Kamelot – Haven – Napalm Records – Release: Out Now.
Kamelot has been around for many years, working hard at getting where they are now. It’s probably around the release of “The Black Halo” from 2005 that they finally broke through for real. Since then they’ve only become bigger and bigger.
While the departure of Roy Khan in 2011 was a big blow for the fans, the band was prepared to continue on. First with the renowned Fabio Lione taking over vocals duties during shows and then with the new vocalist Tommy Karevik. 2012 saw his first album with Kamelot “Silverthorn” and he proved to be a very adequate replacement.
Now he’s had a few years to grow in his role and we will fully experience his growth with Kamelot’s newest album: “Haven”.
Tommy Karevik – Vocals
Thomas Youngblood – Guitars
Casey Grillo – Drums
Sean Tibbets – Bass
Oliver Palotai – Keyboards
I’ll start with a small confession: It’s been years since I considered myself a fan of the band. I totally loved “Karma” from 2001 and the two follow-ups made their presence in my house heard as well. Yet I just couldn’t get into “Ghost Opera” and the two albums after that one. Was I done with the band? Well, “Haven” sure proves me wrong! While it fits into the line of the newer albums I finally get the special vibe from “Karma” and “Epica” again!
Not in the least due to how Tommy has grown into his role as a vocalist. While he was already a great singer he just comes so much closer to Roy’s voice that at first I thought Roy had re-entered the band. Yet there are many times when you do hear that Tommy has his own voice.
The album starts off very strong with “Fallen Star” and from then on it’s an album filled with power and emotion. Casey still knows how to lay down a great beat together with Sean and Thomas’ guitar play is impeccable. He really is one of the silent forces out there. Creating great music, yet never really getting the spotlight he deserves.
It isn’t until “Under Grey Skies” that we can catch a breath with a beautiful duet of Tommy and Charlotte Wessels from Delain. Yet she isn’t the only guest vocalist we have on this album. It’s hardly a surprise for fans that Arch Enemy’s Alissa would show up on this album again. Screaming out her lungs on the very catchy and melodic “Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy” and a bigger role on the heavier “Revolution” which really suits her vocals.
All in all it has turned out to be a very diverse album, yet unmistakably Kamelot. It’s clear that there are still so many albums filled with material left for this band and their music can reach out to so many people. I guess I’ll have to give those previous albums a few spins again…
Kamelot have released a superb album which has finally managed to rekindle my love for the band. Even stronger put; I have full faith in the idea that Kamelot will be among the rare bands that fit the bill of the ‘big headliners’, which is in severe danger of disappearing in the coming decennium. Kamelot bring a grand sound with many layers, yet accessible to a lot of people. If there’s one band to fit in the new generation of headliners it’s Kamelot!
- Fallen Star
- Citizen Zero
- Veil of Elysium
- Under Grey Skies
- My Therapy
- End of Innocence
- Beautiful Apocalypse
- Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
- Here’s to the Fall
Score: 4.7 out of 5
Text by: Robert Popovic