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Kamelot: Silverthorn

Kamelot began in 1991 in Tampa, FL. During the history that followed, they have had a few lineup changes, but through it all have carved out a special niche in the metal world and gained a steady following of fans. Their strongest trait may be that their style is not easily grouped with just one sub-genre, but bridges the gaps between various like-minded styles, borrowing elements of Progressive, Power, and even a little doom or gothic metal, also integrating stylistic elements of classical and cinematic music. The overall effect of this combination of elements is a sophisticated, refined style of metal. Silverthorn finds Kamelot entering a new stage of their career, following the announcement of the departure of former vocalist Roy Kahn on April 21st of 2011. After all was said and done, Kamelot introduced Tommy Karevik, also the vocalist for Progressive Metal band Seventh Wonder, as their new singer.

Now I'm going to stop right here before telling my readers specifically about the new album to make a little confession: I have previously not considered myself a fan of Kamelot. I was more of a casual onlooker – occasionally checking out what they were up to, and then moving on to other music I was more interested in. I will also freely admit that not only is Seventh Wonder one of my all-time favorite bands, but I also consider Tommy Karevik to be one of my all-time favorite singers. He has a ridiculously silky-smooth, strong voice with an incredible range and a great sense of melody with on-the-money, perfect pitch. So of course when I heard he was the new Kamelot singer, I thought "well, I guess I'm going to have to check out the new album for sure then." Well let me tell you…I think this album has made a fan of me. It is really something special. For the Seventh Wonder fans, I will say that Kamelot utilize Tommy's voice in a completely different way, giving him a chance to explore his musical and emotional range in unique ways. For Kamelot fans, I think you will be pleased to hear that this album still sounds undoubtedly like Kamelot, as Tommy seems to channel, at times, former Kamelot singers, while still giving it a bit of his own spin – his style suits the band quite well, while still giving them new life in a sense.

Silverthorn is a concept album – according to guitarist Thomas Youngblood: "It's the story of a young girl who dies in the arms of her two twin brothers, taking the three siblings' big secret to her grave. The songs on Silverthorn talk about despair, a sense of guilt and the pursuit of truth. In this context, the silver thorn in the album title has a mysterious meaning, but it's up to the listener to unveil this secret."

Keeping this in mind, it's no surprise that the album has a strong dramatic, cinematic, and Progressive feel to it. There is a strong sense of story throughout the album, and not just in the lyrics but there is a journey-like feeling to the music as well. Also adding to this cinematic, story-telling feeling were the appearances of guest musicians: the band was supported at the studio by Elize Ryd, Eklipse, Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist), Amanda Somerville, and others. One of the things I found to be a strong indication of quality here was the sense that the melodies in the album were very memorable, and ended up replaying themselves in my head hours after hearing the album. And as a big fan of Progressive Metal, I'd like to point out to others like myself that I noticed plenty of changes in the music as well as little classically inspired instrumental interludes that added to the sense of being taken along on a journey. I will say that personally, I felt this may be Kamelot's most progressive album yet, though there is still a strong Power Metal presence and a sense of accessibility, resulting in a blend that I think will appeal strongly to fans of multiple sub-genres. There is some very strong interplay between keyboards, guitars and vocals throughout the album, resulting in a rich, multi-layered feeling to the music. All said, I feel Kamelot has made a strong case both to fans and former onlookers such as myself that they are back with a vengeance, and the result is that they have produced one of the most exciting albums of the year.

Track listing:
1. Manus Dei
2. Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)
3. Ashes to Ashes
4. Torn
5. Song for Jolee
6. Veritas
7. My Confession
8. Silverthorn
9. Falling like the Fahrenheit
10. Solitaire
11. Prodigal Son
12. Continuum

Added: October 28th 2012
Reviewer: Geoff Glenister
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 9098
Language: english

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Kamelot: Silverthorn
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-10-28 17:15:49
My Score:

You would think that the loss of lead singer Roy Khan would have been a huge blow for veteran symphonic power/progressive metal band Kamelot, but with new lead singer Tommy Karevik (who also fronts Seventh Wonder) on board for their latest release Silverthorn, the band have not missed a beat and have unleashed one of their strongest albums ever.

All the musical elements of classic Kamelot are here in abundance, from the soaring vocal harmonies, the thunderous riffs & rhythms, to the symphonic keyboards, it's all present and accounted for. Karevik, who has proven over the years just how great a singer he is with his other band Seventh Wonder, fits in perfectly here on Silverthorn, as if he's been with the band for years. Check out his playful delivery on the crushing "Ashes to Ashes", as he fluctuates from a devilish snarl to a soaring falsetto amidst furious, churning riffs and dramatic keyboards. It's classic Kamelot through and through!

Longtime fans of the band who are used to such a high level of quality and consistency from one album to the next no doubt will be thrilled with Silverthorn, but also possibly a little surprised at just how good this album is seeing as such an important member of the band recently departed. Lovers of dramatic, progressive metal will be all over this (just give a listen to "Veritas" and prepare to be swept away), as it contains fantastic musicianship, powerful vocals, and loads of memorable melodies. Chalk up another complete winner for Kamelot!

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