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.