ALBUM REVIEW #1: KAMELOT - ETERNITY
Kamelot - Eternity
* Eternity (05:41)
* Black Tower (04:06)
* Call of the Sea (05:15)
* Proud Nomad (04:52)
* Red Sands (04:09)
* One of the Hunted (05:26)
* Fire Within (04:54)
* Warbird (05:22)
* What About Me (04:20)
* Etude Jongleur (00:50)
* The Gleeman (06:19)
As this is Kamelot's debut album, I was interested to hear Mark Vanderbilt's vocals and their early sound. It's hard to imagine these guys playing gigs at bars and clubs and opening for other bands, but they more than likely went through the process just like the rest of us.
The beginning reminds me a bit of something Blind Guardian would start out with - it has a kind of a video-game-set-in-a-medieval-setting sound to it. Given the fact that their name is derived from "Camelot", the mythical city of King Arthur, we shouldn't be surprised. The guitaring is as strong and catchy as ever, and Mark Vanderbilt's voice reminds me a lot of the 80's NWOBM like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc. As always, Youngblood's guitaring is not as aggressive as other's, where they shred up a storm. His playing has always been, in my opinion, very melodic, which is something that quite a few guitarists are beginning to go back to, as opposed to how fast you can shred like when thrash metal became big. The only thing I don't like about this song is that they don't go back to the first melody at the beginning at all in this song.
I actually like this song. Vanderbilt's vocals seem to fit this, with the strong feel to it, as opposed to the previous song. I actually think that this a song that Khan wouldn't be good at singing, because it just needs the powerful NWOBM vocals Vanderbilt offers. This also is one of those songs where they just try to get as heavy as they possibly can, and Youngblood actually shreds a bit! O: The song also gives me this mental image of the Dark Tower on the cover of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series (which I still need to read >_<), of something really big, massive, and powerful, kind of like the song.
CALL OF THE SEA
This song opens with the sound of the wind blowing, waves crashing, thunder rumbling in a cacophony of a storm, soon followed by the main riff. This is the other song on the album I really like. The ocean is a common theme in Kamelot's album, with songs like "The Sailorman's Hymn" and "Blucher". Then again, it's a common theme with Nightwish too, and other bands as well, I'm sure. ANYWAY, this song has a march-like tempo, which can get stuck in your head very easily. I doubt it would ever happen, but if Kamelot ever played this live with the line-up they have now, I think it would be very impressive.
Good, catchy riff. Vanderbilt's vocals seem kind of "meh" at first in this song, but the more you listen to it, the better it sounds. Although, I do have to admit that they could have extended the length in which he says "Proud Nomad of the past" instead of making him saying it so quickly, but oh well. At about 2:06 in, there's a good interlude/guitar solo.
Starts out quiet and then gets louder. If there's something I've learned from this album is that their stuff is much faster and guitar oriented than their later works. I really do like their earlier stuff, but I like their newer stuff as well. Both of them are Kamelot, so, you know. This song is certainly powerful, especially Youngblood and Barry's guitaring. There's also a surprising bridge with the guy who did the keyboards, which is kind of refreshing, since all the songs up to this one were very focused on the guitaring and vocals. Also a nice ending with the drummer as well!
ONE OF THE HUNTED
This one starts out with a man gasping for air, a horse neighing, the sound of horses' hooves, and wind. The guitar comes in soon after, and I just have to say this again, their earlier stuff reminds me SO MUCH of the NWOBM like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc. Just the way the music's put together. The drumming in this one is particularly more noticeable. And dare I say it, but there's some more shredding in this song! So, I guess we can say that even though Youngblood claims that he doesn't like shredding and likes to keep a melodic sound, he was guilty of doing some shredding back in the day. XD Vanderbilt's vocals are also very powerful in this song, as always.
This song definitely has an 80's metal sound to it. There's one thing I did notice, though, is that Khan has the ability to not only make his voice powerful, but angelic for the softer stuff, or if a song needs a softer edge to it. Vanderbilt can't do it. His voice is constantly powerful....and this song, in my personal opinion, needs a softer edge to it. Other than that, though, this is a pretty good song. Gets a bit faster with the keyboards being more prominent at the very end.
This one is a pretty good song - again very guitar oriented, in comparison to Kamelot's later works where they incorporate orchestral and more keyboarding and such. This song, for some strange reason, is very easy to get lost into. I'm not even entirely sure why. It just is. Just the way it sounds, I guess.
WHAT ABOUT ME
This song is a ballad, with acoustic guitaring and keyboarding. A nice break from the fast-paced intensity of the previous songs. This song is probably the most heartfelt out of all of them, I think, personally. It touches you in a way that the other songs don't....but most ballads generally do. XD And I'm also pleased because it turns out Vanderbilt can actually pull a ballad off. You can kind of hear the picking in this song, but you generally can when it comes to classic/acoustic guitars. All in all, a good song.
This song is only fifty seconds, but it's beautiful. It gives the keyboards a chance to shine and includes a flute and violin as well as some classic/acoustic guitaring by our own Youngblood.
Strong drumming right off the bat. That was the first thing I noticed about this song. This is yet another medieval-themed song. There's more keyboarding in this song than the others, and Vanderbilt's vocals are at their best in this album in this song, I personally think. This song reminds me a bit of Blind Guardian, seeing as that they do songs about bards and such quite a bit. This song is also the longest on the album, and it definitely makes up for the absence of the keyboards and the soft-sounding drums on the rest of the songs. There's also a good guitar solo (as always), and it takes up a pretty good portion of the song. The song itself is probably my third favorite off of this album, to be honest. The ending builds nicely, and ends on a fairly good note, although it's lacking a bit of something. Not entirely sure what...closure, perhaps? I have no clue.
And here's a couple of sampler tracks:
Kamelot - Black Tower
Kamelot - Call of the Sea
Tell me what you think! Hopefully these will be coming on some sort of weekly basis and will be helpful to you. :3