Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Melodic Metal
Release date: 8 May, 2015
Playing time: 53:53

Kamelot have never been just another ordinary symphonic metal band. First and foremost, the band can't be really put into one single genre as their music borrows elements from classical music on the one hand and power and progressive metal on the other hand. Founded in 1991, the band put out a remarkable number of great albums, and thanks to their early highlights The Fourth Legacy (1999), Karma (2001) and their outstanding output The Black Halo from 2005 (I'd even dare to say that this album is one of the best of the 2000s), Kamelot have been tipped for success ever since.
With former vocalist Roy Khan leaving the band in 2011, Kamelot were presented with a challenge - luckily, they found their new vocalist in Tommy Karevik of Sweden's progressive metal band Seventh Wonder. The highly acclaimed concept album Silverthorn, the first record to feature Karevik, showcased the band revived and stronger than ever. After huge tours all around the globe, the band is now back with their tenth studio album Haven this May, and my expectations couldn't be any higher.

At least since Silverthorn, it was clear that Kamelot had become a classic band - one of those bands that never get out of style, one of those bands that, no matter under another such circumstances, keep putting out individually great albums and playing bombastic live shows. In addition, Kamelot's attempt to offer diversity with every new release (with the aid of several talented guests for example) is one of the most enjoyable things about their music.

presents the band once again a bit differently, approaching songwriting in a more modern, contemporary way. The new music evokes feelings of safety and despair as well as it puts the emphasis on current social issues; all this presented through a wide spectrum of sounds and styles ranging from the most sorrowful ballads to powerful, cinematic tracks. Regarding vocals, Karevik topped himself this time - I'm not kidding at all when I'm telling you that his vocals are hazardously close to perfection.

The album starts with the beautiful "Fallen Star", a truly heart-warming, mid-tempo melodic metal song that opens up the album perfectly, followed by the energetic and modern metal-inspired "Insomnia" and the bombastic "Citizen Zero". "Veil Of Elysium" is the first single off Haven and reminds me of "Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)" which was the first single off Silverthorn. The rhythmic pattern and the arrangement are very similar, although "Veil Of Elysium" is a much more positive song than the dramatic "Sacrimony". The first ballad is called "Under Grey Skies" which is featuring Charlotte Wessels (Delain) and Troy Donockley (Nightwish) as guests. The flute melody gives this track a feeling of comfort and home, while both Karevik and Wessels shine as vocalists. The album continues with "My Therapy" which showcases Kareviks vocal versatility reaching from a strong low range to powerful belting. "Ecclesia" is an instrumental track and the only one on Haven I don't quite get the utility of. Unfortunately, the next track "End Of Innocence" is the weakest of the whole record. In my opinion, it is relatively predictable and too cheesy, but to my great joy, the refrain did haunt me for several hours. "Beautiful Apocalypse" contains optimally placed oriental melodies and some The Black Halo-inspired riffing.
Looking at the next three songs, they are by far some of the best ones I heard in 2015: "Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)" is epic in so many different ways. It has the right energy, brutality and a haunting refrain. To top it all, the amazing Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) shines with both growling and clean vocals on this track. This opus is followed by the classical ballad "Here's To The Fall", The jazz-inspired instrumental part and Karevik's sorrowful vocals result into a true masterpiece with a certain sense of resignation and desolation that goes straight into your heart. "Revolution" may be the heaviest track of the whole record and that's exactly why I love it so much. There's no better way to describe the term "revolution" than with this song. White-Gluz once again does her magic, this time with operatic vocals and brutal gutturals. Lastly, "Haven", sums up the same-named full-length and closes it up nicely.

Haven may have some flat moments halfway through, but seen as a whole, the album can definitely keep pace with predecessor Silverthorn. This album's beauty, energy and many-sidedness melted my heart like few albums do. Kamelot's tenth full-length surely is one of 2015's highlights and another gate to success for the band.

01. 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
12. Revolution
13. Haven
Label: Napalm Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Cristina Somcutean
Date: 1 May, 2015
Website: www.kamelot.com