Record Reviews

Album review: Kamelot “The Awakening”

Kamelot serves up modern, melodic power metal on its 13th studio album.

Founded by American guitarist Thomas Youngblood in 1987, Kamelot has evolved into a multi-national band. “The Awakening” is the band’s 13th studio album. Kamelot plays modern, melodic metal. At times it is in power metal territory as well as in symphonic metal land. Oftentimes it is dramatic, even bombastic and cinematic like a film soundtrack. The current line-up of Kamelot features German keyboard player Oliver Palotai, American bassist Sean Tibbetts, Swedish vocalist Tommy Karevik and German drummer Alex Landenburg. Tommy Karevik has been in the band for more than a decade now and he does a fine job. His clean vocals are great for this type of music. The band’s newest member, Alex Landenburg (Cyhra, ex-Annihilator) has added power and heaviness to Kamelot’s sound. He’s a great fit for the band. Having already toured with the band for a number of years, now he also gets to shine in the studio. On many of the songs, it is the drums that set this apart from other melodic metal bands with plenty of keyboards. The combination works well on these songs. The resulting sound is not miles away from Cyhra’s musical neighbourhood. One of the album’s strongest songs, “One More Flag in the Ground”, has some Middle Eastern sounds weaved into this catchy song about a soldier going into another battle. It also features Canadian vocalist Kobra Paige who has made live guest appearances at Kamelot shows in the past. “Midsummer’s Eve” is an excellent ballad. This and several other tracks have subtle folk and Oriental influences which add variety and make the songs interesting. “New Babylon”, with Melissa Bonny on guest vocals, sounds quite a lot like an Epica song which is fitting as the band Epica took its band name from the Kamelot album “Epica”. “Willow” is a beautiful piano-based ballad that slowly builds up as a power ballad with guitars and drums coming into the song’s second half. “Ephemera” is an excellent, stunning and dramatic instrumental piece (but with some strategically added background choirs to make it epic). The Japanese bonus track “Call of the Void” is one of the album’s best and a reason for international fans to buy the Japanese edition. If modern melodic metal is your thing, this album is for you.

Kamelot’s new album “The Awakening” is out now via King Records. Internationally, the album is released by Napalm Records.