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The Fourth Legacy
Released: 2000, Noise Records
My first review of the new year is not hard to write at all because this CD is excellent! From the music, songwriting, musicianship to the album artwork this is first class melodic progressive power metal at it's best! As you may know I really like this style of metal, but don't worry, if the song-writing and musicianship are not there then they wouldn't be getting such a high rating. Like many, I am fairly new to Kamelot. So for those of us in need of some background info on the band here's a quick overview. The band is lead by primary songwriter, guitarist and founding member Thom Youngblood. Rounding out the line-up is Khan on vocals, Glenn Barry on bass and Casey Grillo on drums. This is the band's fourth full length CD - thus in part the reason for the album's title. The Fourth Legacy was pre-produced in Florida and recorded in Wolfsburg (Germany) under the guidance of Sascha Paeth who some might recognize from his work with Rhapsody and Angra. Fans of both those bands should definitely check out Kamelot!!
Musically this is diverse yet maintains a metal edge throughout - even on songs where there are choirs and REAL string sections accompanying the band. A classical influence lingers under the surface of many of the songs. The CD begins with a melodic instrumental track called "New Allegiance" segueing into the CD's strongest track "The Fourth Legacy." This one has it all, intense drumming, melodic guitar passages, and classical elements. I would dare to say that this song has raised the bar on what others now have to reach to if they plan on playing melodic power metal! The track "Until Kingdom Come" almost matches the intensity of this song and for me comes in at a close second. It begins with a keyboard melody that would not be out of place in Stratovarius. There are several other tracks on the CD worth mentioning including "Desert Rain" in which the band actually hired an Arabian musician for percussion and other traditional instrumentation. This song is the intro to the very cool epic tune - "Nights of Arabia." There is the token ballad "A Sailorman's Hymn" which is kinda sappy but like everything else on the CD is well written.
What more could a fan of melodic, progressive power metal want to begin the new year with than a CD of this caliber? It appears as if Kamelot has created THE CD that will get them the exposure they deserve. This is the best new release I have heard so far in 2000. Lets hope that we are lucky enough to have a year filled with quality metal like this!
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