Kamelot is what got me into power metal, plain and simple. A year ago I'd now presume, I was recommended Epica
by a friend of mine as a "kick ass metal band." I had figured with the name Kamelot, they were going to be a really corny thrash band, and boy did I ever hate thrash. So, when I first heard Epica
, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that I really, really liked what I was hearing. After listening to the album ten times straight, I decided to buy The Black Halo
. While I had absolutely loved Epica
, it hadn't prepared me for how amazing this album was going to be.
Easily the most impressive thing about this album is Roy Kahn's vocals; while they have always been extremely impressive, he outdid himself on this album. Being trained to be an opera vocalist helped Kahn to gain a certain tone in his voice that gives the already epic-music a new layer, and with performances such as that on When the Lights Are Down
, it's difficult to deny him his due.
However, doesn't power metal depend on the musicianship? Of course it does, and this album is no exception. The guitars weave perfectly, creating some spectacular riffs that while not on the level of some of their cheesier contemporaries (I'm looking at you, Dragonforce) are still excellent. The drumming is solid throughout, and the bass is actually fantastic for the genre.
This album is a triumph all around, holding back no punches. Whether it's the epic storyline, outstanding musicianship, Kahn's operatic and occasionally beautiful vocals, The Black Halo
is an excellent album, and easily one of the best of 2005.