The fans of Melodic Power Metal certainly have a powerful ally in with the band Kamelot. This Florida-based group has been riding high on the success of their latest release The Black Halo for some time now and this is an album that deserves every accolade that it gets. Rich in melody and loaded with powerful Metal hooks - this is a band that will quickly make you a fan if you are not one already. In the live sense they make sure to deliver and this appearance at B.B. King Blues Club on September 20th would mark their second adventure to New York. Kamelot would be joined on this tour by Dutch Metal sensation Epica and local unsigned talent Operatika. Attendees to the venue this evening would most certainly get a Power Metal fix like never before.
Read on for Ken Pierce's review of the concert!
The night began with Operatika, and it was interesting to see an unsigned group being used for such a show. It's a trend that could work if the band is worthy and these folks are most certainly talented. The group is Operatic & Symphonic in sound so they worked well with main attractions. The audience would also find the lead singer to be very pregnant and that's a sight you don't often see at these shows. Good job Operatika on getting the new arrival prepped for the Metal. I would not catch their set since I was involved in some discussions with Kamelot outside the venue – but I did make sure to check on how they were received. I am happy to report that it was high marks all around, so keep watching for them.
Epica would be up next and if you are still unaware of this wonderful band then I suggest you start doing your homework. They are labeled as a Symphonic Gothic band and they have the lovely Simone Simons fronting them. Mark Janssen (former After Forever) plays guitar and provides the Dark growls needed to accompany Simone's siren like singing. Musically there are some similarities to Nightwish and since that band is on a hiatus while looking for a new singer and recording new music, Epica is truly a band that you can enjoy in the interim and continue to do so without any difficulty. It was great to see the reception that they received tonight as this would be their very first appearance in New York City. Earlier that week the group had joined other Progressive Metal heavy hitters for the Prog-Power USA event and according to some who went to that show, the visitors from Holland would be one of the brightest spots on the roster. Tonight they would perform music from their albums "The Phantom Agony" and "Consign To Oblivion" all of which are available care of The End Records (the US Distributor) so do check them out. The connection between Epica and Kamelot is not a new one as Khan sings on "Consign To Oblivion" while Simone joins them on their release "The Black Halo"; they are also named after one of Kamelot's albums according to what I have read. Their set would run about an hour and this was more than enough to make you a fan of their sound and hopefully cause a clamor for their return. Similar to some bands of this type, yet different enough and interesting enough to merit some accolades on the difference. Everyone was smiles through their performance and most of the talk to the audience was that of appreciation for the love they were being shown this evening. Simone is also a stunning beauty and was treated like visiting royalty by all the fans that brought cameras in to the show. Metal Paparazzi at its best.
Kamelot came up after some delays for there seemed to be a technical issue at hand just before the start. It didn't seem to matter to the fans as when they did hit the stage it was like gangbusters. Tonight they would show the audience that lightning can definitely strike twice in the same place and it would be the perfect setting for the bands second appearance in NYC. They played here on their first visit and I was happy to hear them say how excited they were about their return when I spoke to them briefly before they came on. They had been touring almost non-stop in support of "The Black Halo" since that last time and during these months were able to film a concert that we will soon be able to enjoy. "One Cold Winter's Night" is the title as I am told and tonight the focus of the bands set list would be what they deliver on this pending release. Tonight we would enjoy an almost complete performance of the killer album, and since I was not writing the songs as they played or able to get a copy of the list I have cited below the material found on this soon to arrive DVD. Its pretty close to exact I have to say. The club was packed tonight but not overcrowded and since this was more than for their first visit it offered the band a better welcome back. Khan was in incredible vocal form, and truly he is one of the most passionate Melodic Metal singers that we have in the business today. More people who do this role need to pay attention to him for his delivery is dramatic and inspired. He sounds exactly as he does on record and it does not seem to be thanks to any effects systems. On guitar is of course Mister Tom Youngblood and he was shredding this evening. These past few years the Metal industry has given us some excellent players and it is up to us fans to make sure more of them get the attention they deserve. Tom's playing is truly deserving of praise. Tonight we would find bassist Glenn Barry performing as well and he had been doing select shows based on the fact that his wife was ready to give birth any day. Bassist Sean Tibbett's from Royal Anguish has been called upon and prepared to fill in as necessary. The band would have Oliver Palotai, keyboards for Doro and Uli Jon Roth as an official member now and it's a good fit in my opinion. He is a solid player and brings the experience of working with other notable performers to the table. The show itself was fantastic and provided some extra surprises when Simone Simons herself came out to perform "Somewhere In Time" with Khan as they do on the album. "Metal Duets", maybe an album like this needs to be released. The crowd would also have the lovely Mrs. Youngblood join the band for "Elizabeth" and she has a great voice as well. It's a perfect compliment to the music the guys deliver. Close to the end of the show we would get the blistering drum solo of Casey Grillo, who was behind a huge Ddrum kit. I am new to his playing but admire it very much as an enthusiast of technical drumming.
The time is now for you to begin your allegiance to Kamelot for they are a band that continually proves deserving of it all. You'll thank me for the advice I am certain of that much.
Photos Courtesy of Natalia Liaszkiewicz
Set List: Epica
Mother of Light
Cry for the Moon
Seif Al Din
Facade of Reality
Consign to Oblivion
Set List: Kamelot
Intro: Un Assassinio Molto Silenzioso
The Black Halo
The Edge of Paradise
Center of the Universe
Nights of Arabia
When The Lights Are Down
Elizabeth (Part I, II & III)
March of Mephisto
Official Web site: www.kamelot.com
Official Web site: www.epica.nl