65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
In my opinion, Kamelot has never released a truly bad album, just less awesome ones. Poetry for the Poisoned was one of those less than fantastic albums, so I am really glad that they didn't release a worse album. Instead, they released one that is on-par with my favorite albums by them (Epica and The Black Halo). I can't help but notice that when they theme their album releases off a story they come up with their best albums.
It's not just the story that flows from one song to the next, though, as the music slides across the tracks with ease and beauty. The music is fantastic, and the musical theme that they chose (a small melody that actually evolves into the chorus of the title song) is highly adaptive. Every single song that had that little melody in it used it in a different way, which I personally find awesome. The band also managed to craft another album without a single filler or boring track. I don't know how they do it, but I would open iTunes and listen to any of the songs on this album and be satisfied.
Now, to touch on the new lead singer. I know that any fan of Kamelot is sad that Roy Khan (their previous, god-like lead singer) left the band. However, I can gladly report that their new singer, Tommy Karevik (from the also great band, Seventh Wonder), fills Khan's absence perfectly. He has his own sound, but he does his best Khan impersonation and pulls it off well, and I never once thought that Khan could have done a better job with the song.
To end, I just want to have a brief summary of this album. It opens up and ends with absolutely gorgeous instrumental tracks and everything in between is catchy enough to find yourself singing along with it afterwards. If you were on the edge of buying this but were having doubts, take my word for it and purchase this album. You will definitely not regret it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2012
Khan is one of my favorite singers of all time! When he left, I thought Kamelot was done for good. As a fan, I had been disappointed by the direction the band had taken in the last few albums. They seemed to have lost their way after the smashing success that was Black Halo. Instead of following that footprint, Ghost Opera came out, and though I actually like Ghost Opera, the band was taking on a darker tone and just seemed less happy. Poetry totally alienated me... couldn't even find a semblance of Kamelot in it... And then this was all compounded by Khan leaving.
One of the best metal albums of the year!! Back to that traditional Kamelot sound! Some of the songs are reminiscent of the Karma era, I also hear some Epica, and definitely Black Halo. I was so skeptical of Tommy filling in these impossibly big shoes, but I have to say that seeing Kamelot live erased all my doubts. Tommy is not only an amazing singer but he is a complete showman. He's awesome at engaging the audience, and his voice is flawless! We only got to hear Sacrimony live, and though I loved it, I don't even think it's the best song on the album.
As far as the songs go, I can say that it is an incredibly solid album from beginning to end. The run from Sacrimony to Silverthorn is amazing! Tommy in general sings higher than Khan (meaning stays on the higher register) for most of the songs. In some songs, I can totally picture Khan singing in his lower voice, but I can't say it detracts from the album. Tommy does his best at singing with some of Khan's modulations but he still manages to keep his own sound. It's hard to explain but Kamelot sounds like Kamelot, and Tommy sounds like Khan, but it doesn't come off as an imitation. Tommy has his own voice and sound, but the album still sounds like Kamelot.
As far as the Box set goes, worth every penny! What a beautiful release! The book is gorgeous and I love how much was included for such a small price, really. This could have easily been a $30-$40 box set.
The only negative comment I have to make about the promotional materials and pics is that they need to stop "over-photoshopping". Some of the band members barely look like themselves. Most notably Tommy. Seeing him in person you can't help but wonder what they did to him on the band pics.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Let me just say, I discovered Seventh Wonder last year, and was completely blown away by Tommy's vocals. They instantly became a favorite band of mine, and I wondered how I haven't heard of Tommy before. I thought it was only a matter of time before he gets discovered. I've been listening to Kamelot since 2002, and have always loved Khan, but just like everyone else, I noticed a decline in quality with Poetry for the Poisoned. Especially in Khan's vocals. There are some songs on that CD that are almost intolerable, such as The Zodiac. Black Halo was, in my opinion, Kamelot's absolute best album. So when I heard Tommy was replacing Khan for good, I was saddened by Khan's departure, yet extremely excited to hear new material with Tommy. After listening to the album multiple times already, I can say that it truly is amazing. There's this aura/vibe to the band that is unmistakable and captivating. Tommy fits so well into the band, it's scary, and I can't help but feel incredibly happy for him, as he has real talent and was discovered by a successful band that tours the world. Despite Kamelot following a somewhat consistent song structure as they always do, the songwriting and music just works on all levels. People have mentioned that there are instances where Tommy sounds identical to Khan, and I can hear the resemblance at times, but after listening to so much Seventh Wonder, I can easily pick up on his distinct vocals.
This was the perfect addition to an aging Kamelot, (Remember, Kamelot has been playing for 21 years now) and adding a powerful young singer like Tommy to the mix has already brought a fresh element to the band. I absolutely look forward to future albums, and I feel he will meld with the band with ease. It won't be long until we start hearing his full vocal potential. If you want to hear him in full capacity, listen to Seventh Wonder where he lets it all out. Since this is his first album with the band, Youngblood may have held him back a tad, but it in no way affects the outcome of the CD. It's by far their best release since Black Halo, and I find the songs stuck in my head all day. Amazing band, amazing singer, amazing music, amazing album. Don't question it anymore, just get it!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
I wanted to like this album, I really did, especially after the utter disappointment of the "Poetry.." album, but in all honestly it's only a slight step above it.
I've been a following this band from the beginning,since BEFORE Khan was the vocalist and in my opinion they peaked with the "Epica" album and to a lesser extent musically "the Black Halo" though the latter was a bigger seller, "Ghost Opera" was decent but was the start of the band on "autopilot", and Poetry was a failed experiment in plodding mid-tempo melancholy and electronica, some of which they have carried over to this album and three albums now of "gothic melancholy" is getting a bit tired and redundant both musically and lyrically.
Most of the hoopla over Silverthorn revolves around the departure of Khan and addition of new vocalist Tommy Karevik, but to tell you the truth the vocals are a complete non-issue on this album, Tommy steps in and delivers the goods and feels like a natural fit for the band, the real issues here are twofold and sit squarely on the shoulders of songwriter Thomas Youngblood and producer Sascha Paeth, first the songwriting is getting downright boring, the whole album has a "been there,done that" feel to it and I don't foresee any future "greatest hits" coming off this album. The album lacks any real bite and Youngblood really needs to start putting the "heavy" back into heavy metal, or the "power" back into power metal because those are two elements that are sorely lacking here, there are only three songs on the entire album that could even remotely be construed as uptempo, and those don't hold a candle to prior ass-kickers like "Center of the Universe" or "Lost and Damned".
The second issue is the production, this has a compressed and muted production that really detracts and makes the songs a bit less than they can be, I don't know what is going on with Sascha Paeth whom I used to consider one of the best metal producers, but both this and the last Epica album have had abysmal production, I miss the grandiose, crisp "open" sound on prior albums, even Casey Grillo's double bass drumming on here sounds completely muted and neutered and Grillo is one of the best drummers in the biz today.
Sorry if this review comes across as overly negative but I feel I had to be the voice of objectivity and reason here to counteract the overly enthusiastic fanboy reviews, bottom line is that it is a decent album by one of the best American metal acts in the biz today, it has a few shining moments but is hampered from living up to it's full potential by excessive melancholy and mid-tempo numbers and a lackluster production by Kamelot standards.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Being one of my favorite bands, I was crushed the morning I learned Roy Khan had quit Kamelot. I thought there is no way the band would ever be the same. Throughout the "poisoned" tour, I read that Fabio Lione (whom I thought was a strange fit for Kamelot), was doing most of the vocal duties. Being a Seventh Wonder fan for a couple years now, I heard that Tommy was doing some songs/shows occasionally and I thought that would be great, but there's no way.
Fast forward to the days before the announcement for the new singer was revealed. I just knew it was going to be Fabio. There were two people in the world (besides Roy, of course) whom I wanted to be the one. Tommy was my first choice, and Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus). When I read Tommy's name, I was ecstatic! I couldn't wait to hear the NEW Kamelot.
I though with "Ghost Opera", the band was going in some strange directions, but I do like it a lot (after it grew on me for a while). "Poetry For The Poisoned", not so much! There were a few great songs, but I did'nt like the "weirdness" of it. Unlike my other albums, I just kinda put it away.
Now, the melodic Kamelot is back with an outstanding singer. I couldn't be happier. Yes, he does sound like Roy a lot of the time, but who wouldn't? That is their style. Listen to "Song For Jolee" if you want to get the real feel of Tommy's incredible voice.
In a nutshell, 4.75/5 stars for me. Not a throwaway track in the bunch and the story is quite interesting, too. Melodic metal fans, you won't be disappointed!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
THE BAND: Thomas Youngblood (guitars), Casey Grillo (drums & percussion), Oliver Palotai (keyboards), Sean Tibbetts (bass), Tom Karevik (vocals).
THE DISC: (2012) Available in single and double-disc packages. Single disc - 12 tracks clocking in at 56+ minutes, 16-page booklet with song lyrics, band member photos and thank you's. Limited Edition 2 CD set - 26 total tracks (disc 2 is the instrumental version of the album plus 2 bonus tracks), hardcover case with alternate cover artwork, a 44-page booklet and poster. Guest singers include Elize Ryd, Alissa White, and producer Sashca Paeth. Recorded at Gate Studios (Wolfesburg, W. Germany), Morrisound (Tampa), and Palosphere Studios (Stuttgart). This is studio album #10. Label - SPV/Steamhammer.
COMMENTS: I have been a fan of Roy Khan's since his early days in Conception. I've been a fan of Kamelot's since the albums "Eternity" & "Dominion" (without Khan). Khan brought incredible life to Kamelot. I was truly saddened when I heard Khan was leaving the band (personal problems and depression). Khan is so unique, I thought Kamelot was finished. Then, I heard bootlegs of Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire) filling in on tour... and hated what I was hearing. So with Lione, I had written this band off. When "Silverthorn" hit stores in October, I was hesitant to say the least. I decided I had to hear samples before I bought the disc. The samples were good enough that I made the purchase the next day. Much to my surprise (and pleasure), Lione is not at the vocal helm, but former Seventh Wonder singer Tommy Karevik is. Sweden's Karevik can sing, even if he is kind of doing a modest Khan impersonation. As much as I think Khan is/was irreplaceable, Karevik does a respectable job. The melodies are catchy - the familiar master guitar work from Youngblood is present, as is the quick-footed Grillo with his double-bass drumming. Favorite tracks - "Sacrimony", "Veritas", and "Prodigal Son (Parts I & II)". The ballad "Song For Jolee" is good as well, with Karevik showing some sensitive versatility. I wanted to not like this album without Khan. However, change is sometimes unavoidable. "Silverthorn" rocks and I predict most Kamelot fans will not be disappointed (4+ stars).
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Kamelot bounces back from their most recent effort, "Poetry for the Poisoned," which had its moments but langtime fans know they are capable of better. They have developed a concept around "Silverthorn," and the music speaks for itself. With great songs like "Ashes to Ashes," "My Confession," and "Prodigal Son," they excel both musically and stylistically. On top of that, they have come up with their best set of hooks and riffs in a while. "Silverthorn" might not be their absolute best work, but it is certainly on par with their best work. And this is just an all-out great album that all metal fans should check out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2012
I was very concerned about the future of Kamelot with Roy Kahn's departure. The switching of vocalists is always a scary time for any fan of a band. I can assure you though, Tommy Karevik does an excellent job, and brings many strengths to the table, and keeps Kamelot in the game!
The packaging for the Limited Edition is very high quality, consisting of two "books" of sorts, the poster, and the bonus disc containing instrumental versions and a bonus track. My only complaint is that the discs are in sleeves and could slide out easily if you transporting just the discs rather than the whole package. All the materials feel durable, and look exquisite. The album art is very detailed, and gives a very dark feeling for this album's dark content.
The music itself is very clean, and while a new turn for the band, is very much at home in the Kamelot catalog of music. If you've enjoyed the band in the past, this is certainly an album to pick up. If you're new to Kamelot, this is an accessible entry, so go for it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2013
To me, this is Kamelot's masterpiece. Set in Victorian England, "Silverthorn" is the story of how a family fell into disaster after the death of their daughter, Jolee, and the guilt of her twin brothers. Some time after this incident, every family member mysteriously dies, presumably by the hand of one of the twins. However, one must know the concept and pay attention to the lyrics to know the truth of this story.
Tommy Karevik's vocals are powerful; the symphony and melodies are amazing. Some are more striking than others, but the album is made of pure awesomeness. "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)", "My Confession" and "Falling Like the Fahrenheit" are my personal favorites.
With many memorable moments, it begins with a calm but rising piano ballad, "Manus Dei", that culminates in "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)", a fast paced, powerful song that uses a nice tenor, soprano and guttural vocal combo, with bonus points as the guttural is female. Follows up with "Ashes to Ashes", which reminds me of the "Ghost Opera" era, and "Torn".
The breathtaking ballad "Song for Jolee" sets the stage and contrasts with the following "Veritas", one of the few songs from the evil twin Robert's perspective, and "My Confession", symbolizing the unnamed protagonist's guilt and desire to repent. These two are the absolute Moment of Awesome of this album.
"Falling Like the Fahrenheit" is slower, but gripping, and soon after "Silverthorn" (which is crucial to the story) and "Solitaire" we have 7 min of epic rocking finale, "Prodigal Son", followed by the simple, yet haunting "Continuum".
Sadly none of these versions doesn't include the bonus tracks "Leaving Too Soon" (Japan exclusive) and "Welcome Home" (exclusive for a Swedish magazine), although you may find them online for a complete view of the concept. Both are great songs. The instrumental CD has a bonus vocal track, "Grace".
If you're in doubt whether to get this or not, I strongly suggest watching the videoclips of "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" and "My Confession" on Kamelot's official YouTube channel.
I bought the Limited Edition set. The Digipak comes with a nice storybook detailing the concept behind the album, along with some concept images. It's very well written and worth the read. Some blogs posted it online in case you get the regular edition. The second CD is instrumental with some background vocals, sadly I would've liked pure instrumentals better. Still, it was definitely worth my hype.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
I've been a fan of Kamelot since I first heard The 4th Legacy. When I heard this incredible singer, Roy Khan, for the first time in the song, "New Allegiance" I was completely blown away. I was already tired of the cliché power metal singers that sound like castrated screaming cats. Kamelot's unique singer set them apart immediately and they have been defined by their operatically smooth and warm singer. While many regard The Black Halo as their crowning achievement, my personal favorite album is Karma. However, Ghost Opera felt like a huge let down. The songwriting felt rushed... choruses felt truncated and bridges felt shoe-horned in to the songs. I had hoped Kamelot would right the wrongs from Ghost Opera when they released Poetry for the Poisoned. I was even more let down with that album. The mix felt very weak, guitars pushed way to the back to make way for production fluff. Even the lyrics felt pretty silly at times. To the point, for the past few years it sounded like Kamelot had lost their passion and instead were just going through the motions churning out mediocre music to support catchy choruses.
After Khan left the band, I thought for sure they were done producing music that I'd like. Oddly enough, around the time of his leaving, by coincidence I started listening to the band, Seventh Wonder. Tommy Karevik quickly became one of my favorite singers of all time. His perfect pitch and ear for melodic lines woven throughout very complex progressive music made his band an instant favorite of mine. If anyone was capable to replacing Roy Khan, it was this guy! I was cautiously optimistic about what Kamelot would do now that Karevik was in the band. Would he be allowed to collaborate with the writing or did they just want a singer for hire? Thankfully, it turned out to be the former. Kamelot's new album, Silverthorn, is one of the best albums that they've ever released. I hear the spirit and passion that was existent in Karma. The band is firing on all cylinders and utilizing all of their talents. Every song on the album is unique and memorable. The mix perfectly balances the heaviness of the guitars with the lush orchestrations and keyboards, which add to their signature multi-textured depth. While I was previously pretty harsh on Ghost Opera, it did have a brilliant use of string arrangements adding to the epic vibe of the music. Silverthorn takes it a step further and even rivals what Nightwish does with their symphonic arrangements.
The female guest singers are new to Kamelot and sound great with Tommy's voice. Being so familiar with Seventh Wonder, I can hear his influence in the writing. He has this wavering ability switching to falsetto and back at the drop of a hat which gives his delivery a very personal touch. The keyboards are given a much greater presence on this album than in the past. You will hear dueling guitar/keys solos frequently. Drumming is as always stellar. I don't notice the bass much other than just to support the band. Each song is strong and there is no filler, unless you want to count Continuum (which is just a light instrumental epilogue). Stand out tracks for me are: Ashes to Ashes - great unique vibe! My Confession - I just love the chorus!, and Silverthorn - incredible orchestral arrangement!
Story: (Spoiler alert)
This is a concept album set in the 19th century where two twin brothers accidentally let their little sister, Jolee fall into a river while playing with a kite. She drowns and the body is never recovered. Instead of coming clean, the two brothers keep quiet and never reveal the truth about what happened. They make a pact with each other carving the word "Veritas" on their chests, as an oath never to speak of this tragedy to anyone. The album explores the emotional guilt and burden this secret plays on each brother. One seeks redemption and the other seems to let it eat at his soul until he becomes a monster. The lyrics of the album primarily deal with the emotions and internal struggle within these brothers. To get the full story, you need to buy the premium package which comes with a gorgeous hard book printed on thick paper. The packaging of this CD is incredible and definitely worth the extra money for the special edition. The artwork is just beautiful and tells a story if you pay attention!
I highly recommend this album, particularly if you felt that Kamelot had lost their way since The Black Halo. Silverthorn is a spectacular achievement!