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Kamelot have come an amazing distance since the beginning of their career. Originally a mediocre power metal act they have evolved and matured to become on the of leading progressive power metal bands in the world. Ghost Opera is a continuation of this maturity and progression as a band.
Essentially darker in nature, Ghost Opera takes almost right where The Black Halo left off - and pushes the music even further down the spiral. The album although not near as catchy as some of Kamelot's previous material is a solid offering with epic build and beautiful song structures that make the album an enjoyable revisit every time you play it.
The music writing continues on in a progressive nature. The guitar work although not a constant force in the album is tight and the riffs are chords are well placed. For most metal bands, the focus of the music revolves around the guitar structures but not for Kamelot. The complete song seems to be the focus here and the guitars show that. They are used when needed for the most part. The solos are well written and quite emotive in nature. They display well the feelings that certain songs and the album overall. The guitars don't ever really reach anything faster then a mid tempo riff (there are exceptions at times) but it creates a great atmosphere for Ghost Opera.
The bass and drum work is well established as the rhythm for the album. The bass has many moments of structure but there are times when the rhythm section is the basis for songs. A catchy bass line or unique drum pattern establish the song as the rest of the music is added. Once again though the bass and drums are only meant to be part of the overall experience rather than individual parts.
The keys are one of the most important parts to Kamelot. Although they are used mostly as melody over the rhythm section - there are many times on Ghost Opera that songs sound like dramatic sound tracks to life with the use of keys. The song Anthem has an amazing use of keys. At times they sound like an entire orchestra and others they sound like a more general synth line - the keys are everywhere on the album so expect them to show up.
When Roy Khan was added as the vocalist to Kamelot the music also stepped up a notch. He takes a darker tone with Ghost Opera - an overall feeling that the album has. His vocals are once again amazing. His smooth sounding vocals are perfect for the progressive power sound Kamelot has and he really makes this album stick to you. His vocal melodies could make an album without any music. If there was instrument that stuck out on Ghost Opera - Khan's vocals would be it.
Overall, the album is another amazing addition to anyone's music collection. Progressive in nature this power metal band has hit another amazing nail on the head. There is even an industrial overtone to a couple songs on the album (The Human Stain has a very mechanical rhythm to it). There is a great dark gothic tone to this album and even though its not near as catchy as some of Kamelot's work - the album is one of the most solidly written albums in a long time.
Songs to check out: Ghost Opera, The Human Stain, Silence in the Darkness.