Losing a talented, respected, and loved band member can provide unsettling results or grand opportunities for the future. Many thought Dream Theater would stumble when Mike Portnoy departed. Instead they persevered and released another excellent album. Kamelot lost Roy Khan last year, but speculation to their undoing was largely unwarranted. They return with Seventh Wonder vocalist Tommy Karevik, and their tenth album, Silverthorn.
Karevik brings the same passionate, perhaps a bit more melodic, vocal style that his predecessor had; so the transition is seamless. Kamelot, of course, brings their ambitious and epic melodic progressive power metal once more.
Silverthorn, like most Kamelot albums, is based on a concept. Main composer Thomas Youngblood describes the story: “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 ..."
Concerning the music within, without using the words predictable or typical, which would be somewhere between trite and demeaning, Silverthorn is pure Kamelot. Songs like Ashes to Ashes, Sacrimony, and Falling Like the Fahrenheit display their effortless skill in merging heavy metal with power and prog metal. Then with that latter song making it grand and cinematic with the symphonic wrapper. Then this orchestration forms the singular core of the emotional anthem, Song for Jolee, one of the best songs to display Karevik's vocals. Another is the three part Prodigal Son at the end of the album, where his early vocals are simply haunting. Then after a fiery guitar solo erupts, Karevik returns and vocals are nearly spellbinding, sending chills down your spine. Believe me when I say, and I was a huge Roy Khan fan, Tommy Karevik is the right man for the microphone.
With new vocalist Tommy Karevik, Kamelot unleashes another epic, compelling and entertaining album of melodic progressive power metal in Silverthorn. Strongly recommended.