Welcome to the LOUDEST DOT COM ON THE PLANET!
KNAC.COM
LISTEN NOW!WATCH NOW! LOGIN JOIN
MAGAZINEON-AIRDOWNLOADSCHATBOARDSCONTESTSSTORE
Reviews

KAMELOT The Shadow Theory

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 @ 11:55 AM


- advertisement -
KAMELOT
The Shadow Theory

Napalm Records




To borrow from “The most interesting man in the world” of Dos Equis advert fame: “I don't always listen to power metal, but when I do, I listen to KAMELOT.” I have an admittedly limited appetite for pomp and/or cheese, but the long-running multinational quintet deliver both in modest enough quantities to satisfy, while also providing the sort of oomph many of their power/symphonic metal contemporaries do not – especially since Swedish singer Tommy Karevik signed on for 2012's Silverthorn after the departure of Norway's Roy Kahn. And it makes a big difference, at least to me.

The Shadow Theory is the Tampa-based band's 12th album, and third with Kaverik. And once again, it deftly straddles the fence between metallic thunder and heft on one side and theatricality, bluster and indulgence on the other. The album is built on a solid, and often quite heavy, foundation of songs that aren't especially extravagant at their core, despite the conceptual aspirations that have become the band's calling card.

Powered by founding guitarist Thomas Youngblood's meaty riffs and the driving rhythms of now-departed drummer Casey Grillo and bassist Sean Tibbets, tracks like “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)” and “MindFall Enemy” – both of which feature ONCE HUMAN frontwoman Lauren Hart providing a feral growl to counter Kaverick's crystalline cleans – “RavenLight” and “Kevlar Skin” pack an undeniable crunch and aren't prone to the typical power metal flights of instrumental fancy or iron-lunged vocal histrionics that I personally find grating. Only the monumental “The Proud The Broken” comes close, but its heaviosity – to borrow this time from Woody Allen – ultimately wins out. I'd rather have hooks, which KAMELOT certainly deliver here, and Kaverick's vocals, though clear, epic and sometimes almost elegant, seem almost understated when compared to his warblier/howlier counterparts.

The band's ostentatious side comes mostly via Oliver Palotai's keyboard flourishes and orchestral arrangements that grace each track, either as accents or more central ingredients, as when he trades off with Youngblood on “Kevlar Skin” and “RavenLight” offers an electro-pop sheen on the hulking “Amnesiac” or drapes “Burns To Embrace” in a wash of strings and synths. For the most part, his contributions are well incorporated, adding texture and drama without turning it all into so much fondue – “Vespertine (My Crimson Bride)” excepting – or seeming extraneous, save for the outro “Ministrium (Shadow Key)” that follows “The Proud The Broken”, which would have for made a genuinely grand finale on its own.

Where KAMELOT stumbles on The Shadow Theory is during the quieter moments, as on the power ballads “Static” and “In Twilight Hours” — which features a duet with BEYOND THE BLACK's Jennifer Haben — where the combination of melodrama and window-dressing becomes saccharine. And the children's chorus at the end of the otherwise bombastic “Burns To Embrace” is definitely a bit much, and certainly unnecessary. Better is “Stories Unheard”, where the classical touches pass largely unnoticed in the acoustic/metallic back and forth.

Still, these songs do provide something of respite from the ever-present dark tone on The Shadow Theory, which revolves around a theme that, according to the band's press materials, offers “a dystopian glimpse at the complexity of the human mind and its place in an oppressive society.” So all is not lost as far as they are concerned.

After nearly 30 years, KAMELOT could easily be forgiven for indulging in, well, indulgences. But after the sprawling, two-album “rock opera” Epica and The Black Halo of a dozen years ago, the band has dialed things back — and has been the better for it since then. The Shadow Theory is no exception. It hits the “power metal” spot without piling it on.

3.5 Out Of 5.0


Please log in to view RANTS

If you don't have a username, click here to create an account!

Username: 
Password: 

Message: 
 
 

 





 Recent Reviews
ALICE COOPER In Houston Photo Gallery
ICARUS WITCH Goodbye Cruel World
TARJA, STRATOVARIUS, SERPENTYNE In Cologne, Germany
CLUTCH, SEVENDUST, TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN In Portland, OR With Photos!
ACCEPT In Houston, TX With Photos!
U.D.O. Steelfactory
SKULL FIST Way Of The Road
SOULFLY Ritual
ANTHRAX State of Euphoria 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
FIFTH ANGEL The Third Secret
STEVE GRIMMETT'S GRIM REAPER In New Bedford, MA
ANAAL NATHRAKH A New Kind of Horror
PRIMAL FEAR Apocalypse
BEHEMOTH I Loved You At Your Darkest
DORO Forever Warriors, Forever United
SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS In Houston, TX Photo Gallery
BILLY MORRIS AND THE SUNSET STRIP Holdin’ All The Aces
VINCE NEIL In Houston, TX Photo Gallery
DEE SNIDER For The Love Of Metal
UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, STRIKER, HELION PRIME In Houston, TX W/Photos!
CLUTCH, SEVENDUST In Houston, TX
KING KOBRA Sweden Rock Live
DREAM CHILD Until Death Do We Meet Again
SCORPIONS, QUEENSRYCHE In Tampa, FL With Photos!
HUMBLE PIE Live At The Ottawa CityFolk Festival
BEHEMOTH Album Listening Party In Los Angeles For I Loved You At Your Darkest
THE DEAD DAISIES, HOOKERS 'N BLOW In Ottawa, Canada With Photos!
DRAGONLORD Dominion
STONE BROKEN Ain't Always Easy
BRANT BJORK Mankind Woman
KORPIKLAANI Kulkija
BRAINSTORM Midnight Ghost
SLEAZY WAY OUT, INSUFFICIENT FUNDS In Ottawa, Canada
DEEP PURPLE, JUDAS PRIEST In Jacksonville, FL W/Photos!
HELLOWEEN In Worcester, MA With Photos!
RED TIGER Evolution
ALTER BRIDGE Live At The Royal Albert Hall Featuring The Parrallax Orchestra
CLUTCH Book Of Bad Decisions
ANGRA In Winter Park, FL With Photos!
TALES FROM THE PORN H.M.M.V.
CARRY THE STORM i/E
PIG DESTROYER Head Cage
SAXON Strong Arm Of The Law Reissue
THE DEAD DAISIES In Houston, TX Photo Gallery
ALICE IN CHAINS, BUSH, THE CULT, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS In Ridgefield, WA W/Photos!
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES STill Cyco Punk After All These Years
OPERATION:MINDCRIME, TILL DEATH DO US PART In Portland, OR With Photos!
TNT XIII
DC4 Atomic Highway
CAL JAM '18 POP UP In Los Angeles With Photos!
SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, ANNTHRAX, TESTAMENT And NAPALM DEATH In Ridgefield, WA With Photos!
JIZZY PEARL OF LOVE/HATE All You Need Is Soul
NIGHT DEMON Live Darkness
RAVENSCROFT Rebel
NASHVILLE PUSSY Pleased To Eat You
QUIET RIOT In Houston Photo Gallery
WARRANT, STEELHEART In Houston Photo Gallery





HOME | MAGAZINE | ON-AIR | DOWNLOADS | CHAT | BOARDS | CONTESTS | STORE | HELP

©2018 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News