The band that seemingly can do no wrong once again wows us with the release of their latest CD Poetry For the Poisoned. This classy power metal act, who added vocalist Roy Kahn in 1998 in time for their Siége Perilousalbum, have since pumped out one winner after another in The Fourth Legacy, Karma, Epica, The Black Halo, and 2007's Ghost Opera, and can now add Poetry For the Poisoned to that list.
Things kick off quite as they did with The Black Halo's "The March of Mephisto", as "The Great Pandemonium" is a raging symphonic power metal track featuring dueling vocals from Kahn and Soilwork's Bjorn 'Speed' Strid, who supplies the guest death metal growls this time around (Dimmu Borgir's Shagrath lent black metal rasps on "The March of Mephisto"). It's a fantastic tune to start off this powerful album. Trademark melodic power metal that we've come to expect from Kamelot can be heard on "If Tomorrow Came", and the crunchy "The Zodiac" sees a guest vocal from Savatage legend Jon Oliva. Also watch out for a tasty guitar solo from Thomas Youngblood, who contributes quite a bit of virtuoso axe work throughout the album. "Hunter's Season" is a catchy metal track, featuring a charming vocal from Kahn and a guest solo from Firewind/Ozzy Osbourne fret burner Gus G., and the melodic ballad "House on a Hill" once again reunites Kahn with the lovely Simone Simons from Epica.
Look for more bombastic symphonic metal on "Necropolis", upbeat & catchy progressive metal with "My Train of Thoughts", and powerhouse orchestral power metal on the raging "Seal of Woven Years", another killer vocal vehicle for Kahn. Fans of the more proggy side of Kamelot will love the four part title track, which again features a guest appearance from Simone, and also allows for tons of wonderful keyboard tapestries from Oliver Palotai. Closing song "Once Upon a Time" is instantly memorable, mixing speedy power metal with soaring melodic segments of grand proportions, a fitting end to this highly enjoyable album.
It's not often that albums of this nature grab you from the very first listen, but Poetry For the Poisoned certainly did that for this writer. It will be up to you whether you feel this latest release surpasses classics like The Black Halo, Epica, or Karma, but it certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as those power metal gems. It's a shame that Kamelot's US tour in support of the release of Poetry For the Poisoned had to be postponed due to Roy Kahn's illness, but here's hoping he recovers soon and the band gets play these great songs at a venue near you.
1. The Great Pandemonium
2. If Tomorrow Came
3. Dear Editor
4. The Zodiac
5. Hunter's Season
6. House on a Hill
8. My Train of Thoughts
9. Seal of Woven Years
10.Poetry for the Poisoned, Pt. I: Incubus
11.Poetry for the Poisoned, Pt. II: So Long
12.Poetry for the Poisoned, Pt. III: All is
13.Poetry for the Poisoned, Pt. IV:
14.Once Upon a Time