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Kamelot: The Shadow Theory
Kamelot - The Shadow Theory Music Review

Kamelot: The Shadow Theory

Melodic/Symphonic/Power Metal
5.0/5.0

Few bands can boast a career as consistent and illustrious as Kamelot. Over 27 years, the band has delivered 12 albums of compelling and entertaining progressive power metal. Additionally they've toured consistently in support of them to delight of fans around the world. Kamelot is indeed worthy of legendary status. They arrive with their latest, and twelfth, studio album, The Shadow Theory. As often as it is with Kamelot, the album is conceptual in nature. Rather than give you my explanation, here's the summary from press material. "Deeply intrigued by analytical psychology, Kamelot spent the past year engineering a groundbreaking album leaning on three pillars: The Shadow Empire (The global mind), The Shadow Key (The Resistance) and The Shadow Wall (The veil that blinds us from the truth), A dystopian glimpse at the complexity of the human mind and its place in an oppressive society - an obvious parallel to all of us, in the here and now." Whoa. That's some heady stuff.

Kamelot Band Photo

Kamelot

After this, musically, Kamelot needs no introduction. The Shadow Theory is quintessential Kamelot: epic and engaging, melodic and symphonic, progressive power metal. Essentially, if you've liked anything that Kamelot has done in the past, stop reading my ramblings and buy the album forthwith. You will not be disappointed.

But if you want to stick around, here's a bit more detail about The Shadow Theory. Everything you love about Kamelot's music is here. Harmonious guitar riffs and sizzling solos come from founder and guitarist Thomas Youngblood. The song arrangements are swollen with uber-catchy harmony and melody, also from the guitar lines, but also from Tommy Karevik's dramatic voice and vocal arrangements. (As an aside, Karevik is much better heard within this album than the previous Haven.) Then the songs are filled with crafty and infectious melodies and refrains, and then driven by the AOR accessibility of rock groove from the potent rhythm section. All these things are carefully wrapped in synth orchestration for a lush and lavish cinematic feel. But you knew all that, right?

How about a few song highlights then? After a lush symphonic instrumental opening, let the equally symphonic power metal possess you with Phantom Divine. The rush of power metal heaviness returns also within Kevlar Skin, which features both key and guitar solos. Burns To Embrace offers more bombastic power while mixing the pacing, offering a tune turning on the melodic vocal arrangement, and ending with choral children's choir. The soft symphonic ballad Twilight Hours features Karevik in duet with Beyond The Black's Jennifer Haben. A sweet song. Another female voice appears within MindFall Remedy, where Once Human vocalist Lauren Hart lends some moderate death vocals to the arrangement. If I'm not mistaken Karevik may be giving death vocals a go within The Proud And The Broken. Suffice to say, all the songs are terrific, but what else would you expect from Kamelot?

By way of conclusion, I repeat myself. The Shadow Theory is quintessential Kamelot: epic and engaging, melodic and symphonic, progressive power metal. Easily recommended. Get it.



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The Bottom Line

The Shadow Theory is quintessential Kamelot: epic and engaging, melodic and symphonic, progressive power metal. Easily recommended. Get it.

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