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KAMELOT - Karma cover
3.94 | 38 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2001

Filed under Power Metal


1. Regalis apertura (1:57)
2. Forever (4:07)
3. Wings of Despair (4:32)
4. The Spell (4:20)
5. Don't You Cry (4:18)
6. Karma (5:12)
7. The Light I Shine on You (4:15)
8. Temples of Gold (4:11)
9. Across the Highlands (3:46)
10. Elizabeth: I. Mirror Mirror (4:22)
11. Elizabeth: II. Requiem for the Innocent (3:46)
12. Elizabeth: III. Fall From Grace (11:01)

Total Time: 55:52


- Roy Khan / vocals
- Thomas Youngblood / guitar
- Glenn Barry / bass guitar
- Casey Grillo / drums

Guest musicians

- Miro - keyboards, orchestral arrangements, background vocals
- Sascha Paeth / additional guitars
- Farouk Asjadi / shakuhachi
- Liv Nina Mosven / vocals on #11 & #12
- Olaf Hayer / backing vocals
- Cinzia Rizzo / backing vocals
- Robert Hunecke-Rizzo / backing vocals

About this release

Release date: July 10th, 2001
Label: Noise Records

Thanks to adg211288, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Power metal has always been the ginger-haired stepchild of metal. It’s cheesy, and full of corny lyrics about mythical lands and beings going on wondrous adventures. Lame, right? But occasionally, a band comes along who does away with the speed-metal roots and wailing vocals of the genre, and releases something with a bit more depth and substance.

Enter Kamelot, with their fifth studio album, 2001’s ‘Karma’, the group have really hit their stride, with a refined sound and more polished song writing, this is where the band truly begin a streak of strong releases that establishes them as one of symphonic metals true champions.

Building upon what they’d started with 1999’s ‘The Forth Legacy’, ‘Karma’ has a very rich sound that gives the band an amazingly fantastical feel. Brimming with lavish orchestrations and exotic musical influences, Kamelot have slowly stepped away from the medieval themes of past albums and gone for a more varied, worldly sound, and it works well with their upbeat and energetic performances. Special mention must go to vocalist Roy Khan, who’s incredible voice works very well with the music and gives it a warm and wholesome sound.

With highlights such as ‘Forever’, ‘Across the Highlands’, ‘Wings of Despair’, all three parts of a trilogy entitled ‘Elizabeth’, and the beautifully emotional ‘Don’t You Cry’, it’s clear that here is a band who, after a few albums tweaking their sound, have finally found their identity and established a style befitting a band named after the home of the legendary King Arthur. Kamelot may not be for everyone’s tastes, but if you’re okay with a bit of fantasy and majesty in your music, then this is definitely worth checking out.
For my money this one and the next one "Epica" are very close when it comes to my enjoyment factor. "Black Halo" remains my favourite from them though. I'm not a big Power-Metal fan but KAMELOT and SYMPHONY X hit the spot most of the time when i'm in that mood. Some of the highlights for me begin with "Forever" an uptempo, galloping number. "Wings Of Despair" continues with the hard hitting style. "The Light I Shine On You" is a crunchy tune that does contrast the heavy and lighter sections well. Despite "Temples Of Gold" being a laid back tune I do like it a lot. The final section to the "Elizabeth" suite kills. A fine effort and not a bad place to start for someone wanting to check these guys out.

Members reviews

The fifth legacy?

Karma followed on the heels of the great The Fourth Legacy from the previous year. The musical direction remains basically the same as on that fourth album and the band could even be accused of merely following their previously established formula on this album. However, there are also some noteworthy differences. The symphonic or even orchestral aspect of the band's brand of Symphonic Power Metal has become stronger while the very appealing Folk and World-Music influences that, for me, made The Fourth Legacy such a thrilling experience are largely absent or at least pushed forcefully into the background. There are still some oriental and Celtic touches here and there, but these tendencies have largely been overtaken by symphonic bombast. Some may say that this album is more progressive than Kamelot's earlier efforts, but these people might confuse progressive with symphonic. I would rather say that Karma is less progressive especially in that it is less eclectic and thus closer to conventional Symphonic Power Metal. Kamelot still knew how to write good songs however, but Karma adds little to what they already had achieved at the time.

Like the previous album, the present one too starts with a short instrumental by way of introduction. Forever and Wings Of Despair are rather typical Power Metal numbers with catchy melodies and the characteristic rapid dual bass drum attack. The Spell slows things down a little bit with a more traditional Heavy Metal riff and some tasteful synthesizers in the background, this one could have been by late 80's/early 90's Black Sabbath while Roy Khan here sounding very much like Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate. Don't You Cry, based on acoustic guitar and strings, is the first ballad of the album. It is a nice interlude for sure, but the song itself is utterly conventional both musically and lyrically and it lacks the folky and medieval feel of the ballads on The Fourth Legacy.

The title track is the counterpart of Nights Of Arabia from the The Fourth Legacy with its slight "oriental" feel and personally I think this is the first song that is up to par with the previous album's material. It is also one of the more progressive songs here as it moves through both heavy, melodic and more mellow piano-based passages. The Light I Shine On You continues in the same vein, but at this point I feel it is basically more of the same. Temples Of Gold is another ballad - or, perhaps better, semi-ballad - that comes as a relief after the Metal onslaught of the foregoing tracks. This one is thankfully a lot better, and a lot less cheesy, than Don't You Cry, but it is not particularly memorable. Across The Highlands is, on the other hand, another strong track in the vein of Until Kingdom Come from the previous album with a slight Celtic feel.

The album ends with a three-part composition called Elisabeth parts I, II and III. The third and final part is, however, deceptively over ten minutes long while the majority of this time is filled with nothing for no good reason! Discounting this unnecessary silence, this three-part song is overall about 12 minutes long. "Progressiveness" is, of course, never to be measured in song length but this might still be the most ambitious composition by Kamelot (at least up to that point). It does, however, like most of the rest of the album, fit very nicely under the heading of 'Symphonic Power Metal'.

Overall, Karma is a good but quite formulaic album in Kamelot's typical style. For me, this one is less interesting than The Fourth Legacy which remains my favourite Kamelot album.
Kamelot - Karma (2001)

Before my progressive collection had seen the daylight I was interested in metal. When I was fifteen I found out there was also a thing called power metal, which had an melodic side and some emotional songwriting. Nowadays I don't listen to power metal anymore, but since Kamelot has been added to PA I'm willing to write something about some of favorite albums from my youth. Though power-metal isn't may favorite genre, I must say Kamelot is the finest bands of the genre; with less clichés then most other power-metal bands.

On Karma the band developed a songwriting style that would make them successful. All songs have a catchy side, nice instrumental parts and some have good lyrics. Vocalist Roy Khan has a distinctive voice and the ability to sing both low and high notes. The heavy metal guitars of Youngblood are always melodic and the clean guitar passages show a classical trained background. The bass en drums are as can be expected with power metal: up- tempo and a bit emotionless.

In this album tries to show some different type of tracks, but the band never leaves the power-metal atmosphere. The three-part epic on the end 'Elizabeth' shows the first real progressive move by the band with a nice concept and good compositions. It was a strong move to include this trilogy on the latest live dvd!

There isn't a weak track on the album (if you like the genre that it!) and the album ends with a feeling of completeness due to it's final three-part offering. Kamelot is one of the best power-metal groups and the next two albums shows the band going into a slight progressive direction. For this album I give the three and a halve stars rating. There's some good songwriting, but don't expect innovation. Recommend to fans of melodic metal, not to fans of technical metal.

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