Kamelot - Haven review



Reviewer:
8.0

360 users:
7.96
Band: Kamelot
Album: Haven
Release date: May 2015


01. Fallen Star
02. Insomnia
03. Citizen Zero
04. Veil Of Elysium
05. Under Grey Skies [Feat. Charlotte Wessels & Troy Donockley]
06. My Therapy
07. Ecclesia
08. End Of Innocence
09. Beautiful Apocalypse [Feat. Charlotte Wessels]
10. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy) [Feat. Alissa White-Gluz]
11. Here's To The Fall
12. Revolution [Feat. Alissa White-Gluz]
13. Haven


Roy Khan is back!

That's what I thought anyway upon hearing the first notes of Haven. I actually double-checked the promo information from the label just to make sure after I got home. The point being, Tommy Karevik does a really admirable job in the vocal department and sounds just like his predecessor 95% of the time, and that's a blessing as well as a curse.

It's a blessing because as I listened to the album, the thought "I wonder how would the album sound like if Roy was still with the band?" never came across my mind. Naturally, the curse is that it really puts the rest of the band and the actual music into the spotlight with that vocalist-change issue is no longer a distraction. Obviously, the band members are all accomplished musicians, so we can't expect them to forget how to play their instruments, and Sasha Paeth didn't lose his production chops. In fact, the performance is top notch as usual (which includes Tommy), and the synergy between Sasha and Kamelot remains strong as ever. What remains is the song-writing, which is arguably one of the hardest aspects to nail for any album.

For fans of the band, most would likely be happy to hear that the formula for each Kamelot album is mostly unchanged, while the symphonic parts in conjunction with the drumming sounds more ominous and even more cinematic at times. There are no compromises made in terms of heaviness and their trademark dark velvet hues, which is always a positive in my book, and perhaps it's more of a case of Tommy Karevik being more comfortable with the band rather than song-writing, the songs and/or the vocal performance feels more emotional. Each and every song is more solid and engaging compared to past albums where quite a few songs just seem to completely fly over my head.

But… There's always a "but," right? This album really lacks that killer song. Sure, Alissa White-Gluz makes a return, while Troy Donockley of Nightwish and Delain's Charlotte Wessels are also featured, and despite the increased level of consistency for the rest of the album, I can't find the signature tracks like I can from the previous albums, such as "Ghost Opera" (or "Rule The World") in Ghost Opera and "Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)" in Silverthorn etc. Heck, even Poetry For The Poisoned had "The Great Pandemonium"!

To his credit, Thomas Youngblood did an admirable job in putting Haven together, and while the overall quality of the album is higher, the lack of that - dare I use the term - "hit song" has negatively affected my impression of the album as it gives me less of a go-to reason to give the album a spin, especially when the band has such an impressive back catalogue to compare against. Nonetheless, for those who have been yearning for new material from the band or are still seeking their dosage of good power metal in 2015 will find quite a lot to like here.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 03.05.2015 by Ag Fox loves listening to music but is far from being a prolific writer. This corner just shows how territorial he is.

Guest review by
Kais
Rating:
6.8
Kamelot, a band responsible for many great hits in the power/symphonic metal scene, have recently issued their second full-length studio album, Haven, featuring their new frontman Tommy Karevik. The band stated this album is a throwback attempt, back to The Black Halo era, which brings their recent rather controversial songwriting knack to the test.

Read more ››
published 11.06.2015 | Comments (8)


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 53   Visited by: 625 users
04.05.2015 - 04:17
Teravolt_Danny
Written by Bad English on 04.05.2015 at 02:57

Written by Nihil Aeternum on 04.05.2015 at 02:30



I am so sure that Tommy Karevik would love to hang out with you because you are so cool, but you will get all the "chicks" and he will be left out in the cold. You ruin your reputation with posts like this, Bad English. Over and out.


I did not say hair is anything to do
and no, I don't think so... IMO band needs different vocalist totally diferent


Roy Khan had short, hair, too.

And a COUNTLESS number of metal musicians in all sorts of genres (even death metal and black metal) have short hair or shaved heads. Is long hair the stereotype? Yes. But it's not nearly as much the norm as you seem to think it is.

Also, Tommy is a good looking guy who looks pretty ripped. I'm sure he does just fine getting the ladies.
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I lift weights and listen to metal
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04.05.2015 - 05:19
mikeprado30
Some opinions from this thread makes me feel the worst about the "metalhead" community. Give me more reasons to not call myself a "metalhead" by so many closed-minded thoughts about music...
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BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
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04.05.2015 - 11:48
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 04.05.2015 at 04:17


Roy Khan had short, hair, too.

And a COUNTLESS number of metal musicians in all sorts of genres (even death metal and black metal) have short hair or shaved heads. Is long hair the stereotype? Yes. But it's not nearly as much the norm as you seem to think it is.

Also, Tommy is a good looking guy who looks pretty ripped. I'm sure he does just fine getting the ladies.


fuck sake learn to read, I did not said there are something to do whit hair , use more forums you will know what I mean
old singer was joke as well IMO , but this band singer and all image is like band is bankers not metal band
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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04.05.2015 - 15:04
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
Written by Etaín on 03.05.2015 at 11:54

Poor Khan .. I know Karevik has a similar sound to his voice, but to not be able to hear one from the other is quite an offence imo

From what ive heard of this so far it sounds exaclty as the previous one, completely uninspired and generic. Everything they've thrown into the world since '99 has been so very good. These two last releases just make me kinda sad.

Yeah, a lot of the new power metal albums seem to be like this. Whenever i look at my all time favourite Power Metal albums, most of them fall in the 1995-2005 range. Obviously there are heaps before and a few after, but that decade was great.
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04.05.2015 - 15:16
nefredil
For me, the whole album is just plain average, with the exception of Liar Liar song, which is good
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First rule of making alliance with the Devil, is... Don't do it!
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04.05.2015 - 15:26
Netzach
Poor Kamelot. They made the best symphonic/power album of all time with Epica and haven't been close to topping it since. Stars were properly aligned...
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04.05.2015 - 19:07
Oracles
Written by Bad English on 03.05.2015 at 12:40

Never liked this band, IMO its US version about euro flower metal and one of rare cases where short haired singer and all about this band looks lame, like hipster poser... like I said hair is nothing to do whit metal , but singer looks like some banker ... something don't work in this band .. maybe they should as Micheal Kiske .. same time in last years start hate Alise White Gluz ..and AE (vegans are healthy they say they eat so healthy, how came she is little fat? ) ... that video or song I heard because ms news, well it was good, but its band image what scares me away


If you honestly care about what singer and group looks like, go to Screamo or Disney Radio...there you get all the sellouts who care more about how they are looked than what music they play. Or go into the Visual Kei section, some of them are really good bands, but dress in the most exposed craziness you can wear.

Now I am totally not a fan of those last two Kamelot albums, just too much predictability in the songs....

Beginning: Guitar riff, but ends quietly
First verse: Is spoken, no music (lyrics normally talk about a "problem")
After First verse: The music comes in.
Second verse: Sung, with the music.
Chorus: Played
Guitar Riff from the Beginning
Third verse: Sung
Bridge: Like a ten second bridge
Chorus: Played
Solo: Played
Ending Chorus: Played

Just way too easy to know the song, which losses its appeal. I am not saying you need to go full blown technical here, but damn sort of switch up the makings of the songs. Two consecutive albums which the song structure is very basic and Kamelot-esque.
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04.05.2015 - 21:26
Teravolt_Danny
Written by Dark Cornatus on 04.05.2015 at 15:04

Written by Etaín on 03.05.2015 at 11:54

Poor Khan .. I know Karevik has a similar sound to his voice, but to not be able to hear one from the other is quite an offence imo

From what ive heard of this so far it sounds exaclty as the previous one, completely uninspired and generic. Everything they've thrown into the world since '99 has been so very good. These two last releases just make me kinda sad.

Yeah, a lot of the new power metal albums seem to be like this. Whenever i look at my all time favourite Power Metal albums, most of them fall in the 1995-2005 range. Obviously there are heaps before and a few after, but that decade was great.


The problem is that so many power metal bands are now going for the huge symphonic/bombastic/epic sound. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my symphonic metal... but songwriting and catchiness in power metal needs to come first... too many bands seem more focused on trying to make their albums sound like a movie soundtrack.
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I lift weights and listen to metal
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05.05.2015 - 04:20
Nicko's Nose
Great review.

Holy shit this Bad English guy... Wow...
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05.05.2015 - 05:21
Teravolt_Danny
Written by Nicko's Nose on 05.05.2015 at 04:20

Great review.

Holy shit this Bad English guy... Wow...


As I said earlier, his posts seem to be getting worse with each passing month. You used to be able to just roll your eyes at them, but nowadays they are just unbearably foolish.
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I lift weights and listen to metal
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05.05.2015 - 20:40
Fisheth
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 04.05.2015 at 21:26

Written by Dark Cornatus on 04.05.2015 at 15:04

Written by Etaín on 03.05.2015 at 11:54

Poor Khan .. I know Karevik has a similar sound to his voice, but to not be able to hear one from the other is quite an offence imo

From what ive heard of this so far it sounds exaclty as the previous one, completely uninspired and generic. Everything they've thrown into the world since '99 has been so very good. These two last releases just make me kinda sad.

Yeah, a lot of the new power metal albums seem to be like this. Whenever i look at my all time favourite Power Metal albums, most of them fall in the 1995-2005 range. Obviously there are heaps before and a few after, but that decade was great.


The problem is that so many power metal bands are now going for the huge symphonic/bombastic/epic sound. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my symphonic metal... but songwriting and catchiness in power metal needs to come first... too many bands seem more focused on trying to make their albums sound like a movie soundtrack.


Songwriting coming first is something a lot of bands don't seem to have unfortunately. Not just in Power Metal.
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05.05.2015 - 20:48
=maD.Doc:.
Melodeath Master
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 05.05.2015 at 05:21

Written by Nicko's Nose on 05.05.2015 at 04:20

Great review.

Holy shit this Bad English guy... Wow...


As I said earlier, his posts seem to be getting worse with each passing month. You used to be able to just roll your eyes at them, but nowadays they are just unbearably foolish.


I can agree with this, I was here when Bad English first turned up, and yeah, you were just able to roll your eyes at his comments, but sadly, it looks like he follows the more generic part of the "metal community" in spreading silly comments about how something is metal and not, instead of focusing on the good, and also, the big diversity in the community, each to his own.
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05.05.2015 - 23:49
Nihil Aeternum
Excellent review. It's a good album, but not a great album. Saying this, I do not want to compare it to their back catalogue, which would not be fair, as every creative person knows. Einstein was also not able to find a new breakthrough every 3 years. Nevertheless he was a genius.
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06.05.2015 - 00:18
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 04.05.2015 at 21:26

Written by Dark Cornatus on 04.05.2015 at 15:04

Written by Etaín on 03.05.2015 at 11:54

Poor Khan .. I know Karevik has a similar sound to his voice, but to not be able to hear one from the other is quite an offence imo

From what ive heard of this so far it sounds exaclty as the previous one, completely uninspired and generic. Everything they've thrown into the world since '99 has been so very good. These two last releases just make me kinda sad.

Yeah, a lot of the new power metal albums seem to be like this. Whenever i look at my all time favourite Power Metal albums, most of them fall in the 1995-2005 range. Obviously there are heaps before and a few after, but that decade was great.


The problem is that so many power metal bands are now going for the huge symphonic/bombastic/epic sound. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my symphonic metal... but songwriting and catchiness in power metal needs to come first... too many bands seem more focused on trying to make their albums sound like a movie soundtrack.

Pretty much spot on really. I am soooo over orchestrated metal albums. They were a great thing in the past, but give it a break and leave it to bands who can do it well. Think back to the great albums... it was usually just a Keyboard for backing Symphonics and maybe a Violin or Woodwind in the background from time to time.
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06.05.2015 - 22:18
musclassia
I'm surprised by the primary complaint being a lack of killer song - I think one song easily stands out, namely Liar Liar. It's the only song during my first listen that raised me out of my semi-interested stupor and made me truly enjoy what was going on. The whole album, I think my opinion has the potential to improve with further listens, there are some moments that stood out, and the two songs initially released seemed to be more interesting in the whole package. Generally though, I did find it quite a dull album for notable stretches. Whether it beats Silverthorn I'm not quite decided yet, I need to give it more time. As far as the question "what PM album in 2015 beats it", it hasn't really been a particularly strong year, or decade, for the genre, so I guess it's a question of whether it beats out Blind Guardian and Judicator. However, revisiting The Heart Of The Matter from last year caused a reappraisal in what modern PM can aim to accomplish, and I think this album, alongside most-all other PM bands and albums from the last few years, can all aim to do better.
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07.05.2015 - 00:09
Carrion Misery
I'm not sure yet. The vocal range, cadence and pace are virtually the same on the entire album. A song will start of at a different pace, and I'm like, Ok! here we go, then it fuckin drops back down or goes up to that regular pace. It's kind of boring, honestly. Not to mention a little whiny at times, and others a total Disney ballad you could sing "A Whole New World" to. I hate to say that because Tommy is such a great singer and at times he does sound like Khan. The whole band is sharp, and it's obvious a lot of effort went into every corner of the album; the string arrangements, choir, song structure--so much passion is present. My favorite songs are Insomnia, Veil of Elysium, and Liar Liar. These songs capture what I remember Kamelot sounded like. Revolution is pretty good too. The rest of the album reminds me of Seventh Wonder and how linear their music is--which doesn't satiate any musical hunger for me at this time.

Certainly people will complain if they change too much, people will complain if it stays the same, but I can say I'm ALWAYS going to be happy when bands I like continue to honor their signature sound.
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— Carrion Misery
www.mournspire.com | Two-Man Death Doom Project
Full album streaming
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08.05.2015 - 16:43
Stunning Cactus
Fallen Star and Veil of Elysium seem to have that Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife) formula if you ask me. Definitely a step up from Silverthorn.
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"I always knew metal would live on. I was right."
~Me, 2013
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08.05.2015 - 17:54
twisted_johnz
Surprisingly this time Kamelot's album caught my attention, beginning very generic and boring, first interesting moment comes with Patient Zero and it continues till the end. End Of innocence - best album track...
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08.05.2015 - 20:10
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
Nice to see you writing again. Excellent review and thanks!
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rekt
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12.05.2015 - 20:10
Xyanade
Quite fair review and thanks!

First spin got me really confused, too, despite I DID know the truth that Khan has left and Karevik DID stepped in, I did also forgot these on the first hearing, especially on "Citizen Zero".

Even though they sound alike, we can still distinguish a big difference between, that Karevik did have reached higher pitch than Khan in Silverthorn, but in Haven Karevik made an impressive yet successful "touch down", making the iconic Khan's emotional expression viable, without sacrificing the higher note.

I regard this one to be a completed version of second half "Poetry for the Poisoned" with a few cameos from their older category. PftP is a semifinished product to me, it has a great opening but clueless, not-so-well polished second half, but overall they tried to break away similarities from their 4-in-a-row successful predecessors.

Bad things are
1) this album being too short on time running xD and there is no typical Kamelot's long running epic track, or equivalent theme concept suite.
2) we might have to wait for another 7W album longer
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13.05.2015 - 13:50
Xyanade
Also I think Bad English just tried to be funny here, but unfortunately few can read his sarcastic tone
If the sentence above is wrong, try to check the lyrics from "End of Innocence", which is quite funny paradox scenario here too.
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15.05.2015 - 16:07
Enemy of Reality
I think it has more "killer songs" than Poetry For The Poisoned and Silverthorn together. The first 5 songs are incredibly good and catchy, but the rest of the album is less interesting. I don't like the production. The guitars lack power and the keyboards are way up in the mix. Listen to Veil of Elysium (which is one of my favs, actually), the keyboards overwhelm the song, giving the guitars a chance to show up only at the solos. Karevik does a great job. I didn't like him in Silverthorn, now he's showing why they bet on him. Not a Karma, Epica, not even a The Black Halo, this is closer to a part II of Ghost Opera. Which i think is not all that bad. Gave it a 7/10.
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31.05.2015 - 13:55
DelightfulJim
I dunno, I thought "Revolution" was a pretty killer track.
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