Kamelot
Karma


4.5
superb

Review

by Trajan Paul Murphy USER (18 Reviews)
April 28th, 2014 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kamelot finally strike gold with their fifth album, marrying subtle theatrics and stellar songwriting in a way unique to them

It took quite a while for Kamelot to develop their signature sound. They began as a fairly standard US power metal band on Eternity and Dominion with fairly decent songwriting but a rather annoying vocalist in Mark Vanderbilt. Siége Perilous featured the introduction of the extremely talented Roy Khan on vocals, but also displayed a notable drop in songwriting quality. The Fourth Legacy featured a switch to a more European-inspired brand of power metal, combined with progressive undertones. Karma is largely a continuation of the new sound that the band has established with The Fourth Legacy, where they iron out the kinks and make a much more enjoyable listening experience.

Easily the biggest strength of Karma is it's consistency, with all twelve tracks maintaining the same level of quality. Every song on Karma provides a rewarding listening experience, whether the songs are a personal tale (Forever, Don't You Cry) or a mythical tale (Karma, Elizabeth).

In addition to the very high songwriting quality, Kamelot has also included plenty of variety on Karma. Rather than every song being full speed ahead, as par the course for a typical power metal band, only a third of Karma could be counted among those ranks. Kamelot have included healthy helpings of mid-tempo rockers, including "The Spell" and "Karma", and ballads, such as "Don't You Cry" and "Temples of Gold". They have also placed the songs in a very concise running order, ensuring the listener is never bombarded with too much too soon of the same type of song.

While Roy Khan had done well with his end on both Siége Perilous and The Fourth Legacy, on Karma he goes above and beyond being simply great. He feels almost like a theater actor, being able to convey the words that any role requires while bringing to it the subtle layers of emotion that will make one practically hypnotized by his words. Whether he is telling his own tale on "Wings of Despair", playing both the grieving son and the watchful father in "Don't You Cry", portraying a dying king reminiscing about his violent past on "Karma", and even Elizabeth Bathory herself, one can count on Khan being in top form.

In many ways Karma fees like the album Kamelot have spent their whole career attempting to make up to this point. All their previous releases have had their good moments, but none of them manage to rise above "great" status. Even The Fourth Legacy, which was much better than any preceding release, felt more like a precursor to an amazing album rather than an amazing album unto itself. Karma combines subtle theatrics and stellar songwriting in a way that no prior Kamelot release does, setting a template for it's successors to follow.

All too often one finds a band that produces their best album with their debut release, with none of the successors ever reaching the same heights. But sometimes it takes a while for a band to strike gold. Kamelot have finally done so with Karma, giving them the final boost above simply being "great", and making them "outstanding". If you're a fan of power metal, and you're sick of the cheese-fest that most of the modern scene has become, Karma will be very much to your liking.



Recent reviews by this author
Nightwish Dark Passion PlayDelain The Human Contradiction
Epica The Phantom AgonyPoets of the Fall Signs of Life
Enmity Illuminations of Vile EngorgementNightwish Showtime, Storytime
user ratings (336)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mark Brandt (4.5)
It's power metal, but not as you know it....

Jorn van Schaïk (3.5)
Extremely solid power metal....

ollie_poole (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TPM731
April 28th 2014


239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As always, all feedback is welcome.

TheRealVermicide9013
April 28th 2014


232 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Karma, Epica and The Black Halo rulz

ScuroFantasma
April 28th 2014


2535 Comments


Superb review, as usual for you TPM

Digging: Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun

TPM731
April 28th 2014


239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, SF.

KjSwantko
April 28th 2014


9448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best PM band of all time. Nice review, TPM; pos'd.

Toondude10
April 28th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is fucking amazing. I'm still debating on whether or not this is better than the Black Halo. I'm going to have to purchase it before I make a descision.

Great review, Pos'd.

Digging: Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal

Crawl
April 28th 2014


1647 Comments


Great review. The summary would fit the Fourth Legacy better imo, though.

EvoHavok
April 28th 2014


1498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Fourth Legacy, this, Epica and Black Halo are all amazing.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

CalculatingInfinity
April 28th 2014


1769 Comments


Great album, The Spell is prob my fav jam off this. I would probably relisten to this band, everyone loves them so much.

Toondude10
April 28th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fourth Legacy was pretty good but this dominates it.

TPM731
April 28th 2014


239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I give Fourth Legacy a 3.5. I like it, but I don't think it's any better than "great".

Toondude10
April 28th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Same here, though the actual song Fourth Legacy kicks ass.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy