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May 2001
Released: 2001, Noise Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Florida’s Kamelot have returned with their next studio album, KARMA. The album does not come off as heavy as THE FOURTH LEGACY….but so what? It’s well done, written, produced etc. The heavier songs on here are as heavy as the last studio album. It’s just that there are a couple lighter songs on here. If you liked the last studio album then I assure you, after giving this a few listens, you will be wrapped up in the CD.

After a somewhat typical intro (Regalis Apertura) the album begins with two of the best tracks on the CD – “Forever” and “Wings of Despair.” These two tracks are in line with the style of music on their godly album THE FOURTH LEGACY. That means head banging double kick drums, lots of melody, great vocals, and orchestral elements – everything a fan of melodic power metal wants. “The Spell” follows these two songs and is another great song, this time mid-paced and sounding more progressive. The vocal melody on the chorus is great. Khan has more than proven himself to be a great addition to the Kamelot line-up. The keys / orchestration are cranked a bit loud in places on this one. Near the end of the song, if you have you have your window open and think you’re hearing the birds outside (like I first did), you’re not. They put in chirping birds?!?! Up next is a song that is very touching lyrically as it is a tribute to Thomas Youngblood’s departed father. Musically, it sounds like a poor man’s “Sailorman’s Hymn.” I think the only grating part of this song is really the chorus where Kahn uses this weird sounding falsetto and it almost sounds like a yodel. Things pick up again with the title track, “Karma.” Excellent intro…very mystical and uplifting sounding to me! “Across the Highlands” is also another highlight. This is the type of song that is driving and makes you feel better after hearing it. There’s something about a certain type of power metal song that does that to me…kind of like a cure for the blues kind of song! The CD ends with the Elizabeth trilogy of “Mirror Mirror”, “Requiem For The Innocent” and “Fall From Grace.” The trilogy is about a woman who fears aging and asks, “can you tell me how to be forever young?” Her twisted solution is to bathe in the blood of virgins – “drops of blood caressed me and refined my aging skin.” (Mirror, Mirror). Of course this is about the real life story of Elizabeth Bathory. The text in the booklet for “Requiem For The Innocent” is written in red – the only font in the book printed that way. The trilogy, and album’s, closing track “Fall From Grace” begins with what is perhaps my favorite riff on the CD – very catchy!

So ends another powerful chapter in the Kamelot tale. Like on their last studio album, Sascha Paeth and Miro produced KARMA. Miro also provided the keyboards and orchestration for the CD making him (in my opinion) a member of the band since without these elements Kamelot would sound quite different. There are also some guest musicians on hand who did back-up vocals. Most notable amongst them are Olaf Hayer (Luca Turilli, Treasure Seeker, Lord Byron and Dionysus) and Robert Hunecke-Rizzo (Virgo, Heaven’s Gate). As if you didn’t have enough reasons to pick up this CD huh!?!? Killer band, songs, melody, Miro, Sascha Paeth, awesome guest musicians, excellent lyrics…I could go on and on…just buy the damn thing will ya!!!


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