KAMELOT – Silverthorn
Kamelot have held their very own, very special position in the world of rock and heavy music: their elaborate melodic metal has always opened itself in a remarkably clever way to like-minded styles, integrating progressive elements as well as cross-references to doom/gothic metal and classical music, which have allowed their songs to define their own genre. Two of their most successful releases in particular, namely the albums Karma (2001) and The Black Halo (2005), are prime examples of Kamelot’s multi-layered approach, intensity and outstanding musicality. Their latest offering, Silverthorn, sees the band raise this demanding standard even higher, because Silverthorn is a real masterpiece of grand gestures, gritty melodies and haunting atmospheres. In addition, the album confidently and proudly focuses on the band’s new singer: with his debut, new addition Tommy Karevik from Sweden has proved that he suits Kamelot perfectly in every respect. So should we be talking of a new era or even a new age in view of this new situation? No, we should simply announce that Silverthorn has Kamelot open a new exciting chapter in their long career, with Karevik as their strongest trump card. What a fanfare!
Silverthorn is one of the best Kamelot albums ever, not only thanks to their Swedish vocalist’s brilliant performance, but also thanks to the artistic development of all parties involved. “For an ambitious band like us, the only target can be to get better with every album and go for new horizons,” comments main composer Thomas Youngblood, adding: Youngblood is referring to producer Sascha Paeth (Avantasia, Edguy, Rhapsody), who highlights Tommy Karevik’s voice perfectly (Paeth: “Tommy is one of the best singers I’ve ever worked with”) while flawlessly capturing the band’s sonic cosmos.
The close compositional collaboration between Youngblood and keyboardist Oliver Palotai, which spawned the majority of new material, has contributed to an album which sees one important element mesh with the other, from the first note of the intro, ‘Manus Dei,’ to the last song, ‘Continuum.’ In between, Kamelot deliver an extravaganza of exciting ideas, mix prog and power metal on the driving ‘Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)’ and the subsequent ‘Ashes To Ashes,’ deliver anthemnic choruses on ‘Torn’ and ‘Falling Like The Fahrenheit’ and rely on the perfect interplay between Karevik and Palotai on the ballad ‘Song For Jolee’. The band was supported at the studio by guest musicians Elize Ryd, Eklipse, Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist) and Amanda Somerville, among others.
And last but by no means least, there’s the album’s compelling lyrical concept. Youngblood: “It’s the story of a young girl who dies in the arms of her two twin brothers, taking the three siblings’ big secret to her grave. The songs on Silverthorn talk about despair, a sense of guilt and the pursuit of truth. In this context, the silver thorn in the album title has a mysterious meaning, but it’s up to the listener to unveil this secret”.
So there’s a lot to be discovered, musically as well as lyrically. You have to listen to this album, whether you’re a Kamelot fan or generally a devotee of intelligent melodic metal, because the multi-layered songs and the album’s lyrical concept have entered a haunting liaison on Silverthorn.
Thomas Youngblood and drummer Richard Warner founded Kamelot in Tampa, Florida back in 1992. In 1994 the band signed a deal with Noise Records, and the release of the debut Eternity followed in August of the next year. The press praised the album as one of most promising debuts of all time. In 1996 the successor Dominion hit the stores, an opus that was even more diverse and varied than the debut. Then in 1997, drummer Warner as well as singer Mark Vanderbilt had to be replaced. Kamelot found more than just mere substitutes in Casey Grillo and former Conception singer Khan, who had already joined the band during the production of the third album, Siege Perilous. The new line-up undertook an extensive tour of Europe during the fall of the same year, only to return to the Gate Studio in Wolfsburg twelve months later to produce their fourth studio effort, The Fourth Legacy. The summer of 2000 brought the New Allegiance Tour through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Spain, during which the recordings for Kamelot’s first live album The Expedition were made. Only a few months later the band presented their fifth album entitled Karma, which took Khan, Youngblood, Grillo and Barry on yet another European tour. Epica arrived in 2003 and combined all the fortes of the previous productions with new ideas and majestic sounds, followed by another tour as headliners in Europe, Japan, Mexico and the US, as well many top festival appearances. The Black Halo added another exciting and epic chapter to the band’s brilliant history. The continuation of their Faustus adaptation about the battle between good and evil that began on the predecessor album, Epica, again combined Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s opus with the band’s own experiences and views. Kamelot’s video ‘The Haunting’ and ‘March of Mephisto’ became huge hits on Youtube and prompted the band to launch their own YouTube channel, aptly titled KamTV. KamTV’s initial launch hurled the band into YouTube’s top 10 music channels and #1 Metal Channel, transcending all genres. With the release of The Black Halo, Kamelot started on a headliner tour in Europe, North American, Japan and Brazil, with countless festivals around the globe. Following the hugely successful album, Kamelot released their first live DVD, called One Cold Winter’s Night, directed by the well known film company Revolver Films and world-renowned director, Patric Ullaeus. The DVD was heralded by the press and fans alike and set a new standard for DVDs in the genre. Subsequently, Kamelot presented themselves more sinister and soulful on Ghost Opera (2007) and Poetry For The Poisoned (2010), but have now returned to the melodic aspects of their multi-layered sound with their new vocalist Tommy Karevik and the album, Silverthorn. - kamelot.com