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Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005)

Posted By: v3122
Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005)

Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005)
Power Metal | EAC Rip | WAVPack + Cue + Log | MP3 CBR 320Kbps | 16 Tracks
Scans Included | SPV | SPV 087-69570 CD LTD | ~472 + 162 Mb | FServe, FSonic, Uploaded

With the precision of a clockwork the American/Norwegian quartet KAMELOT has been releasing its albums since 1995 now and in the course of the years has developed into one of the most original and best bands of the genre. The last album “Epica“ in 2003 had without a doubt been the most ambitious epos to date, as they took on the heavy stuff in form of Goethe’s “Faustus” to realise. And with “The Black Halo” they take up this theme once more and combine it with own experiences and views, which results in another very deep experience, which you can interpret in a myriad of ways, which just adds to the fascination of this album.

Putting the production into the trusted hands of Sascha Paeth and Miro once more, the band pitched their tents in German Wolfsburg again, where they could welcome several guests: DIMMU BORGIR’s Shagrath, STRATOVARIUS’ Jens Johansson, Simone Simons from EPICA, MASQUERAID’s Mari, and the KAMELOT choir, to form “The Black Halo” into an album that on the one hand builds on the solid foundation of the typical KAMELOT sound, on the other still further develops the band and successfully avoids it to stand still.

As said already, all the usual elements are still to be found, with the typical guitar melodies and double-bass attacks and, of course, Khan’s divine voice, but this time the compositions take on a darker hue, yet always remaining very dynamic and 100% KAMELOT.

Normally Power Metal bands in many cases set out with a fast-paced breaker, not KAMELOT on this album, because “March Of Mephisto” starts the CD off with a very epic soundtrack intro, which then turns into a very powerful, stomping song, which apart from Khan’s unique vocals also features the characteristic voice of DIMMU BORGIR’s Shagrath, a very unusual element in the band sound, but an almost perfect fit for the character of Mephisto.

Some of you might fear that the band has lowered the speed altogether, nope, “When The Lights Are Down“ puts the pedal to the metal right after, before “The Haunting (Somewhere In Time)“ is another absolute highlight, mid-paced, dramatic, dark, with huge melodies, this album promises to be a true killer! And KAMELOT won’t let off after that either, be it the dramatic up-tempo cracker “Soul Society“, the magnificent ballad „Abandoned“ or the nine-minute epos “Memento Mori”, all of them brilliant songs!

And the rest does not fall off either, even though the first and second listen might not necessarily underline this, but soon “The Black Halo“ unfolds its true greatness and shows that you can rely on this band. Not because they re-chew the same trusted formula, but challenging themselves to push their sound without betraying their sound. “The Black Halo“ without a doubt is the most varied album of the KAMELOT history, is it the best? I would say yes, even though “The Fourth Legacy” has the better rating, but that was six years ago…

Metal-Observer Review
Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005)

Kamelot:

Kamelot was founded in 1991 by guitarist Thom Youngblood and drummer/school mate Richard Warner but it took until August 1995 for their debut album, Eternity, to be released. Signing to Noise Records Germany in Spring 1994, fans and critics alike praised Kamelot as being one of the most promising newcomers in Metal. Their second album, Dominion, 1996, received even more attention, because it showed the variety of the band, spanning all the way from European metal to classical music and progressive. The fans and sales for Kamelot would grow over the year and the group was being touted as one the new leaders in Melodic Metal from the U.S.. Not resting on their laurels the group went back to work on their 3rd and most important release. But obstacles were ahead, Kamelot 1997, a year of major changes. After the success of Dominion, many tour opportunities came to Kamelot. Unfortunately, drummer Richard Warner and vocalist Mark Vanderbilt could not tour, and there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the two to ever tour. Kamelot's first goal was to find a new drummer. After one audition Casey Grillo was the man. Local music veteran at the age of 21, Casey was a perfect fit for the opening. After listening to between 75 and 100 audition tapes of vocalists the band was a standstill. A whole record had been written but no one worthy enough to grab the mic. Enter Norwegian born Roy Khan. Khan's former group, Conception, had split up the year before that was the genesis of the new Kamelot. Before he was taken on as a band member though he had to pass a final test, he had to skydive with the other members of Kamelot.

Apprehensive at first, he came through with flying colors. The Chemistry was perfect from the beginning and it is a great sign of what's to come from this union . New vocalist Roy Khan and drummer Casey Grillo were enlisted and the record "Siege Perilous" was now a reality. The record spawned great reviews from fans and critics led to the groups first tour of Europe in late 1998. Upon returning to there hometown of Tampa, Florida . The band decided to take some time off and write and relax. The journey for The Fourth Legacy would begin. This journey began in December 1998 after the Kamelot tour. Writing began in Tampa, Florida but after a month of work Thomas Youngblood decided to relocate to the mountains of Virginia to concentrate on songs get a different vibe for the record. After 3 months of ideas, Thomas traveled to the small village of Sorsgebyja, Norway in March 1999. Home of vocalist Khan. 3 weeks of isolation in the snowy village proved the songwriting team of Youngblood/Khan to be a new Force to reckon with. Now to find a producer, Sascha Paeth was first on the list. His work with Rhapsody and Angra called attention to Thom's wish list and a few phone calls later the deal was set. Final preproduction would need to done, where else but the home of Kamelot in Tampa Bay Florida. For a month the group worked out the kinks of the new songs with producer Sascha Paeth. Recording began in Wolfsburg Germany in August 1999 and continued til October. Choirs, real string sections and guest keyboardist Miro would round out the final songs to a beautiful blend. Mixing would be done over the next month and final mastering complete in November. The new record will set a new standard for Kamelot and the Melodic Metal genre.

Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005):

Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005)

Tracklist:

01. March Of Mephisto (5:29)
02. When The Lights Are Down (3:41)
03. The Haunting (Somewhere In Time) (5:40)
04. Soul Society (4:18)
05. Interlude I - Dei Gratia (0:57)
06. Abandoned (4:07)
07. This Pain (3:59)
08. Moonlight (5:10)
09. Interlude II - Un Assassinio Molto Silenzioso (0:41)
10. The Black Halo (3:43)
11. Nothing Ever Dies (4:46)
12. Memento Mori (8:54)
13. Interlude III - Midnight, Twelve Tolls For A New Day (1:21)
14. Serenade (4:33)
15. The Haunting (Somewhere In Time) (Radio edit) (3:42)
16. March Of Mephisto (Radio edit) (3:30)

Personnel:

Roy Khan – vocals
Thomas Youngblood – guitars
Glenn Barry – bass guitar
Casey Grillo – drums

Guest musicians:

Keyboards and orchestral arrangements – Miro
Additional guitars – Sascha Paeth
Keyboards solos on "March of Mephisto" and "When the Lights Are Down" – Jens Johansson
Mephisto character on "March of Mephisto" and "Memento Mori" – Shagrath
Cabaret singer on "Un Assassinio Molto Silenzioso" – Cinzia Rizzo
Marguerite character on "The Haunting" – Simone Simons
The Usher at the Theater and Mayor of Gatesville – Geoff Rudd
Helena character on "Memento Mori" and "Abandoned" – Mari Youngblood
Baby Alena on "Soul Society" – Annelise Youngblood (Thomas Youngblood's daughter)
D-bass on "Abandoned" – Andre Neygenfind
Oboe on "Memento Mori" – Wolfgang Dietrich
Rodenberg Symphony Orchestra
Kamelot Choir: Herbie Langhans, Amanda Somerville, Michael Rodenberg, Gerit Göbel, Thomas Rettke and Elisabeth Kjaernes

EAC extraction logfile from 20. November 2006, 23:35 for CD
Kamelot / The black halo

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Installed external ASPI interface


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Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005)


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