Review Summary: A spectacle of class and melody
Melodic power metal goliaths Kamelot peaked in 2005 with their famed release The Black Halo
. The band developed a signature sound of often upbeat, energizing melodies coupled with lots of double bass drum and the vocals of a world class singer. By this point, Kamelot had totally separated themselves from the pack with their talent and unmistakable style. The band carried this momentum forward creating one of the most satisfying, well-done live records of all time with One Cold Winter’s Night
which takes place in early 2006 at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway.
Most impressively, the crystal clear sound quality found on their studio albums is replicated here. No reverb, excessive distortion, or any other studio tricks; just pure musicianship that nears perfection and feels effortless to the viewer. Guitarist Thomas Youngblood in particular is dominant in his fretwork as he cuts through solos with the clarity and level of precision found in the studio versions. Vocalist Roy Khan offers up an equally impressive performance nailing high level falsettos and endless vibratos. The emphasis of the concert is clearly on the music itself, but the vibrant, bright colored lightshow creates a warm atmosphere that greatly adds to the experience.
Kamelot has a slew tricks up their sleeve for this show, including guest musicians like Mari Youngblood (Thomas Youngblood’s wife) and Simone Simons of the band Epica who offer female vocals on tracks such as “The Haunting” and “Center of the Universe.” In terms of song selection, the vast majority come from the more recent Kamelot albums of the time, which are also seen as their most successful era, critically speaking. A choir, a keyboard solo, and plenty of interaction with fans demonstrate the passion of the group as well as how well-thought out the concert was. Further still, while performing all 3 parts of the “Elizabeth” trilogy, Mari Youngblood acts out a theatrical portion complete with a mirror prop on stage. The song is based on prolific murderer, Elizabeth Bathory and also deals with topics like vanity.
One Cold Winter’s Night
is a paradoxical title in practice; the concert physically took place in cold, snowy Norway in the dead of winter, but the performance itself actually radiates warm, uplifting vibes. As usually tends to happen with greatness, Kamelot’s peak could not last forever and the magic would slowly begin to fade with their later albums. But in 2006, one thing was for sure: Kamelot had the chops and collective persona to go head to head with probably any other act on the planet. One Cold Winter’s Night
proved that this version of Kamelot was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, never to be copied or surpassed.