Kamelot - The black halo 5/5

Reviewed: 4-1-05





Tracklist:

1. March of mephisto
2. When the lights are down
3. The haunting (somewhere in time)
4. Soul society
5. Interlude l: Dei Gratia
6. Abandoned
7. This pain
8. Moonlight
9. Interlude ll: Un assassino molto silencioso
10. The black halo
11. Nothing never dies
12. Memento mori
13. Interlude lll: Midnight/Twelve tolls for a new day
14. Serenade


It seems like Kamelot can do no wrong these days. This is now 4 stellar CDs in a row for these guys! They've always been one of the best power metal bands around, succeeding at incorporating progressive metal and symphonic metal (like most power metal bands these days) as well as anyone. Featuring Roy Khan, one of my favorite vocalists, takes their music to the level other bands can only dream of. He certainly will do more than just please his fans with this release, as this may be his best performance to date.
Kamelot's previous CD 'Epica' is easily their most complex, with more progressive and atmospheric elements than ever before. Their CD 'Karma' that precedes 'Epica' is more in the style of their earlier releases, very catchy progressive power metal. I've found 'Karma' to be their catchiest CD of all, as it's full of impressive hooks and has plenty of crunch. I believe 'The black halo' is a perfect mix of 'Karma' and 'Epica', a brilliant effort from an experienced band.

We thankfully start out with a catchy and highly epic track 1 "March of mephisto" and a fast-paced track 2 "When the lights are down", both containing excellent keyboard solos courtesy of guest Jens Johansson. The stomping track 3 "The haunting (somewhere in time)" keeps the heaviness going, and its memorable guitar solos are sure to have listeners wanting more. This is probably my favorite song! I also love the fantastic track 6 "Abandoned" that follows the slow track 5 "Interlude l: Dei Gratia" (the first of three interludes), the powerful track 12 "Memento mori", and I really like how the CD finishes with the strong "Serenade", awesome song!

The entire CD is spectacular, with not one song being average, and the usual Kamelot song variety is continued with this CD as well. I don't think that my top 2 or 3 songs from Kamelot will end up being on 'The black halo'. I do however, think that 'The black halo' will end up being my favorite Kamelot CD overall. It's pleasing to see such a high quality band keep their music fresh, while still staying true to themselves and their fans. Kamelot is by far one of the best bands in metal, and this CD is a must for anyone who likes any of their previous CDs. Nicely done!



CLINT




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