Kamelot – Karma

      As The Fourth Legacy, Kamelot’s fifth studio release – Karma, continued the trek into a realm of music that sounded majestic; from the symphonic sounds and music, to the lyrics; Karma is loaded with positive energy even when trying hard to not be.

     The album leadoff, Regalis Apertura, written by co-producer, Miro, and played by him using the keyboard, sums the album up before even hearing the whole album. It begins like a Hollywood epic blockbuster before moving into a sound you could imagine hearing in a castle bazar while a juggler walks backwards in front of you trying their damnedest to entertain you out of a few coins. Towards the end the sound gets darker before trailing of into stark oblivion. Yes, the album is like this. What is amazing is Miro did all this in less than two minutes. 

     I don’t know whether to deem this release introspective or speculative because the lyrics can seem dark and moody with Kahn‘s voice, yet they can also seem uplifting as well. It is a very tempered album and one can hope that Sascha Paeth was trying for this and it is not just a brilliant mistake. If it is a sound stumbled upon, the band and producers kept it for the release after Karma, Epica.
     Musically, Karma is a Metal/PowerMetal release with odd, almost unnoticable changing guitar rhythm (just listen to the playing!) and double bass kicking drums that gallop. Yes, there is some Iron Maiden influence here, however, Thomas Youngblood is the type of guitarist who plays for the sake of his music and does not tend to over or underdo his leads and fills – they are a part of the song and not the only thing you have been waiting to hear.
     Speaking of odd rhythm, the song Karma sounds as if a less accomplished vocalist would have considered it a nightmare to figure out the best way to perform it.

     Kamelot, the band, sounds sterile in the studio. Live, the songs shine bright with slightly different interpretations than what is given from the studio. I don’t mean the studion cuts are less than those performed by the band on stage, I have wondered though, if the band works the songs even after recording them to get the exact sound they were truly striving for.
     Unknown as this album may be, one listen to Karma will tell you why the band still plays a few of the songs live to this day. Forever is crowd-pleaser that audiences love to sing to. Karma (the song) is favored by the band and the short, but sweet, jazz vocal style in the middle comes across well. Elizabeth (about Countess Bathory) played live shows just how well Roy Khan can sing in whatever genre you can think of.  

Track listing for Karma:
01: Regalis Apertura
02: Forever
03: Wings Of Despair
04: The Spell
05: Don’t You Cry
06: Karma
07: The Light I Shine On You
08: Temples Of Gold
09: Across The Highlands
10: Elizabeth I: Mirror, Mirror
11: Elizabeth II: Requiem For The Innocent
12: Elizabeth III: Fall From Grace
13: Ne Pleure Pas*
14: Once And Future King**

     You know, I can’t think of any one song on Karma that I like less than the other. There are two mellow songs and Kahn’s vocal delivery on both is exquisite. Yeah… Karma is a very great album indeed.

* Is the song Don’t You Cry sang in the French language. It is on the U.S. release of Karma.

** Japanese bonus track.

Most of Kamelots bonus tracks can be found on the compilation Myth’s And Legends Of Kamelot.

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