Released by KFM/KMG Recordings
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Genre: Power/Progressive Metal
Thomas Youngblood: Guitars, Backing vocals
Roy Khan: Lead vocals
Sean Tibbetts: Bass guitar
Casey Grillo: Drums
Oliver Palotai: Keyboards
01. The Great Pandemonium [feat. Björn “Speed” Strid]
02. If Tomorrow Came
03. Dear Editor
04. The Zodiac [feat. Jon Oliva]
05. Hunter’s Season
06. House On A Hill [feat. Simone Simons]
08. My Train Of Thoughts
09. Seal Of Woven Years
10. Poetry for the Poisoned Part I – Incubus
11. Poetry for the Poisoned Part II – So Long
12. Poetry for the Poisoned Part III – All Is Over
13. Poetry for the Poisoned Part IV – Dissection
14. Once Upon a Time
Sometimes I have to admit that the amount of promo material that comes across my desk is overwhelming and sorting out which music to review can get quite challenging. Particularly because the style and quality of the music varies so much from band to band that you never know what you’re going to get upon a first listen. Well this leads me to adhere to something that’s never in question, and that is the quality of any Kamelot record. They have been a band that I have followed religiously since their “Karma” days which then lead me to check out Roy Khan’s previous band, the enigmatic sounds of “Conception”. There was always something I felt that Kamelot had that would eventually take them to stardom, and my guess was right. First you have an extremely talented vocalist in Khan, which is trained in classical opera, his voices is uncanny you can have the man singing for a pop band and it would still bare your attention, two are the sounds and melodies of Thomas Youngblood on guitars, some may argue that the rhythm and symphonic arrangements we’re getting a bit repetitive at one point, but the truth is that upon listening to the new record any doubts are erased as the boys raised the bar on the creative level once more and big credit goes to Youngblood for developing the guitar work arrangements and setting a nice mood with these darker and more modern progressive sounds.
The band has always had an amazing stage presence and with their theatrical and mythical displays as well as the dark literature topics in their music, they have created in the past a world of mysticism and mystique that has fans coming back for more. With all those factors in play we take a spin into the world of “Poetry For The Poisoned”.
A great opening track “The Great Pandemonium” kicks things right away with a classic Kamelot sound retro to the “Karma” days but also hearing a little of the keyboard reminiscent of “The March Of Mephisto”, the band has always featured some great opening tracks and this one is no different. I was excited when I heard the great John Oliva was featured on a track on the upcoming record and listening to his contribution on “The Zodiac” a truly creepy and dark vibe manages to set an uneasy mood of sorts, but the evil side of the Zodiac is played by Oliva perfect with his amazing dark and raspy voice vs Khan’s more mellowed duet part. I have always thought one underrated part of the band was the always explosive drumming of Casey Grillo, in “Hunter’s Season” he does an amazing job comparable in to similar battery assault in past classics like “Edge Of Paradise” and “Memento Mori”, plus it features an aggressive guitar solo by Thomas making this track a prime cut indeed.
It wouldn’t be a complete Kamelot record without a melancholy melodic power ballad, well here we have “House On A Hill” which features the familiar guest vocals of Epica singer Simone Simmons. One track that has grown on me was “My Train of Thoughts” which at first seemed generic and bland, but the more I listen to it I like more, and no it does not sound like anything out of a Dream Theater album. One of the most driven and punchier tracks on the record has to be “Seal Of Woven Years” with an epic symphonic entrance, carrying it’s stranglehold sounds and captivating the audiences completely. To know Kamelot’s sounds is to understand some of the trilogy parts they have featured in their past recordings, of course you have the Elizabeth trilogy, or the “Epica” trifecta which introduced different sides to the characters in the music which was based around the famous “Faust” play. Now we have the “Poetry For The Poisoned” which is split into 4 parts as it stands and it reaches an 9 minute epic which delivers one of the bands best effort to date, I can’t wait to hear this live in concert as the arrangements are pretty astonishing and captivating.
Fans rejoice as the new Kamelot is another strong piece of unique metal and unique metal it is as the band has reached a sorta of echelon moment in time where they can play whatever they like and still sound good, because truth be told that there are not many bands out there with such a sound that will resonate in your ears and feel so aesthetically pleasing as their music does. They have a precise perception on what type of Metal they like to play and they stick to their guns and keep on pushing forward creatively to please more of their already huge fan base. From the variance in tracks, to the similar melodies and symphonic arrangements they are famously known for, they proclaim and demand your attention with every track as they all have something to offer. Fans of “Epica” will probably be ecstatic as some of the tracks here bring flashes of that record. In the end all you could is to try to evolve musically without alienating the fans, some bands are more successful then others, Kamelot can do no wrong it seems as they take yet another turn and release a record that will please fans of their traditional sound as well as newcomers who wish to be taken by the addictive poisoned that runs through the band’s veins.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 9/10