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Kamelot: Haven

A band that I have continued to follow with much enthusiasm since the nineties is Kamelot, and unlike some other long-time favorites Kamelot are one band whom I have enjoyed each of their releases. Kamelot started out in 1991 and co-founder Thomas Youngblood is the only one that has stayed from the original line-up. Current bass player Sean Tibbetts was actually there in those early times but he departed and would eventually return full time in 2009. Drummer Casey Grillo is the other long term member joining in 1997 and keyboardist Oliver Palotai became a member in 2005. 2012 saw a new lead vocalist in Seventh Wonder's Tommy Karevik who has proven to be a great fit, Tommy has a similar voice to his predecessor and maintains the high quality vocals that Roy Khan brought to the band.

So the new Kamelot album Haven is soon to be released and it's loaded with memorable tunes like the very addictive "End Of Innocence" and that irresistible Kamelot epicenes with those chunky riffs. While Haven isn't a concept album as such there is a somber theme and it's not all dark and grim as there is a buoyant side, with both aspects being reflected in the mixture of songs. To ensure that the symphonic metal groups new release sounded spot on Haven was produced by Sascha Paeth and Jacob Hansen mastered the album. Kamelot have had guest performers in the past and it's no different for Haven. With Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) and Charlotte Wessels (Delain), while instrumentalist Troy Donockley (Nightwish) also guests on the album. It's not only Alissa White-Gluz's growls that you can hear but also her clean vocals on the vigorous "Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)", and she goes angry style again fitting perfectly and adding intensity to "Revolution". While Charlotte Wessels' angelic vocals and Troy Donockley's folk instrumentation both add significantly to the appeal of the enchanting ballad Under Grey Skies.

Kamelot haven't forgotten the past on Haven as there is no mistaking that is this indeed a Kamelot album, though at the same time they are incorporating modern and fresh ideas. Haven opens with "Fallen Star" as Kamelot power up that harmonious metal, and Casey Grillo impresses with his dynamic drumming and elsewhere on Haven for that matter. Once you taste that blend of potent guitars and sprightly keyboards that leads into "Insomnia" you know it's going to rock just like the guitar/keyboard solo section. Tommy Karevik knows how to work those dramatic vocals on "Citizen Zero" and he sounds wonderful again on "Veil of Elysium", a classic meets modern Kamelot track that shares some similarities with "Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)" off their last album Siverthorn.

Silverthorn was a great release to introduce us to Kamelot's new vocalist and it may seem like a big call but Haven is that and more. So if you haven't got those pre-orders in then what are you waiting for ?

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. Fallen Star
2. Insomnia
3. Citizen Zero
4. Veil of Elysium
5. Under Grey Skies
6. My Therapy
7. Ecclesia
8. End of Innocence
9. Beautiful Apocalypse
10. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
11. Here's To The Fall
12. Revolution
13. Haven

Added: May 25th 2015
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 6027
Language: english

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Kamelot: Haven
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-05-25 17:20:45
My Score:

Having taken the departure of vocalist Roy Khan in their stride with the excellent Silverthorn album, Kamelot return for the second time with Seventh Wonder singer Tommy Karevik at the helm. And what a return it is, the band continuing further down their almost Metal done in a soundtrack/theatrical style, where bombast and grandiose themes are punctuated by thunderous drums and gargantuan riffs. Karevik once again proves himself a perfect fit for this controlled over the topness, his power and authority a huge feature of what makes this album as captivating as it is. Some have suggested that the singer is merely following an exact path laid out by his predecessor and the similarities are impossible to deny. However with such a distinctive sound, it would be hard to imagine how Karevik, or Kamelot could really have played it any different, for so fundamental to the success of the likes of "Veil Of Elysium" or "Fallen Star" are the vocals, that introducing a completely opposite style could have proved fatal. Let's just say Khan's style was perfect for Kamelot and Karevik has proved the irreplaceable has been effortlessly replaced.

For anyone even vaguely taken by the last three releases this band have put out, Haven will be an experience not to be missed, the themes and ideas explored on these excellent albums built upon and expanded, without compromising the fact that Kamelot have such an identifiable sound. Some may say they've played it safe, but when the results are as strong as they are here, avoiding the temptation to tinker has paid massive dividends.

Whether through the controlled emotion of "Under Grey Skies", where Charlotte Wessels (Delain) augments Karevik's vocals quite superbly, the unbridled rampaging of "My Therapy" or the mix of moods and pace that "Beautiful Apocalypse" provides, Haven delivers by the sackful. Repeat visits merely reinforce the strength and skill illustrated in the song structures and while Kamelot are not really a band who provide huge sing along choruses, that doesn't stop the likes of "Insomnia" or "Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)" from living long in the memory.

Is Haven Kamelot's best outing? Well, the competition is fierce, this band never less than excellent and yet Haven stands proud against any if its predecessors. In a fair world it will prove to be the proper break out album this band have long deserved.

Kamelot: Haven
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-05-05 15:43:37
My Score:

Tommy Karevik's second outing with symphonic power/prog metal veterans Kamelot is quite simply just as satisfying as his debut with the band, Silverthorn. The Seventh Wonder vocalist has stunningly fit right in for the departed Roy Khan, and the band as a whole has not lost a step, delivering perhaps their strongest two releases yet. Haven reeks of class, majesty, power, and conviction, showing a band firing on all cylinders from both a songwriting perspective as well as on the musicianship front. Soaring vocal harmonies, memorable melodies, crunchy riffs & blazing guitar solos, driving rhythms, orchestral keyboards, and some excellent guest stars all make up the successful formula here, and while in many aspects that is generally true for any Kamelot album, this one grabs you right from the first listen and never lets go. Some of the heavier fare, like "Beautiful Apocalypse", "Revolution", and "Insomnia" rock quite hard, but the band is most adept and putting together symphonic, adventurous songs that venture into proggy territory, such as ""Fallen Star", "Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)" and "Veil of Elysium". Again, I have to mention Karevik's vocal performance; he's just spectacular throughout this album, and hopefully it's not long before he's mentioned among the elite singers of the genre. He certainly deserves it.

Haven is another wonderful release from a band that is just a treasure waiting to be discovered by the masses. Jump on board this won't regret it.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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