The Awakening is the 13th studio album from symphonic power metal act Kamelot, who now have a substantial collection of stellar albums under their belt, as their ability to churn out one winner after another, regardless of how long or short it's been since their last release, is something quite remarkable. As such, I'm having a hard time coming up with different things to say about these albums; from the first couple of listens, my ears are thrilled with the blend of symphonic keyboards and chugging guitars & drums, and Tommy Karevik's vocals are stunning as always (he's since left Seventh Wonder, so apparently he can dedicate more time to Kamelot and any other projects). This one comes five years after The Shadow Theory, with of course COVID19 smack in the middle to help delay this past the expected 2021 original release date to early 2023. The band are tight as always, the arrangements are so well executed, from the layers of lead and backing vocals, to the orchestral elements, and everything else. Plenty of guest stars appear (Simone Simons & Melissa Bonny-YES!), and of course there's a whole concept in place for everyone to play their part, which they all do spectacularly.
Trying to pick out songs on a Kamelot album is always difficult, but "Eventide", "The Great Divide", "New Babylon", and "Bloodmoon" are just a few to look out for. Lovely stuff once again from Kamelot, a band who seemingly couldn't make a bad album if they tried. It's proggy, it's heavy, it's epic...yep, it's Kamelot!
Tommy Karevik: lead vocals
Thomas Youngblood: guitars
Sean Tibbetts: bass
Oliver Palotai: keyboards, backing vocals
Alex Landenburg: drums, percussion
Michael Rodenberg :additional keyboards, arrangements on "Midsummer's Eve"
Kobra Paige: additional vocals on "One More Flag in the Ground"
Brian Howes: backing vocals on "One More Flag in the Ground"
Tina Guo: cello (tracks 5 and 6)
Florian Janoske : violin on "Midsummer's Eve"
Simone Simons: guest vocals on "New Babylon"
Melissa Bonny: guest vocals on "New Babylon"
Oliver Hartmann: backing vocals
Herbie Langhans: backing vocals
Ina Morgan: backing vocals
New Babylon Choir:
1. "Overture" 1:18
2. "The Great Divide" 4:08
3. "Eventide" 4:15
4. "One More Flag in the Ground" 4:08
5. "Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem)" 5:48
6. "Midsummer's Eve" 4:28
7. "Bloodmoon" 4:51
8. "Nightsky" 3:24
9. "The Looking Glass" 4:51
10. "New Babylon" featuring Simone Simons and Melissa Bonny 4:19
11. "Willow" 3:51
12. "My Pantheon (Forevermore)" 4:34
13. "Ephemera" 2:56
Total length: 52:51