Kamelot’s eleventh album, ‘Haven’, is no more and no less than a Kamelot album. After what seems a smooth transition from Roy Khan to Tommy Karevik, Kamelot have established their ground with a strong foundation. Roy Khan will obviously be missed by many; however, Karevik’s second contribution to this team will leave Kamelot fans assured that the band and, most importantly, the sound will remain. 'Haven' starts with the famous melancholic Kamelot signature sound – ‘Fallen Star’ leads us to the band’s comfort zone, which tends to be shown in various songs in this album (‘My Therapy’ , ‘End of Innocence’, ‘Beautiful Apocalypse’ and ‘Veil of Elysium’). Simple yet effective melodies created by the duo Oliver Palotai and Thomas Youngblood, accompanied by Casey’s drums and concluded with Tommy’s steady beautiful voice.
As with ‘Silverthorn’, ‘Haven’ also presents us with three big collaborations: Charlotte Wessels, Troy Donockley and Alissa White-Gluz. Charlotte Wessels’ strengths are used well on one of the two ballads and she does it beautifully - not as touching as ‘Song For Jolee’ but still effective. Much more effective is undoubtedly ‘Here’s to the Fall’. I thought I was listening to Khan for a moment, but then the less theatrical and more emotional side showed up and turned this song in one of my absolute favorites on this eleventh opus.
Kamelot were never only about the cute romantic songs and, thankfully, we have a few demonstrations of what’s drawn so many to this band – ‘Citizen Zero’ with its guitar twists and tricks gives us a taste of the old tunes such as ‘March of Mephisto’ and ‘Ghost Opera’. The theatricality is definitely still there, even without Roy Khan. It’s far more subtle and, in my opinion, much more attractive to listen to. The edge is also another plus on this album. Another smart move was to call Alissa White-Gluz, formerly of The Agonist and current Arch Enemy frontwoman. Using her amazing potential to sing both clean vocals and owner of one of the most versatile growls around, she is able to perfectly fit Karevik’s soft side. Alissa complements the melody and gives us the power that sometimes Kamelot could really use, being that with her growl or with her heartfelt clean vocals. ‘Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)’ and ‘Revolution’ are definitely what makes this album more than average.
We can only hope that the comfort of a massively accepted new vocalist does not turn Kamelot into one of the many bands that don’t think they have to try and change now and then, only because the formula works. If you’re against change, this is the perfect album, but if you believe that bigger things can be achieved and are eager to sentence that, listen to it carefully.
Review by Salomé Sequeira
1st May 2015
1) Fallen Star; 2) Insomnia
3) Citizen Zero; 4) Veil of Elysium
5) Under Grey Skies
6) My Therapy
8) End of Innocence
9) Beatiful Apocalypse
10) Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
11) Here's to the Fall
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"After what seems a smooth transition from Roy Khan to Tommy Karevik, Kamelot have established their ground with a strong foundation."