vocals by Simone Simons (Epica). This is Kamelot at their most commercial and with the potential to expose the band to a wider audience.

The ballad 'Abandoned' showcases just how stunning singer Roy Khan is. If he wasn't fronting this amazing band I'm sure he'd have a huge career on Broadway. And in relation to Broadway, the orchestration is fantastic throughout the whole album. With the musicianship and songs covered, let's discuss the production.

In all honesty I've never heard an album with such an expansive production. I cannot begin to describe it. The music wraps itself around you, making you feel a part of the journey. This is an album that should, at least once, be listened to through headphones. There is so much going on in the background.

In Summary

There is very little else to say about an album that pulls you in and just won't let you go. Each time I return it offers more and more. Taking this album on the road will be an interesting prospect with all the nuances involved.

Whether this is the pinnacle of their career, who's to say. I believe this is the most adventurous and engaging album that Kamelot have created. It isn't as balls-to-the-wall metal as in their past, but it is still distinctly Kamelot and phenomenal.

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