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Black Halo

4.8 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 15, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Kamelot inked their recording contract in 1994 and released their debut, Eternity, the following August. The press praised the album as one of the most promising first offerings ever. 1996 saw the arrival of Dominion, an album that sounded even more varied and diverse than its predecessor. In spring 1997 Kamelot found Casey Grillo and the former Conception vocalist Khan, who joined the group during the production of Siege Perilous. In autumn of the same year, the new line-up embarked on an extensive European tour and returned to Gate studios in Wolfsburg twelve months later to work on the album that set a new standard for the band; The Fourth Legacy. In summer 2000, Kamelot’s first live album was recorded during the New Allegiance tour, which took them through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Spain. Only a few months later, Khan, Youngblood, Grillo and Glenn Barry presented their fifth studio cut, Karma, and embarked on a European tour. Epica arrived in 2003, followed by another tour as Headliners in Europe, Japan, Mexico and the US as well many top Festival appearances. The Black Halo adds another exciting and epic chapter to the band’s brilliant history.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Steamhammer Us
  • ASIN: B0007OASII
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,697 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
To begin, I just have to say that I have been a Kamelot fan since their beginnings, but have always considered Conception the superior of Khan's projects and while I have been somewhat impressed with a few of Kamelot's releases, I have never put them on the same level of melodic greatness as Conception until I heard this album. "The Black Halo" absolutely blew me away from the very first listen and I feel that almost every song represented here blows away anything Khan ever recorded with Conception. Believe me, this is saying a hell of a lot coming from me! Having been more impressed with their previous release "Epica" than any of Kamelot's earlier albums, I was a bit more anxious than usual about hearing this album than I've been with any of their previous releases, especially when I started catching early reviews that were calling it their best album to date.

I honestly had chills listening to the opening track, "March of Mephisto." It's that powerfully charged and melodic! With the perfect merge of symphonic melody, blistering guitar hooks and some of the most melodic vocals you'll hear anywhere on the power metal scene, Kamelot have taken epic power metal to a whole new level with this song along with the equally stellar "Memento Mori," their longest song to date, clocking in at just shy of 9 minutes. These two songs alone are worth the price of the album and easily rank in my book as two of the best power metal epics ever recorded and that's certainly not to say that the rest of the album is filler because there is not a dud in the mix on this one.
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Format: Audio CD
Kamelot, one of today's leading melodic metal bands, never cease to amaze me. I more or less knew The Black Halo was going to be a splendid album, but I honestly did not believe it could top Epica, which is what I consider to be more or less a perfect album. Well my friends, I must say it - they have topped Epica! Is it believable? Not until you hear the album. ;-)

Starting off with March Of Mephisto, we're taken into new territory. From the overall strong Eastern feel to the impressive orchestrations, this song is quite a treat. Granted, Kamelot have certainly produced Eastern-influenced melodies and orchestrations before, but never have they done so to the level that they are present here.

To spare you, the reader, I am not about to go into a song-by-song review, as it would be more like a novella than a review. What I would like to say, however, is that this is what I would consider to be Kamelot's strongest effort yet. The songs are just flawless, truly. I admit, as a reviewer, I sometimes use words like "flawless" and "perfect" a bit too liberally, however, I really mean it this time around. I cannot find fault here. Every song is strong enough to stand on its two feet, which is a rare find. The subtle, yet impressive, instrumentation adds an entire new dimension to the songs that simply could not be delivered by any other band outside of Kamelot. I am also glad to say that Kamelot still are very-culture friendly. Taking and utilizing influences from a variety of cultures, such as the Japanese flare in Moonlight to the wonderful prelude to the title-track, we hear a great variety here, to say the least.

Being fortunate enough to have the Japanese version, I'd like to point out the Japanese bonus track, Epilogue.
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Format: Audio CD
Kamelot

"The Black Halo"

Their bio says Kamelot is a band you can rely on. That could be taken to mean that the band stays with the same formulas time after time. With Kamelot you can rely on the fact that they will not copy old formulas and will challenge themselves plus the listener, time after time. Enter "The Black Halo"!

The Black Halo is the continuation of the Epica saga, loosely based on German writer Wolfgang Goethe's Faust masterpiece. Much like Faust Part II, The Black Halo touches the darker side of the main character Ariel. The devil (Mephisto) is ever present in this modern day conceptual masterpiece. Masterpiece I said...

The album starts off with what I imagine is a huge rally that Mephisto is leading to drum up the troops of the dark side. The voice of Mephisto is none other than Shagrath of the very popular black metal band Dimmu Borgir. His voice fits the atmosphere perfectly and I must say it was a stroke of genius to mix these two genres in the classy way that Kamelot has a knack for. This leads into the heart of "March of Mephisto", maybe Kamelot's heaviest but still very melodic song. I was expecting the usual double bass fast song that so many melodic bands do these days. March of Mephisto is a mid tempo power song that finally breaks the cookie cutter trend. (A great and refreshing move in my opinion) The keyboard solo features Jens Johansson of Stratovarius fame and ex-Malmsteen. He does a fantastic job as what seems like the devil stroking a violin from hell!

The second song "When the lights are Down" kicks in with a very fast double bass tune that is classic Kamelot mixed with some modern elements. The chorus is a winner that will stick in your brain immediately.
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