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Kamelot > The Fourth Legacy > Reviews > Demon Fang
Kamelot - The Fourth Legacy

Fore! - 88%

Demon Fang, May 25th, 2023

Oh boy, it’s time, ladies and gentlemen! We got some prime Kamelot, coming right up! The Fourth Legacy further pushed forward what Kamelot have been doing for a few years at this point, and wind up composing a lot of richly melodic tracks with a lot of subtle moving pieces and overarching melodies. Though it had been showing as early as Dominion, The Fourth Legacy really shows Kamelot’s ability to carefully construct their songs with everything at their disposal in mind. As much as there are standout moments and memorable individual riffs, they’re naught but a part of something even bigger than itself. Those monoliths that they construct? Well, “The Fourth Legacy”’s mean neoclassically charged speed metal riffing following the rustling bustling orchestrated intro “New Allegiance” is but a sample of what’s coming ahead.

That’s the thing with Kamelot – like it would seem as if it’s nothing special on the face of it aside from a killer riff, a choice vocal line, a cool keyboard bit and… well, you get the picture. Yet, the way that they all come together makes them truly pop. The standout ones being the aforementioned “New Allegiance” and “The Fourth Legacy” combo as the latter builds off the orchestral motif of the former with the orchestral moments leading up to the chorus whilst maintaining a riffy structure… all the while Roy – having brought back some of the raw attitude from the Conception days while having the control he had developed particularly on Siege Perilous, only moreso – throws out these humming vocal lines like they’re nothing. Of course, the incredible duo of “Desert Reign” and “Nights of Arabia” produce a more overarching affair. The former provides this upbeat but nevertheless ambient desert tune before the latter has us on a journey with its galloping riffs and big fuck off chorus. Though one should never underestimate the track smack dab in the middle here, as “Silent Goddess”, with its strong groove amidst its more melancholic atmosphere, makes its mark just as hard and heavy in that elegant, graceful way. Then there’s “The Shadow of Uther”., which seemingly leaves the riffs in the background while the violin’s chucking out these hooky notes and Roy’s vocals provide this slick rhythm throughout… and yet there’s just this hypnotic vibe to the song that wouldn’t quite be there without Youngblood strumming a humming riff there. Yet the violins perfectly accent the sets of verses, giving that immediate hook that sticks to your mind, then the associating melodies then come to mind with those violins… and oh boy, that refrain at the end with the flutes – absolute chef’s kiss, right there.

Definitely worth noting is this. Typically in metal songs, after the second chorus, the instrumental bits seem like a lesser refrain of the main groove, providing assistance to the blistering solos. That, or they just provide a sonic variation of it that just hits harder. Kamelot avert this by flipping the script and having the solo accentuate that refrain, making it seem even bigger than it already was, adding so much to the song to make it this fully complete whole. The kind of whole that allows itself to worm into the subconscious without any issues – and you already got individual parts already standing tall on their own terms, so it just gets even better from there! The way Kamelot pull it off end up creating such strong melodies, it’s quite dizzying to say the least.

Paradoxically, where it stands tall is in the lesser songs. Like, “Until Kingdom Come” couldn’t be any more of a standard power metal tune without Timo Tolkki himself singing this, and yet there’s still that majesty to the overall composition of the track that Stratovarius always seem to come close to but never quite attain it. This shit is catchier than a T-ball laid out with fucking velcro! “Lunar Sanctum” bows us out ever so gracefully with this totally smooth groove. Both from Youngblood’s groovy riffs and Roy’s vocals. Shit, the two ballads here, “”A Sailorman’s Hymn” and “Glory”, further dignify the album, particularly the former with its darker, more mournful composition. “Glory” is a good track… but look, it ends up falling into the same hole that “Alexandria” and “The Inquisitor” do. They’re good tracks, they got the markings of what made the great tracks work… and yet, they aren’t nearly as effective as those great tracks as they aren’t as complete, nor as intricately compelling, nor are their hooks as sharp. It’s slightly frustrating within the context of The Fourth Legacy, but then it simmers down considering that they’re still pretty damn good power metal tracks.

It’d probably just be easier to say that The Fourth Legacy is Kamelot’s Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying. Granted, Kamelot had already brought the thunder in much of Siege Perilous and the better half of Dominion. But wee dogie, The Fourth Legacy brings it all to the next level! But this is only the beginning of peak Kamelot, as they would only further expand on everything that they’ve put on the table during this period.