Progressive/power metal outfit Kamelot is back with a new album, a new frontman, and a new attitude. After their long time vocalist Roy Khan left the band in 2010 right after the release of their latest album Poetry For The Poisoned, the band had to take a step back and rethink their next move. After careful consideration and doing a bit of touring with Seventh Wonder’s vocalist Tommy Karevik, the band decided to tap him as their new frontman. And what a great choice, not only does Tommy has a great voice and a polished vocal technique, but he also fits great with Kamelot‘s style on stage.
To begin talking about the band’s new album Silverthorn, we have to be clear on a couple of things. First, this album is only comparable to the band’s earlier material in two aspects: The use of concept albums & the band’s signature sound. Second, it’s not a continuation of Epica or The Black Halo as many might believe, and it can’t be compared to any other Kamelot album from previous eras due to the unique way in which the album was intended. Silverthorn is a step forward into uncharted territory that has a life, sound, and concept of its own.
Manus Dei, is a beautiful two minute intro that lays down the epic bases of the album and is very subtle but majestic at the same time. Sacrimony is the first single, and the first video clip out of the album. Its a very powerful and complex song that presents not only the direction in which the album is going, but also features the beautiful voice of Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd and the growling and intense voice of The Agonist’s Alissa White-Gluz. Both singers’ contributions along with Tommy’s voice make the song a key player to the album’s concept. Ashes To Ashes is one of the most progressive songs in the album, full of dueling guitars and keyboards vs. clean vocals and growling backgrounds. Torn is very melodic and epic, with tremendously powerful and dramatic lyrics that make it one of the most enjoyable songs off the album.
Song For Jolee is one of the highlights of the album, in which Tommy Karevik lays an emotional performance as his voice shines and supports the reason why he was chosen to be the new Kamelot singer. The song itself is powerful, and has a sense of melancholy and beauty all around it. Veritas is another track with a similar power that breaks apart from the band’s style, and explores a more symphonic/melodic approach. They again invited Elize Ryd as a guest vocalist on the track which makes it very fierce and melancholic as it describes the emotions behind the album’s concept. The next song My Confession is calm and filled with great symphonic parts, along with well composed mini progressions. The title track of the album Silverthorn has a very distinct approach, sounding a bit electronic and eclectic while being really fast and adorning a beautiful choral passage.
Falling Like The Fahrenheit carries a lot of the essence of Kamelot’s unique sound, and once again Tommy’s vocals are amazingly good and dramatic next to Elize Ryd’s soft voice. Solitaire is a very melancholic, powerful and dark song, full of complex textures all over it. Prodigal Son, reflects the solemnity and musical framework behind the album, being really pragmatic song full of semi acoustic passages and tempo changes. Continuum is can be considered as a outro, very cinematographic and closes the story of Silverthorn quite nicely.
Overall this album is neither a typical progressive/power metal album, nor a typical Kamelot album. It is the beginning of a new era for the band, for Tommy Karevik and for the fans as well. On the concept the album, Silverthorn is based on a 19th century family tragic story that was originally created by Thomas Youngblood (guitar), Tommy Karevik (Voice) and Sasha Paeth (producer). Like Oliver Palotai (keyboards) told us in a recent interview, “the concept would be unfolded on the 40 page booklet that comes on the special edition of the album.”
01. Manus Dei
02. Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)
03. Ashes to Ashes
05. Song For Jolee
09. Falling Like The Fahrenheit
11. Prodigal Son
-Part I: Funerale
-Part II: Burden Of Guilt [The Branding]
-Part III: The Journey