Kamelot
Epica


5.0
classic

Review

by Seth T. White (Cravinov13) USER (61 Reviews)
November 25th, 2005 | 103 replies | 31,183 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


11 of 11 thought this review was well written

Kamelotís 6th studio album, released on Sanctuary Records in 2003, marks Kamelotís ultimate high as an underground Power Metal band. Epica, part one of a two part concept album based on a popular book series. With an in depth story line and even specified main characters, Epica and itís sequel, Kamelotís 2005 release The Black Halo, is probably all in all one of the most complex stories in music (next to Coheed And Cambria, of course). Unlike itís sequel, Epica has a much more darker atmosphere then the The Black Halo does, and has a much more smoother flow with the songs and the interludes. Epica to date is probably Kamelotís best work, containing itís share of hard hitting Power Metal music with awesome ballads and well profound lyrics.

The Music
Roy Khan, the vocalist, mixes a style of opera vocals similar to that of Tarja of Nightwish and his own unique style that could be comparable to Ville Valo of HIM. Roy Khanís voice fits perfectly with the atmosphere that is overall the world of Kamelot, and really shows his talent in songs such as Center Of The Universe, Wander, Descent Of The Archangel, A Feast Of The Vain, and Lost & Damned. Thomas Youngblood, the guitarist, is by far the most talented member in the band. Delivering fast and furious riffs on tracks like Farewell, beautiful solos on tracks like Center Of The Universe, and soft acoustic guitar picking on On The Coldest Winter Night. The overall music of Kamelot focuses heavily on Thomas Youngbloodís awesome guitar playing skills.

Glenn Barry, the bassist, is also a very talented musician, and although he is usually drowned out by Thomas Youngbloodís guitar, Glenn Barry still manages to shine in tracks such as Farewell, The Edge Of Paradise, and III Ways To Epica. Casey Grillo, the drummer, is also raw talent with drum skills to match Joey Jordinson of Slipknot. Casey Grilloís drumming keeps the flow of the album together whether his band mates are delivering crushing riffs or beautiful melodies. There is also presence of two other musicians that are not official members of the band that are worth noticing. Miro, whom is the keyboardist and orchestral conductor of Kamelot. Miroís piano skills add to the mythical effect of Kamelotís ballads and even some of their heavier tracks. Also, Mari, whom is the female vocalist featured on a couple tracks, including Helenaís Theme, has an extremely beautiful voice that collaborates well with Roy Khanís vocals.

Overall, Kamelotís music is raw talent that has collaborated together to create their own special world that is Epica.

The Lyrics
The lyrics to Epica tell an in depth description of love, lost, vanity, and greed. Creating characters such as Ariel, a powerful and wealthy man whom enjoys Ďplaying with fire, without the anticipation that he might be burnedí. Arielís destiny is woven by the dark and mischievous archangel, Mephisto, whom one desire is cause ruin on poor Ariel, who's hubris has defied God, and thus Mephisto intends to punish. Helena, the beautiful maiden whom Ariel loves, who kills herself in her own grief of Arielís vanity and Mephistoís sinister doing.

The detail that plays out Epica is much more in depth then The Black Halo was. Also, the interaction of the characters in song is remarkable, especially on the track III Ways To Epica, in which Mephisto sends Ariel into exile after the suicide of Helena, whom still speaks to Ariel in dream. Roy Khan (male vocals) and Mari (female vocals) take on several roles in Epica, including minor characters such as the River God that witnesses Helenaís suicide and woes, the Master Of Ceremonies, whom introduces Mephisto to the people of Epica, played mainly by the choir featured in some of Kamelotís songs.

The Tracks
Epica begins with 1:07 second long Prologue which grows into the next track, Center Of The Universe, through strange samples and static that give off a very fairy-like feel to it. Center Of The Universe itself is an extremely fast paced track with the exception of a slow piece with a piano solo in the middle of the track. The track also has a solo for Mari, the female vocalist, who lends her soft voice to the melodic breakdown of the track. This track kicks off Epica with a bang, and lyrically introduces the listener into the world that is Epica. Farewell is next, starting with crushing riffs and fast drum lines before it slows down and Roy Khan comes in with his beautiful voice. Farewell then drifts into Interlude I: Opiate Soul, which begins with samples similar to Prologue before going into an aura of sounds and the haunting chant of the orchestra as the 1:10 second filler bleeds into he next track, The Edge Of Paradise.

The Edge Of Paradise starts off fast and hard, similar to that of Farewell. The songs keeps a very good flow, and near the end goes into another haunting orchestral chant before blasting back into itís fast riffs and drum beats. The Edge Of Paradise is followed by Wander, which is the first acoustic track on the album. The track plays very simply, with soft guitar picking and a smooth bass line and Roy Khanís beautiful voice. The song then blasts into the chorus and introduces the female vocalist with Roy Khan. This evidently making it one of the best tracks on the album. Wander then dies into the next track, a 40 second Interlude II: Omen, which plays out as a piano solo with what sounds like a thunder storm in the background. The track then goes into Descent Of The Archangel, which begins slowly before ringing into aurora bells, and finally blasting into an aura of riffs, and Roy Khan come sin, playing as the devious Mephisto, whom is introduced into the story in this song.

Interlude III: At The Banquet is next, with the sounds of people feasting and the doors closing as Ariel enters the Grand Hall. The Master Of Ceremonies gathers everyoneís attention, as Mephisto comes to introduce the crowd. A Feast Of The Vain blasts into a very melodic yet heavy riff, and Roy Khan introduces the crowd, played by the choir, as Mephisto. This song has the best lyrics of all the songs on the album, and is one of the better heavy tracks on Epica. On The Coldest Winter Night finally breaks the tie of connected songs, beginning with church bells ringing, and then the slow picking of Thomas Youngbloodís guitar. The song is very slow, even Roy Khanís singing is kept to a low octave throughout the track. Itís the second acoustic on the album, but not as good as the previous Wander. Lost & Damned comes next, with the sounds of war drums beating followed by a light piano playing, then finally topped off with heavy guitar riffs. Probably the heaviest song on the album next to Farewell, it takes a minute for the song to pick up, before overall making itself another notable track on the album.

Helenaís Theme is the breakdown behind the story of The Black Halo, in which Helena commits suicide, and her death is witnessed by the mighty River God, whom blames the death on Ariel. Interlude IV: Dawn continues Helenaís Theme, with enchanting bells, and a prater, whom declares to the people that Helena is dead, murdered by her own hand by the will of Ariel. The Mourning After (Carry On) is the last great track on this album. Containing extremely catchy and heavy riffs, and an awesome chorus, with lyrics describing Arielís sorrow of Helenaís death and the peopleís anger. The song becomes part one of the two part tracks (The Mourning After (Carry On) and III Ways To Epica) that define Kamelotís 2005 release, The Black Halo. III Ways To Epica ends the enchanting album with Mephisto banishing Ariel to the land of Epica. The songs overall structure is a bit weaker then the other tracks on the album, but still manages to create a perfect closure to part one of this two part concept album story line.

Pros
-- Great vocals
-- Beautiful and enchanting music
-- Amazing story (that I know I did not do a good job of explaining)
-- The album has a very nice flow and atmosphere

Cons
-- A couple of songs can get slightly repetitive at some points
-- You can not find this album in stores

Track Listing
1. Prologue (N/A)
2. Center Of The Universe (5/5)
3. Farewell (4.5/5)
4. Interlude I: Opiate Soul (N/A)
5. The Edge Of Paradise (4.5/5)
6. Wander (5/5)
7. Interlude II: Omen (N/A)
8. Descent Of The Archangel (4/5)
9. Interlude III: At The Banquet (N/A)
10. A Feast For The Vain (5/5)
11. On The Coldest Winter Night (4/5)
12. Lost & Damned (5/5)
13. Helenaís Theme (3/5)
14. Interlude IV: Dawn (N/A)
15. The Mourning After (Carry On) (5/5)
16. III Ways To Epica (3.5/5)

Overall Rating: (4.9/5)



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other reviews of this album
Trajan Paul Murphy (4.5)
Epica is a very entertaining album that is an amazing listen from beginning to end....

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A sublime release from power metal's finest....

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Although not as strong as the follow up, Epica is nonetheless an amazing power metal album that show...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Aakon_Keetreh
November 25th 2005



448 Comments


where shall i find the cd then?

Cravinov13
November 25th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazon.Com...

Or and underground music store, they might have this CD.

Aakon_Keetreh
November 25th 2005



448 Comments


ya that would work..why cant u find it anyway?

masada
November 25th 2005



2733 Comments


Epica isn't a word.

Cravinov13
November 25th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Epica is a place :p

Because Kamelot is an extremly underground band.

masada
November 25th 2005



2733 Comments


Is it supposed to be psuedo-Latin? Because of it is, it's totally not a word.

Cravinov13
November 25th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Epica is friggin mythical place! In a story!!!This Message Edited On 11.25.05

masada
November 25th 2005



2733 Comments


Suuuuuuure.

Aakon_Keetreh
November 25th 2005



448 Comments


lol its just a word jesus chirst....calm down people...lol

masada
November 25th 2005



2733 Comments


Bands always put the K in their name, and it just looks silly. Kamelot should go 1337 and change their name to K4m3l0t.

I'm not really a big power-metal fan myself. Some of it is really cheesy and generic, and it ends up turning into self-parody when they're still making albums about dragons and wizz4rdz. They're hardcore.

Yay generalizations.This Message Edited On 11.25.05

Cravinov13
November 25th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hardcore is a very overrated image. And Kamelot can do what they want, at least
they didn't go with the name The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. Which name
is more ridiculous to you?This Message Edited On 11.25.05

masada
November 25th 2005



2733 Comments


[quote=t3h cravz]Hadcore is a very overrated image. And Kamelot can do what they want, at least they didn't go with the name The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. Which name is more ridiculous to you?[/quote]

- I was using that word "hardcore" as a synonym for "cool".

- That name kicks. Kamelot is worse.

Ace_of_Bass2112
November 25th 2005



257 Comments


good job Cravinov13 this is definatly a step forward for you.

as for the K in kamelot its fine. at least they didnt turn the E backwards or anything

Cravinov13
November 25th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, taht I didn't like about Korn :/

Aakon_Keetreh
November 25th 2005



448 Comments


meh it doesnt bugg me

Cravinov13
November 26th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Come on people, this review took me a long time, give me some feedback about the REVIEW and NOT how the band spells their name, please?

Ace_of_Bass2112
November 26th 2005



257 Comments


at least your lucky enough to get two pages of postes.

i barely get half a page

Cravinov13
November 26th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You know what, we should demand for more feedback then. ;)

ocelot-05
November 30th 2005



807 Comments


This is probably the longest and most informative review you've written. From the sound of it, I would be probably hate this album, but I'm only able to come to that conclusion based on the information you provided. You've been here too long now to beg for comments.

Cravinov13
November 30th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So you hate Power Metal?

Just a question.



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