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Kamelot - Ghost opera 4/5

Reviewed: 6-29-07


1. Solitaire
2. Rule the world
3. Ghost opera
4. The human stain
5. Blucher
6. Love you to death
7. Up through the ashes
8. Mourning star
9. Silence of the darkness
10. Anthem
11. Eden echo
12. The pendulous fall (bonus track)

It's a normal thing to see bands change their style. From Metallica and Anthrax years ago, to Stratovarius and Edguy more recently. These are just some quick examples, but I bring this up because a lot of the more popular power metal bands have changed their style in 2007. Examples would be Labyrinth going almost pure progressive, Twilightning going hard rock, Sonata Arctica going experimental, and even Kamelot has changed their style this year with their latest CD, 'Ghost opera'.

Compared to the last several Kamelot masterpieces ('The black halo' being their most recent), 'Ghost opera' is a slightly darker CD and offers up mostly mid-paced songs, which is a little disappointing, as Kamelot has given us some of the best fast-paced songs ever over the years. The way they've always melded speed and melody has been brilliant, not to mention the wonderful choruses. I really miss the faster songs on this CD, and the darker vibe isn't quite as pleasing either. In addition, there is only one ballad (track 10 "Anthem", which is wonderful) and there's nothing like a Kamelot ballad, so I would have liked at least one more.

But does this slight change in style work for the band? Well, I'm going to answer both yes and no; because of my minor complaints (mentioned above), I don't think they've provided a masterpiece with 'Ghost opera' (as they have with numerous CDs in their previous style), but they've still managed to provide us with an excellent CD (in the new style). Firstly, Khan's vocals are top-notch as always and he's probably still my favorite vocalist. Secondly, despite the majority of the songs being mid-paced (especially through the verses), the amazing Kamelot choruses are still intact. Finally, the symphonic presence is spectacular, complete with some nice violin parts and there are still bombastic moments too.

I'll spare you a track-by-track breakdown, but know that there is only a few faster songs on the CD (track 9 "Silence of the darkness" is awesome!) and it's fairly consistent as far as quality, though a good amount of magnificent highlights are missing. Still, I strongly feel Kamelot is the most successful of the popular power metal bands that have changed their style in 2007, especially when compared to Twilightning and Sonata Arctica. I started my review for their previous CD 'The black halo' with "It seems like Kamelot can do no wrong these days." Much to my surprise, they've come close to proving me wrong with 'Ghost opera', so I'll be very curious to hear their next CD.




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