Review Summary: Kamelot has done it once again.
Kamelot has been making albums for nearly twenty years now, and almost every time they surprise us all. From their double concept albums, “Epica” and “The Black Halo,” to their more recent album “Poetry for the Poisoned,” Kamelot is considered to be one of the best power metal bands in the world, and their newest album “Silverthorn” proves just that.
The first notable thing in this album is the fact that Kamelot has a new singer, Tommy Karevik. Their previous lead singer, Roy Khan, who has been with the band for over twelve years, suddenly left the band due to medical and personal reasons. Nearly seven weeks later after Khans departure, the singer from the band Seventh Wonder was chosen as the new singer. I’m sure that a lot of Khan’s fans were pretty skeptical about Tommy Karevik being the new vocalist; no one knew whether or not if Karevik would be the best, or the right choice as Roy’s replacement. But after hearing this album, this is what I have to say:
Not only is Karevik the best choice as the new vocalist, but he really is the right choice. I can’t picture any other singer who would be a better replacement than Tommy Karevik. He fits with Kamelot almost perfectly the way Khan did, and the two certainly sound like each other. Despite this, they aren’t exactly indistinguishable. I mean yes, they do sound really close, but you can definitely tell that there is a difference. Khan seemed to hit the higher notes more often than Karevik, while Karevik’s voice flows more with the music.
As for the music itself, it’s some of Kamelot’s best. The song “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)” is probably one of the best songs in the album, if not the best. It’s a fast paced, well performed, and just an all-out wonderful piece. The next song “Ashes to Ashes,” is extremely catchy and probably will be stuck in your head for a while. Both of these songs include a well done duet between the lead guitar and the keyboard that are just amazingly powerful and keeps you asking for more. One of my personal favorite songs is the title track. Much like “Ashes to Ashes,” it’s extremely catchy and includes probably one of the strongest choruses in the album. The song “Veritas” is that slow but heavy song that gets in your head for a while. It’s a well performed and amazing piece. Another notable thing about this album is that it also includes guest artists, Elize Ryd from “Amaranthe” and Alyssa White-Gluz from “The Agonist.” These guest artists are really wonderful to listen to, but I honestly would’ve liked to hear more of Alyssa White-Gluz since she is in only two songs, while Eliz Ryd is in three.
There are also the instrumentals, which are also really amazing to listen to. Manus Dei is the first track in the album and does sound a little too dramatic for a beginning piece, but it is a great listen. There is also the last song, “Continuum,” which also is a really great piece, but my favorite part is the end. There is about a two minute silence before the cello solo starts and let me tell you, that cello solo is really beautiful. There is also another instrumental, “Kismet,” that probably didn’t make the final cut for the album. They probably didn’t want the album to have too many instrumentals, and I can understand that, but you can still listen to it if you managed to get the limited edition box set. It just goes to show you how Kamelot manages to even put out some really great stringed pieces in their albums.
Are there any flaws with this album? Well, yes, but luckily it’s nothing major. There are orchestrations in the songs (not just the instrumentals) which, although sound great, does feel a little forced. An example is “Sacrimony.” Even though I said it is one of the best tracks, it’s the beginning that sounds a little ick. I feel that there’s too much orchestra and too little band playing in the beginning. There are also elements in this album in general that feels similar to Ghost Opera, and maybe a little bit of The Black Halo. You have your fast paced and well performed song (Sacrimony/Ghost Opera), you have your heavy, slower song (Veritas/March of Mephisto), you have your slow, melodic song (Song for Jolee/Love You to Death/Abandoned) and you have your epic finale of the album (Prodigal Son/Momento Mori). It does feel a little similar to Kamelot’s previous work, but to me, it’s just a nit-pick and not really a flaw.
All the same, “Silverthorn” manages to show some really great work, making it one of the best Kamelot albums to date. Almost everything in this album was done right, with great vocals, wonderful performances by the band and guest artists alike, it’s just another wonderful record done by Kamelot. I’m sure that newer fans and older fans of Kamelot will enjoy this album.
Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)
Ashes to Ashes