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Review: Kamelot - Karma

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 2001
Duration: 53:25
Tracks: 13
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: April 1, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating

Rated 4.38/5 (87.56%) (45 Votes)

This was Kamelot's fifth album, and it is not their best, but it has every element that they would later expand upon on such masterpieces as The Black Halo. The catchy, syncopated rhythms are there, as are the sleek, silky vocals of the prestigious Roy Khan, and the smooth, flowing cascade of Power Metal wonders are just as pronounced as they would be later. This is probably their most varied effort, in fact, featuring a colorful collection of enjoyable songs with distinctly different twists and turns packed within each one. It's really a rather brilliant display of songwriting, as I rarely come across albums with such variety that can still flow together as a believable whole. Karma works both as a rock-solid gestalt of genre-defining Power Metal and as a collection of catchy singles, and I wouldn't rate it any lower as either of these things.

There are really no bad songs on this album, and the only flaw for some people will be that there are no real standouts, either - every song remains on a steady level of quality, with none of them impressing you any more or less than the last one. Personally, I don't have much of a problem with this, as I would take an album of this nature over one with a few outstanding tracks and then a few fillers spliced in between (as on the band's previous album The Fourth Legacy). The album kicks off in fine form with the majestic opener "Forever," and then we're treated to more fine displays of Power Metal virtuosity in the form of songs like the creepy "The Spell," with its crawling, brooding synth lines, a ballad for the ages in "Don't You Cry," the liberating, powerful "The Light I Shine On You," and the volleying "Across the Highlands." The ending trilogy is certainly something to behold, as well, as it is well worth the time it takes to grow on you. This is just a solid fucking album, the very definition of it, and if you want an album to introduce you to this fine, fine band, then look no further than Karma.

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