The Fourth Legacy



by Poet USER (46 Reviews)
July 7th, 2008 | 28 replies

Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The pure rawness of Kamelot's sound make this their best. Their later works, while being very good, do not match the magic that The Fourth Legacy brings.

The year 2000 was a pretty big year in metal. We witnessed the return of Bruce Dickinson to Iron Maiden. In Flames releases their last amazing album in Clayman and power metal giants Nightwish, Hammerfall, Helloween, Stratovarius, and Rhapsody release their latest outings. Another lesser known power metal band releases their recent record though. Kamelot's The Fourth Legacy truly started this band's journey to the top of the power metal world. After picking up Roy Khan in 1998 and recording Siege Perilous, Thomas Youngblood and company were ready for bigger and better.

The Fourth Legacy has a variety of different style songs within. From the speed of traditional power metal, to the obligatory ballad, to even Middle Eastern influences, this is a musical treat for power metal lovers. Frontman Roy Khan adapts to these different styles to give the listener something truly remarkable. Khan's operatic vocals (he was an aspiring opera singer) stand on top of Mount Olympus while the rest of the band on mere mortals on earth. Now Thomas Youngblood, Casey Grillo, and Glenn Barry are all marvelous musicians, but Khan reaches a level of vocal prowess that is only topped by Daniel Heiman.

(note: The album's track listing says that this is a 12 song album, but two of the tracks are more opening preludes to the song right after.)

New Allegiance opens up this power metal marvel with a 50 second instrumentation. We then enter hyperspeed with the title track, which also happens to be my favorite Kamelot song. Everything about this song is perfect. The riffing is phenomenal, the bass is actually audible, and the drumming is fast and furious. Roy Khan is the standout though. He does "fly like an eagle from oblivion" with his performance. If you listen to the chorus and it doesn't get stuck in your head, then you should not be listening to power metal. The solo of the song is also the best solo on the CD. Youngblood shows he is able to shred with the best of the best. Cue another epic chorus and you have yourself a power metal classic.

Sadly, we never reach the greatest of The Fourth Legacy on the rest of the album. Silent Goddess makes this fact because it is a bland song. This is a progressive/power metal song, and I just don't like the placing of it. In fact, the progressive sound songs are the most bland, but Lunar Sanctum and The Inquisitor actually have catchy portions to make tolerable and even good.

The remaining songs are more or less on equal level to each other, aside from Desert Reign and Nights of Arabia, which make up the second best song on here. The Egyptian feel and the lifting chorus make me drool because I absolutely love everything Egyptian. We get the same type of feel in Alexandria, but it doesn't reach that pedestal of Nights of Arabia.

The final four songs are split up into two parts: power metal and ballad. The earlier give a sense of rawness to the band, while being extremely catchy in the process (The guitar in Shadow of Uther is the prime example). With the ballads, we get the softer yet amazing vocals of Roy Khan. The passion that he exhibits during the ballads is unmatched by many. Though he would top himself with Abandoned on The Black Halo, Glory is a tear jerker.

Kamelot's second effort with Roy Khan on vocals proves to be my favorite. They started to drift and started to lose their power metal edge that was present on here. The Progressive/Power metal genre works perfectly for Kamelot, but going back to the sound of the early days would be a satisfaction for me.

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user ratings (307)

Comments:Add a Comment 
July 7th 2008


Good review, but...no. This is not their best at all. This is probably one of the worst with Khan on vocals. It's just really...boring.

Until Kingdom Come and The Fourth Legacy are sweet songs though.

July 7th 2008


I've only heard Nights of Arabia, but I really like it.

July 7th 2008


Sounds good, but very unlikely to top Epica or even get close to The Black Halo.
Good review as usual.

July 8th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know why this is my favorite, but it just turned out that way. The Black Halo is the closest to this though.

July 8th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

This is the most underrated Kamelot album. Only the Black Halo is better IMO.

July 8th 2008


I haven't heard this yet, will do eventually though. I loved Karma.

July 8th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0


February 17th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

This album rules. The cover is awesome as well, but then again all of Kamelots cover art is great.

October 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

Beautiful Soundtrack.

September 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

This review has some factual mistakes. Shadow Of Uther does not belong to the last four songs, it's the 6th. Also, calling Glory a tear jerker does not sum up that beautiful piece about war and the meaning of glory in a man's life, so I don't think you could label it as that.

But anyways, it still is a good review.

I personally think that each song has its place on this album.

February 25th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

The first masterpiece from kamelot

August 21st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

best vocal performance by khan. if not counting the conception albums

March 16th 2014


Album Rating: 5.0

This is up there, for sure.

June 21st 2015


The review sure doesn't make it seem like this is your favorite Kamelot album

Ocean of Noise
February 20th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet album.

Digging: Buckethead - Pepper's Ghost

June 5th 2017


Flying like an eagle from OBLIVIOOOOOOOON

Digging: Les Big Byrd - Iran Iraq IKEA

October 11th 2017


Album Rating: 4.0

I think Nights of Arabia is the key song on here. I don't even think that it's the best (the last time I listened to this that was Sailorman's Hymn), but that song was an important step in their evolution.

It paves the way for later ambitious pieces, mostly due to the multi-layered orchestration. There's so much going on in there, so many (partly exotic) instruments woven into the composition, making it nothing short of pompous ... that and things like the intro track that leads into it, the narrative musical-like lyrics and song movement, and last but not least the guest feature in the bridge make it seem like "mini Epica", just before Elizabeth on Karma was kind of a "proto Epica". And the rest is history.

I love how this band has evolved over the first six albums

October 11th 2017


Album Rating: 4.5

Nice analysis. This album has many gems.

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

October 11th 2017


Album Rating: 4.0

Woo, I was convinced this would just be me talking to myself :D

I think the heights of later album are not touched on here, but there's a lot hinting towards it - and Lunar Sanctum is one of their (if not the single) most unique and experimental piece. Sounds more like Conception than Kamelot tbh

Edit: Oh, and regarding Lunar Sanctum, it's interesting how the most experimental piece on Karma, The Spell, also uses the moon as its core motif, which is once again continued when Descent of the Archangel, the most experimental piece on Epica, AGAIN has the moon in the center of its lyrics

October 11th 2017


Album Rating: 4.5

I've said before that the track is one of their most underrated.

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