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Kamelot: Silverthorn (2012) Review

Note: Review originally posted on Sputnikmusic:

Being a heavy metal musician probably isn’t the easiest job to deal with. While pop drivel dumpsters like Green Day get the psychotic pre-teen girls and bucks blazing everywhere, metalheads get stuck with gothic high school rejects and the occasional fund for a small supply of Jager or Budweiser. Take a few years of that into account and we can begin to see why Roy Khan took it easy and ditched his companions.

But Khanaholics can rest easy, for Tommy Karevik (Seventh Wonder) is here to provide an imitation which goes beyond a merely earnest effort. To the less discerning Kamelot fan–which is probably none of you–his performance on the new album, Silverthorn, could almost be called indistinguishable. Take “Sacrimony,” a prim and proper opener which builds to a combination of vocals with Elize Ryd and Alissa White-Gluz. As you can imagine, this does more than simply leave your ears hungry for more.

If sweat hasn’t begun building around your palms yet, then the news that Silverthorn is a bit of a return to form should do the trick. While no one was about to walk the plank after the transition from The Black Halo to Ghost Opera, the reassurance we finally have another fun Kamelot album should help quell your apprehensions. In fact, those are the exact two Kamelot albums to stick this one in-between to get a gist of its sound. “Torn” is an ideal case-in-point, featuring a catchy chorus that will have your whistling and humming tendencies on repeat in no time.

Wholesome and pleasing to the senses, Silverthorn certainly seems like the perfect alternative to one’s drug of choice. Alas, much like Jada Pinkett Smith’s career, not everything is up to par here. Stretches of the album (see “Ashes to Ashes”) encompass a few filler tendencies and prove to be less memorable than Gingerbread Oreos. Meanwhile, the beginning of “My Confession” sounds creepily akin to one of those terrible techno songs you download after trying ecstasy. At least the song is easier to pass up on than some foreign substance. It’s also odd to hear the otherwise great “Veritas” end in such a way that you might as well transition from Kamelot to Alestorm. Just think about that for one moment.

What’s more is we don’t get any true classics here. Unfortunately, this has to be tossed in the group recently headlined by Time I; it’s comprised of enjoyable material that just can’t quite hit that “oh, hell yeah” vibe, even with a great epic track. Underwhelming reality aside, the key word to remember here is “enjoyable.” This is hardly a remarkable record, aside from Tommy’s eargasm performance. But it’d be cruel to put this in the “bad” category since the album does a lot of things right, most of which are even more essential for a Kamelot release.

Silverthorn might not get your gears going at first, but it’s one you can return to again and again while nodding and smiling most of the time. The ultimate highs of its greater predecessors aren’t matched, but it at least mimics the returnable, feel-good effect you’re looking to experience. You know, just like that certain friend who didn’t quite make the magazine call but still puts the moves on you in bed.

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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Album Review, Blog, Music, Review


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