Kamelot – The Black Halo Classic Review

Acknowledging the album's impact on artistic inspiration, I emphasized its role in stimulating creativity and motivation. The piece became a soundtrack for contemplating eternal philosophical problems while sipping good...

Released by: SPV/Steamhammer

Release Date: March 15, 2005

Genre: Symphonic/Power Metal

Links: https://kamelot.com/

 

Line Up:

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

 

Tracklist:

1. March of Mephisto (5:29)
2. When the Lights Are Down (3:41)
3. The Haunting (Somewhere in Time) (5:48)
4. Soul Society (4:17)
5. Interlude I: Dei Gratia (0:57)
6. Abandoned (4:07)
7. This Pain (3:59)
8. Moonlight (5:10)
9. Interlude II: Un Assassinio Molto Silenzioso (0:40)
10. The Black Halo (3:43)
11. Nothing Ever Dies (4:45)
12. Memento Mori (8:54)
13. Interlude III: Midnight – Twelve Tolls for a New Day (1:21)
14. Serenade (4:32)

 

 

The evening carried a sense of melancholy as I found myself alone at home, with the Fall winds howling outside as I pondered over a cup of tea, my focus shifted to my assortment of music CDs, prompting reflections on the transformation of music consumption from tangible albums to digital formats.

Amidst the CDs, “The Black Halo” by Kamelot took center stage, a masterpiece in my eyes. I refrained from delving into its history, focusing instead on its standalone brilliance. The album, a sequel to “Epica,” skillfully conveyed a Faustian drama set in the early 20th century solely through music, showcasing the band’s mastery.

Examining the opening track, “The March Of Mephisto,” I highlighted its rhythmic, melodic, and mysterious qualities, transporting listeners to a parallel dimension where forces of good and evil manipulate human minds. The song, with superb arrangements and captivating sections, set the stage for a profound musical journey.

“Stop— I think I’m falling into cliches again, describing song after song. No, this won’t do— such a description suits a more trivial album; undoubtedly, The Black Halo deserves something more. Is it the unstoppable celebration of fireworks that is ‘When The Lights Are Down’? Or the misty and alluring half-moon from the masterpiece ‘Moonlight’? Or the lightness and hope for something better in ‘Nothing Ever Dies’? I don’t know—speaking of the images that The Black Halo evokes in me, first and foremost, I have to mention winter—snowy and severe, when biting, crunching frost envelops small towns and sprawling metropolises, and people walk the streets in haste, warming themselves with hot coffee and bitter liqueurs. Another coincidence: the album’s action actually unfolds around New Year’s, in that transitional moment when each of us bids farewell to our old life and is reborn into something new. I also envision a miniature European town with a rich town hall and a smooth, well-kept town square with a tall bell tower, where the album’s protagonist wanders alone, humming the tender lyrics of the song ‘Abandoned.’ An ancient library, hiding thousands of secrets, including a passage to the voluminous basement, intended for meetings of a mysterious society called Soul Society. A ghostly breeze blowing through us, whispering tender words about long-lost love and comforting us, saying that life goes on and we need to live it worthily, without regretting ourselves.

Well, perhaps you understand— the album is primarily interesting for what it evokes in the listener’s mind, thousands of images and associations that few albums achieve. However, it can also be said that it induces a special mood. When you want to collapse in an armchair, holding a glass of good beverage, and contemplate eternal philosophical problems that have been plaguing the human mind and soul for thousands of years. Does immortal love exist? Is the meaning of life in knowledge, or are we simply born to die? Is there a God or Devil, and are they not the same entity? I don’t know about you, but personally, when working on my artistic creations, I play this album in the background, as its philosophical and nostalgic mood stimulates my inspiration and hidden talent. What else is the purpose of music if not to inspire and motivate us? To allow us to create and reveal ourselves? Memento Mori.

Describing the album’s evocative nature, I associated it with winter scenes and envisioned a European town where the protagonist wanders alone. The album’s philosophical and nostalgic mood became a backdrop for contemplation, prompting questions about immortal love, the meaning of life, and the existence of God and Devil.

Acknowledging the album’s impact on artistic inspiration, I emphasized its role in stimulating creativity and motivation. The piece became a soundtrack for contemplating eternal philosophical problems while sipping good whiskey, urging listeners to live life without regrets.

Transitioning to the style of “The Black Halo,” I noted Kamelot’s evolution from a gloomy sound to symphonic metal, reaching its peak in this album. The composition featured powerful guitar riffs, rhythmic percussion, virtuoso bass, atmospheric keyboards, and vocals that left nothing to be desired. Despite a minor critique of the closing song “Serenade” appearing somewhat inferior compared to other tracks, the overall cohesion and quality of the album remained exceptional.

In conclusion, I urged music lovers to listen to albums in their entirety to fully grasp the intentions of the authors. “The Black Halo” was lauded as a deep and atmospheric masterpiece, permeating the depths of the mind and creating romantic and nostalgic images. Described as perfect in every aspect—composition, structure, melody, lyrics, and vocals—the album was deemed a must-listen for anyone claiming to appreciate quality symphonic metal.

 

Score: 10/10

Reviewed by: Shadow Editor

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