Kamelot - Ghost Opera
It must be daunting to try and top or at least sustain the quality of your band after a watershed release such as "The Black Halo". There are very few bands out there that have released an album that had the emotional depth, musical intricacies, tightly wound song structures and catchy hooks such as contained in that "Halo" release. Kamelot however has attempted the impossible but not quite achieved it with "Ghost Opera". "Halo" was big and bombastic, a pompously symphonic cd that ran through emotions like red stop signs at midnight. It was blaze on through without looking back.
Their latest continues the impeccable quality and paints it black. This is an album that is dense, often dark, and always dynamic. A slight goth influence has been applied to the finishing sheen which makes it pop out from the rest of their eight cd catalogue. It's entirely Kamelot, but that little knife twist in the musical gut allows it to bleed unique. There's enough alien influences here that it makes the cd bleed anything but red, such as waltzy bits, an Asian angle, theatrics on par with Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage productions.

The cd is anything but shy or timid. It boldly steps out from the typical shadows of power metal cliches and embraces a multitude of directions with finesse, style and masterful execution. In the hands of lessers, these songs would come off as being trite and bordering on ridiculous, but Kamelot is able to weave these slight touches from otherworlds into their music with a deft, experienced hand. The result is a seamless introduction of new sounds and fresh musical landscapes. There are few instances where you get the deja vu feeling that you've heard it all before. Like the previous album, this one is also deeply progressive, leaving a labyrinth of layers to untangle, but perhaps tending a bit more to the straightforward, allowing the different influences to be digested more easily. It relies on instant hooks, a plethora of keyboards and the expressive vocals of Kahn to carry it through the more daring sections.

"Solitaire" is a typical ambient opener, electronic bass jazzed up with a violin going it solo (hence the title) and "Rule the World" following it, comes roaring as an aftershock. Khan lashes out in a furious rage, the pacing is frantic yet rhythmic and matches the desperation and lashing torment of the vocals. The title track is a perfect example of Kamelot at the height of their creative peak. It positively soars with majesty, roars with passion and thunders along at a dizzying clip all the while blending in an ethereal female backing voice to enrich the experience even further. There are some experimentations but the overall feeling is huge, music interwoven so tightly its almost impossible to separate where one instrument ends and the other begins. So smooth, fluid and absolutely irresistible.
"Love You to Death" is slick, theatrical and wrought with wrestling emotions. It's bleak, its forlorn, it throws you into the fire and douses you cold, leaving you shivering and covered in goosebumps at the raw feeling that bleeds through each performance. A love song that shimmers with emotional power thanks to both Khan and his female counterpart dueting and playing off of each other so perfectly here.

"The Human Stain" is desolate yet still powerful, contrasting the stark, lonely vocal over pianos with the multilayered brilliance of the piece later on down the line, as it builds from the slow shifting opening to end on a finale that's simply royally majestic. The bass stands out here, rattling the rafters with its thumping sound that overtakes the song and crushes the breath from your chest. The Gregorian chants send shivers up the spine for the spook haunted "Mourning Star" and further playing with a wide field of ideas sees "Silence of the Darkness" feeding off of a past track ("When the Lights Go Down") to offer a sequel, both in spirit, lyrically and musically. Things like this excite the ones that have previous knowledge of their music, and also hint at further depth and discovery beyond what the casual listener will garner from simply skimming the surface. This one is also closest to the sound from "Halo" and works as a bridge to tie the two releases together.

"Anthem" is truly the anthem to life. It is uplifting, and terrifying in some aspects. It sweeps through with a vengeance and builds to the near breaking point, reminiscent of some grandeur orchestral piece off of a movie soundtrack, yet bound in the chains of the metallic as well. The lull in the middle is deceptive, for it is only a breather so you can gather your thoughts and brace yourself for the onslaught that reigns down after it. Absolutely brilliant. "EdenEcho" has magnificant mystique, a mesmerizing track that is intense, moody and bursting in its release of pent up power. Youngblood's guitar ends the album on a fantastic riff ride.

Creative, intellegent and as slick as anything else out there, "Ghost Opera" is a fitting followup to "The Black Halo" in every way. Kamelot keeps the basic recipe of their sound but adds so many new ingredients that the overall taste is familiar yet unique. An aromatic album that lingers long after you have pressed the stop button, its the kind of album that chases you in your dreams and follows you like a ghostly shadow days after it has last been heard. Memorable is the word, and Kamelot has successfully managed to change with the times and deliver an album that is uniquely all its own, just enough so that it will most assuredly not get lost in the wake of the one and only "The Black Halo". Kudos to the band for not only meeting expectations but also surpassing them in many ways. I tremble in anticipation to see what they create next time.

Written by Alanna
Monday, July 9, 2007
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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by ozrock (Anonymous) - Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Well written review! Ghost Opera is one of those albums that gets better each time I listen. I did not expect it to be better than "The Black Halo" since that one is an absolute masterpiece, but it is quite good. I hope they play "Rule The World" on tour as that is the strongest song. All are well written and expertly crafted although I personally don't care for "Anthem". If you buy the CD/DVD set, you get an added track "The Pendulous Fall" which is another winner. The DVD contains the video for "Ghost Opera" and a short behind the scenes making of the video. This band is awesome!

Comment by Jarkko Kyntäjä (Anonymous) - Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Kamelot seems to been drifting a bit away from my taste with it´s latest offerings. Sadly, same thing goes with Ghost Opera. For me, Karma was the absolute peek-point of their career, since then, the spiral has been slightly downwardish. Still, a fine record, but I´m asking for a little bit more straightforward approach next time, something between 4th Legacy and Karma, with these new arrangements included. At some point my almost favourite band, now bubbling under somewhere in the lower legions. I´d give it 6.5 / 10

Comment by metalman (Anonymous) - Saturday, July 14, 2007
a 9 ?

so this is what you call genius ??

LOL, you have a lot to learn

Comment by Mike B (Anonymous) - Saturday, July 14, 2007
This is a decent album with some interesting tunes, but I expected more from Kamelot. In a lot of ways this album is very minimalistic with the guitars. You will hear a few REALLY good riffs and solos where they let it totally rip, and then it goes right back to the atmospheric stuff. This gets a bit tedious after 4 of 5 spins; you will find yourself wishing some songs would hurry up and get to the good part.

Comment by Alanna (Staff) - Saturday, July 14, 2007
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I love the fact they are not straightforward. There are (in my opinion) TOO many bands out there these days that are playing it "straightforward". If that's something you need there are millions of bands out there doing it already. Kamelot is doing something different. Its creative, its interesting, and it makes you think. The guitar may be taking a backseat this time around but the ambiance, atmosphere and song structures have not. There is so much going on that it's a miracle to pick it apart sometimes...

The Black Halo marks a disc that I would align near perfection, and this falls slightly under it.

Alot to learn? No, I just have different tastes perhaps or have heard *too* much music in my years. Something fresh and new tends to catch my interest moreso than a safe repeat of old sounds.

Posted by Alanna (Staff)
Saturday, July 14, 2007

Comment by Matt (Anonymous) - Saturday, July 14, 2007
A couple great songs, but their worst since Fourth Legacy. The problem is a lot of it is NOT memorable.

Comment by Ed (Anonymous) - Sunday, July 15, 2007
Takes a few spins to get used to what the band is putting across to the listener. Ghost Opera is a more varied album then its predecessors, more melacholic but always dramatic and touching on all emotions. Congratulations Kamelot for your inventiveness with this fantastic release. 8.5/10

Comment by verdalack (Anonymous) - Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Yes, it must be difficult to out do yourself when your releasing several great albums and your one of the best bands out there. I like the the gothic shade they added and as always the emotion and the "spiraling castle" atmosphere is there but its not their best. I even like 'Epica' more, although I'm a lover of dark and twisted melodies, Epica was more colorful but yet more magical and capturing (and heavier). That is what KAMELOT does best> heavy, emotional and magical

Comment by ScreamingDigital (Anonymous) - Tuesday, July 31, 2007
How many bands out there now have put out a batch of great albums, especially in the power/prog metal genre, not many, i can think of 2, Redemption and Kamelot, and I'll add Evergrey to the mix, now this is not Karma, neither was the Black Halo, what we have here is a slow progression in sound but the music is still interesting, is still heavy, melodic and powerful, yes the songs could of been a little longer, yes we could of had a couple faster Kamelot type tracks, but at the end of the day is all about progressing a sound that they have perfected masterfully and have brought them to the top of the genre, i love this album, is not theyre best , but who cares, is still a solid 8.5 for me. I cant' wait for theyre next album, can they put out another gem? Hope so.

Comment by Zweet (Anonymous) - Thursday, August 23, 2007
Bad. Weak. They are starting to repeat themselves. First 5 tracks are ok, but the rest of the album sounds like the band was short with time so they quickly wrote something just to fill the space. Pale guitars, almost no riffs, and why do they insist on filtering Khan's perfect voice?!?


Comment by Gabriel (Member) - Friday, October 24, 2008
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4/10 like"Epic Album"
9/10 like "Gothic Album"

This album is more controversial than "The Black Halo"and for me is the definitive death of True Epic Style of a band called"Kamelot"(actually i think that their name could it be Phantoms of the Opera or something like that)at the moment(everything can change).
Like Gothic Album is great,i think that usual gothic bands are not at this level,but if i think that this is the band of masterpieces like"Epica"and"Karma"or the True Epic Album like "The Fourth Legacy","Siege Perilous","Dominion"and"Eternity"i don't understand why their name today is Kamelot!
Great production,many videos on Mtv and many sales are not a good excuse to betray the Original Concept of the band.
In my modest opinion this the worst album of Kamelot(and the best of"Phantoms of the Opera";-) )and its ridiculous that we have two(identical)versions (a total commercial operation)of the album with the infamous"Second Coming".
The only real Epic Song is"Up trough the Ashes"about Christ and Pilat,but the rest is the best of a "great"Gothic Band(except for the very emotional and intimate song"Anthem":no words for the Beauty of thsi Song).

Kamelot need a Regenaration and a Rebirth of their Lost Identity.

Antonio Giorgio.

Posted by Gabriel
Friday, October 24, 2008

Review by Alanna

Released by
Steamhammer - 2007

01. Solitaire
02. Rule The World
03. Ghost Opera
04. The Human Stain
05. Blücher
06. Love You To Death
07. Up Through The Ashes
08. Mourning Star
09. Silence Of The Darkness
10. Anthem
11. EdenEcho
12. The Pendulous Fall [limited edition bonus]

Supplied by Target

Progressive Power Metal

Related links
Ghost Opera Web site

Visit the band page

Kamelot - Official Website

Other articles
Karma - (Tommy)

Epica - (Tommy)

Interview With Thom Youngblood - (Tommy)

The Black Halo - (Steen)

The Black Halo - (Paul)

One Cold Winter´s Night - (Brian)

One Cold Winter´s Night - (Alanna)

Reissues: Eternity / Dominion / Siege Perilous / Fourth Legacy / Expedition / Karma / Epica - (Brian)

Dominion - (Steen)

Poetry for the Poisoned - (Alanna)

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8 - Outstanding
9 - Genius
10 - Masterpiece
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