Kamelot
The Fourth Legacy


4.5
superb

Review

by Poet USER (46 Reviews)
July 7th, 2008 | 24 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 (287)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Shattered_Future
July 7th 2008


1556 Comments


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.

Erratic
July 7th 2008


1120 Comments


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

ninjuice
July 7th 2008


6760 Comments


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

Poet
July 8th 2008


6003 Comments

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.

Lunarfall
July 8th 2008


3178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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

rasputin
July 8th 2008


14956 Comments


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

Altmer
July 8th 2008


5700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Boooooorriiiiiiing

PayneTiger777
February 17th 2009


4509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

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

Kenobiwan
October 2nd 2010


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Beautiful Soundtrack.

RikRoach7
September 24th 2011


2646 Comments

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.

Epictemptation
February 25th 2013


88 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The first masterpiece from kamelot

mifzal
August 21st 2013


2640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

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

CosmicPie
March 16th 2014


1273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is up there, for sure.

Mabbitt
June 21st 2015


1584 Comments


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

Ocean of Noise
February 20th 2016


9774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet album.

Digging: Burzum - Filosofem

Negator
June 5th 2017


1396 Comments


Flying like an eagle from OBLIVIOOOOOOOON

RikRoach7
October 11th 2017


2646 Comments

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

EvoHavok
October 11th 2017


7241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice analysis. This album has many gems.

RikRoach7
October 11th 2017


2646 Comments

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

EvoHavok
October 11th 2017


7241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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



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