Kamelot – “Haven” (2015)

Label: Napalm Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

Kamelot have a distinct sound and on their second album with their new singer Tommy Karevik the sound remains. This is the third time that I have attempted to write this review. I have been having problems because the individually the songs sound better than when listening to the entire album. After some thought, I think that with the removal of a few songs the album would be stronger and allow the greatness that is present to shine. Too many of the songs are too similar and lyrically there are some awkward lines both in how they are sung and in content. To my ears there are also moments where the transition between symphonic and metal elements seems forced. So as an experiment, which songs to remove? I remove “Liar Liar”, “Veil of Elysium”, and “End of Innocence” and listen again. This took out the sameness and the lyrical content that did not work for me. Listening to the remaining songs results in an album that keeps me engaged. So, if I mentally move these songs out of “Haven”, and think of them as bonus content, the album really improves.

I think that Kamelot will always create great songs on their albums. They are talented and have a recognisable style that combines a moody cinematic sound with melodic metal. So, this is a good point to pick highlights from “Haven”. “Citizen Zero” is an epic march of awesomeness from start to end. “Revolution” becomes magnificent with interesting pace changes, occasional growling vocals and Tommy Karevik giving everything in his performance. The two ballads on the album – “Under Grey Skies” and “Here’s to the Fall” – show off the cinematic, emotional sound of Kamelot. “Beautiful Apocalypse” has an exotic, almost Indian sound that blends well with the rhythmic journey that Kamelot take us on. The guest artists on “Haven” are Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) on “Revolution” and “Liar Liar”, Troy Donockley (Nightwish) and Charlotte Wessels (Delain) on “Under Grey Skies”. All of the guest artists are used well, and the songs on which they are featured are among the highlights.

Whether or not you think of some of the songs on this album as bonus content, Kamelot have created several great songs on “Haven”. Note that there is a deluxe edition of the album that includes a second disc with alternate or instrumental versions of all the songs. Would I buy this new album? Yes, I did that prior to being asked to review “Haven”. I am happy with that purchase, here are some great new songs from Kamelot.

Rating – 87/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Fallen Star
  2. Insomnia
  3. Citizen Zero
  4. Veil of Elysium
  5. Under Grey Skies
  6. My Therapy
  7. Ecclesia
  8. End of Innocence
  9. Beautiful Apocalypse
  10. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
  11. Here’s to The Fall
  12. Revolution
  13. Haven

 

Line Up

  • Tommy Karevik – Vocals
  • Thomas Youngblood – Guitars
  • Oliver Palotai – Keyboards
  • Sean Tibbetts – Bass
  • Casey Grillo – Drums

 

Links

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