|Review: Kamelot - Poetry for the Poisoned|
|Poetry for the Poisoned|
Label: KMG Recordings
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 6, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Poetry for the Poisoned
Rated 3.42/5 (68.47%) (59 Votes)
I admit I skipped Kamelot's last album, The Ghost Opera. My reasoning being that because the one prior to that, The Black Halo, was so awesome, the band wouldn't be able to live up to the standard they set for themselves. Now we have Poetry for the Poisoned an album that has drawn attention, much of if negative, much as a black hole draws in light.
After my first listen, I thought my fears had been realized, that the Kamelot I knew was forever gone. But, having been fooled by first impressions in the past, I listened again and honestly, haven't stopped playing it. Sure, it is vastly overproduced, with lots of little sound effects and additions that seemingly bring nothing to the overall sound (the narrated "Dear Editor" exemplifying this). It is like the band was shooting for Operation: Mindcrime but ended up with Rage for Order. Not that Rage for Order is a bad album, but when I think back to the first time I heard it, my reaction was similar, i.e. "what the hell is this?" Only after repeated spins did the good qualities start to shine through.
Speaking of good qualities let me start with the best part of Poetry for the Poisoned, Thomas Youngblood's guitar playing. Without a doubt, he is most underrated guitarist in metal today. He knows exactly when and where to play a killer riff or to step back and let another instrument carry the melody. And his solos are works of art. Khan is also in good form, but sounds oddly restrained, like he's trying for a more subdued performance. The songs range from excellent ("Serenade," "Once Upon a Time") to tiresome (the 4-part title track), but as a whole, the album still works rather well.
Poetry for the Poisoned is certainly not the album fans of Epica or The Black Halo hoped for, but a little tenacity will pay off. There is still plenty of the Kamelot we all know and love present; it is just mixed in with a bunch of superfluous material that would have been better left behind. It seems there is still plenty of quality music left in Kamelot.
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