|Kamelot vs. Nightwish|
The two titans of Progressive, Symphonic Power Metal. Both bands broke through to the mainstream around 2004/2005 - will start there. Earlier albums are less my cup of tea, even though I dig the album Century Child.
The Black Halo
Once (2004) vs. The Black Halo (2005). Both of these albums are pillars of this genre. I have to give this a tie, even though I more frequently listen to the Black Halo (nothing against Tarja who rules on Once).
Dark Passion Play
Dark Passion Play (2007) vs. Ghost Opera (2007). Ghost Opera is not a bad album, but was the start of a decline extending until Roy Khan departed Kamelot. Whereas Dark Passion Play is my favorite Nightwish album of all time. Annette and Marko make a killer vocal team on this album. Win goes to Nightwish.
Poetry for the Poison (2010) vs. Imaginarium (2011). Both albums represent the last albums with Roy Khan (Kamelot) and Annette Olzon (Nightwish). Liked, but never fully appreciated Imaginaeirum until watching the feature film. After so, I became much more of a fan. Poetry for the Poisoned lacked significant growth and did not push Kamelot forward. Nightwish wins.
One point to Kamelot for bringing in a new, highly-competent vocalist (Tommy Karavik) and making an incredible concept album in 2012. Silverthorn was a big "step up" for Kamelot and I hold this equally as high as The Black Halo, as the storyline speaks more to me. Also, I dig the guest vocals by Alissa White-Gluz and Elize Ryd.
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Endless Forms Most Beautiful (2015) vs. Haven (2015). Haven was in a similar vein to Silverthorn - another high quality Kamelot album. But EFMB is something else entirely - inclusion of Floor Jansen (loved some After Forever and ReVamp) and the concept within push this album to the win. It helps that The Greatest Show on Earth, featuring the fan-made video work, was a monumental piece of art.
The Shadow Theory
The Shadow Theory (2018) vs. Human. :II: Nature (2020). The Shadlow Theory upheld Kamelots recent high level of creative output - another quality album. Also dug the guest vocals by Lauren Hart. Human. :II: Nature, on the other hand and IMO, was a huge low for Nightwish. Losing Marko Hietala, and any sense of the band's progression, was monumental. Didn't help that the second CD was a slog. Win goes to Kamelot for keeping the fire burning hot.