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Kamelot are one of those symphonic power metal bands that loads of people seem to enjoy as they have rather progressive song writing and skip the overloaded elements and stereotypically charged joyful topics many of their European colleagues are focusing on. After the criticized predecessor “Poetry For The Poisoned” that had many dull moments and a lack of passion and variation, the band’s Norwegian singer Roy Khan left the band and was soon replaced by another Scandinavian singer, the young Tommy Karevik from Sweden. Many people were expecting a return to strength but also a few changes but to my negative surprise nothing of this happened.
If I didn’t know that the band had a new singer, I wouldn’t have even recognized it as the new guy sounds like a pale copy of his predecessor despite many positive comments about the young man’s old main band that are the Swedish progressive metal act Seventh Wonder. The lack of original vocals is though not the main issue on here. The problem is that this record is even more emotionless and overloaded than the previous one. We get way too many sound effects, an endless number of more or less impressive guest musicians and a too elevated number of artificially flavoured orchestral and symphonic instruments that make me think of a bad computer game soundtrack. When one hears a random female guest singer in one track that is followed by pointless choirs performed by a group of children just to kick off a pathetic and overlong kitsch symphony part, this is not only confusing but also mildly amusing. The songs sound directionless and random. Too many cooks spoil the broth in here.
There aren’t any truly catchy or outstanding parts on this release to point out. I might cite that the diversity works best in “Veritas” but only because I really like oriental folk influences in general that are also included on this song. The calm and mysterious beginning of the epic “Prodigal Son” also seems quite promising but the songs turns out to go nowhere as time runs out and is way too long.
In the end, this new release is even a step down after the flawed predecessor. Blind fan boys will talk about multiple influences, progressive changes and many new faces and influences but I can’t agree on that at all. The band just sounds lost on this release. The last album had at least a constant atmosphere and clear guiding line. Even if you’re a regular fan of them, you should give this release a listen before you take the risk of buying it and have a very negative surprise.