Symphonic/Power Metal Review: Kamelot-Haven

Genre: Symphonic/Power Metal
Release Date: May 4, 2015
Label: Napalm Records

Dark, heavy, powerful, and emotional are just some of the words that can be used to describe the music of Kamelot.  They are power metal with plenty of symphonic and progressive elements fused into their sound.  Formed in the early 90s, Kamelot has almost twenty-five years as band under their belts.  Their current line-up consists of Tommy Karevik (vocals), Thomas Youngblood (guitars), Sean Tibbetts (bass), Oliver Palotai (keyboards), and Casey Grillo (drums).  Alissa White-Gluz (vocals), Troy Donockley (tin whistle), and Charlotte Wessels (vocals) are also featured on their latest release, Haven.

According to Youngblood, Haven “Has an undertone of a world gone insane. There is a grey cloud that is forming over our world. We are here to find the silver lining with an album that is both dark and melancholy yet uplifting and giving the listener a Haven in a world gone mad.” Haven is their eleventh album and we find them in stellar form on it. This album is all you need to let your dark dreams come to light. 

The opening of “Fallen Star” is pure beauty that is touched with a quiet lyrical sadness.  This quiet does not last long before a brutal and crushing sound take overs.  It is a fantastic display of talent and musicianship.  “Insomnia” is the type of song that grabs your attention right away with its catchy and melodic sound.  It will not take more than a listen or two for the chorus to get stuck in your head.  A real gem of the album, the opening of “Citizen Zero” create a dark and haunting atmosphere.  The following heavy and aggressive sound helps to further enrich the song with a gothic presence.  There is a lot of power and emotion that exudes from this song that makes it really standout.   

“Veil of Elysium” comes out hot with a catchy and melodic power metal sound that soars.  Featuring Charlotte Wessels of Delain and Troy Donockley of Nightwish, “Under Grey Skies” is a departure from the heavy sound of the album so far, but do not let that put you off from this song, because it is full of beauty and emotion. It is just a fantastic song all round, but the soft and lovely vocals of Charlotte Wessels are a true prize. In a similar vein as “Veil of Elysium,” “My Therapy” is a catchy and melodic song that still manages to pack a hard hit with a dark edge. The short interlude “Ecclesia” leads into “End of Innocence,” another rich and dark song with a heavy and melodic sound that is done so well on this album.

“Beautiful Apocalypse” is a heavy and metallic song that is soften by its melodic chorus.  A sweet guitar solo in the second half shakes things up.  Featuring Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, “Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)” is one of the heavier songs on album with a brutal and crushing sound.  It is fast and unrelenting with a touch of menace.  “Here’s to the Fall” is perfectly fine ballad, but does not leave much of a lasting impression on me and is my least favorite song. Now, “Revolution” is the type of song that leaves an impression.  It is easily the heaviest song on the album that is almost overwhelming with its crushing power.  Alissa White-Gluz returns to provide some killer growls.  “Haven” is a pretty serene outro.

Kamelot’s Haven is a brilliant piece of work.  It is the type of captivating music that once it gets its hooks into you, it does not let go.  Not that you would want it to, of course.  It is a phenomenal ride from start to finish and a great way to spend an hour.  If you are looking for something that is dark, heavy, and melancholic, then Kamelot’s Haven is what you need.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Fallen Star, Citizen Zero, Beautiful Apocalypse, Liar Lair (Wasteland Monarchy)

01.Fallen Star
03.Citizen Zero
04.Veil of Elysium
05.Under Grey Skies
06.My Therapy
08.End of Innocence
09.Beautiful Apocalypse
10.Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
11.Here’s to the Fall

Brian McKinnon - Write A Music Review Sr. Staff
May 11, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

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