I don’t mind my fix of metal that is now known as a whole separate genre called power metal or symphonic metal. Back in the Eighties it was just metal. Pure and simple. I think that the press at that time just needed something to define certain styles of metal. So they started to come up with different names like Pop Metal, Thrash Metal, Hard Rock, Glam Metal, Death Metal, Power Metal and so on.
In relation to Power Metal here is my own 10 second wrap up of a whole genre beginning from the Seventies.
It started with Deep Purple, Rainbow and Iron Maiden. Then Yngwie Malmsteen and Helloween came along. They both increased the tempos and Yngwie Malmsteen exaggerated the classical elements which led to the current Power Metal movement which is just a higher tempo version of the beast that Yngwie Malmsteen and Helloween inspired.
The thing with power metal at the moment is that there are so many acts out on the market that are just not good enough to be there. They think by playing at break neck speeds it makes them good enough. They think by having a hot female opera singer in the band makes them good enough. Basically if the song is shit, then the whole band is shit. Like in Sport, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
Kamelot is not one of them. Because Kamelot is not all about higher tempos. There is more variation in their music.
Symphonic – CHECK
Progressive – CHECK
Groove – CHECK
Classic NWOBHM – Check
Hard Rock – CHECK
Classical – CHECK
Credit Thomas Youngblood, one of the bands original founders. In 1991 he along with drummer Richard Warner founded a band steeped in technical guitar playing. He stayed with that style during and after the Grunge wave. Eventually in 1995, Kamelot released their first album on the German Record Label “Noise”.
Yep, it’s that same label that specialised in melodic speed metal and they also had Helloween on its roster. It’s also the same label that took Helloween to court and won a seven digit payout in their favour when Helloween broke ranks and went to the majors direct.
So I’m listening to “Silverthorn”, Kamelot’s tenth studio album and their third concept story.
It’s the song “Veritas” that connected with me. And the connection comes in the form of a band called Savatage, who I am a big fan off, especially the era of Criss Oliva. Because it sounds like something that could have been recorded for a Savatage album. And the song is not even well-known. YouTube has a few fan audio videos with numbers less than a thousand. Spotify doesn’t even rate it in the Top 10.
The next song that appeals to me is “My Confession” and its the Within Temptation and In Flames connection that hits home. On YouTube, the video to “My Confession” is at 1,176,127 views. The other single from the album, “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)” is at 1,141,127 views. Actually, the bands YouTube numbers are way better than their Spotify numbers. If I was the band’s manager I would be taking note of this. The fans like the clips and the visuals that go with it.
I can’t say that I like everything that Kamelot has put out, however they have done enough on each album to keep me interested to come back and invest my time to hear each new album. And that is what matters today.
Are people listening to your music on a daily basis?
That is more important than how many first week sales are achieved.
One final note, when the cover by Stefan Heilemann reminds me of a cover that Gustavo Savez did for the last band I was in. I just found it bizarre that the styles are so similar.