Based off of the shores of Florida, comes the infamous Power metal band, Kamelot. Their 2005 album, entitled "The Black Halo," is full of epic stories and symphonic musical greatness. It's the second part of their concept album following their 2003 album, "Epica." It's hard to choose a favorite album when it comes to kamelot, but this is definitely one you will want to check out.
Let me start off by saying that you might have a difficult time getting past the first three tracks, because they are absolutely magnificent and beautiful. The first song on the album, "March Of Mephisto," fades in with eerie sounds and snares that lead into distorted guitar riffs that will have you throwing up your devil horns immediately. Lead singer Roy Khan does an excellent job in the verses and choruses of the song. The special guest featured in this song is the great Shagrath, who is the lead vocalist of the Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir. Shagrath accompanies Khan during the chorus, leaving a chilling feeling down your spine as you hear the "beauty & the beast." The track also includes a mind blowing solo towards the end of the song, thanks to the electrifying guitar work of Thomas Youngblood.
The second song on the album,"When The Lights Are Down," is a fast paced, heavy guitar track, layered with quick drumming and rapid bass lines. The chorus really takes over this song, as you will eventually start to sing along due to the catchy and melodic lyrics. Khan shows off his impressive vocals throughout this song, as he hits both high and low notes smoothly and without effort.Unfortunately, the song comes to an end in under four minutes, leaving you with the immediate thought of hitting the "repeat" button
Don't be afraid to move on, for their is much more beautiful power metal to be heard. "The Haunting (Somewhere In Time)" is the third track on the album and is packed with tremendous amount of beautiful lyrics and melodies, full of meaning. It starts out with the first verse full of eeriness, in both the instruments and vocals alike. They also include guest singer Simone Simons, the Dutch lead vocalist of Epica. As it builds, his voice begins to rise and snares and cymbals fill the air. The choruses carry so much feeling as Khan is accompanied by a light layer of a female voice in the background. Powerful guitar solos follow behind each chorus, bringing you to your knees in amazement.
Moving forward, "Abandoned" is a great power metal ballad that really balances the album out. It is full of heavenly piano notes and soothing strings as they are met with the vocals of Khan and also, another guest vocalist, Mari Youngblood. Together, they produce a ravishing touch to the song and its importance to the album.
"Moonlight" is where the album picks up and becomes a little heavier, as it starts of with deafening guitar riffs and crashing drums and cymbals. Again, the chorus is full of feeling and heart as Khan belts each lyric. There is an interesting us of different instruments within the breakdown. This includes violins and other stringed orchestral instruments that are followed with a quick guitar solo. A couple of other songs to check out are "The Black Halo" and "Nothing Ever Dies." These consist of similar fast pace action and astounding guitar structure.
Just under 9 minutes long, track 12, "Momento Mori," is a glorious song that you won't want to skip. It starts out as a stunning ballad but slowly opens up into a loud drumming and fast heavy guitar chugging masterpiece. It features both Shagrath and Mari Youngblood. The use of symphonic instruments and melodic lyrics define the true power captured within the song.
This album is dark and yet uplifting all in one, as it tells a great tale through and through. The songs are well written and well performed, and give great inspiration to those who hear it. It is also a real treat to see such great artists featured on the album. This is a marvelous album that will take your breath away from beginning to end!
Official Site - http://www.kamelot.com/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/kamelot