By: Stephanie Gram Haunting the music scene with their ninth studio album is the melodic power metal band, Kamelot. Poetry for the poisoned was released September 2010 and was received with much anticipation by rabid fans. The band has shifted from their traditional power metal sound to a more explorative sound, testing and trying different elements, which might deter fans that prefer the old Kamelot to the new. Kamelot’s new album features a few notable guests such as, Simone Simons (Epica) who does some vocals for House on the Hill and Poetry for the poisoned Pt II, III, Björn, Speed, Strid (Soilwork) guests of the song The Great Pandemonium and Jon Olivia (Savatage, Jon Oliva’s Pain, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) sings in The Zodiac. Other guest vocalists include, Amanda Somerville and Chanty Wunder. The last guest that appears on this album is guitarist Gus G (Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne) who plays a dynamic solo in Hunter’s Season. Over the past few albums the band has faced different set ups. For this album it is Roy Khan on vocals, Thomas Youngblood and Sean Tibbetts on guitar, Casey Grillo playing the drums and lastly Oliva Palotai on keyboard.
The part of this album that had the most impact on me was Roy Khan’s singing. Khan has an intense voice that delivers with such strength and emotion and thus gives the songs a strong sense of meaning. The guest vocalists only further compliment Khan’s voice throughout the album. Even if the album does not quite meet the standard of traditional Kamelot albums, Khan’s voice is never one to disappoint.The other strong points of the album were the musicianship of the band and the vibrant song-writing capabilities displayed. Kamelot has always been able to bring a unique blend of instruments and lyrics into their albums that make the band truly stand out in a class of their own. I’d like to say that even with special guests appearing on the album, I felt that Kamelot could have easily done without them and still would have come out with an album that rocks the soul. A song that stood out for me the most was Hunter’s Season, I felt this song was the closest to the old traditional Kamelot. It moves constantly from a slow to fast beat where the lyrics of the song are easily heard with Khan’s strong voice as well as the ethereal choir in the background and of course, Gus G guitar solo. Kamelot’s, Poetry for the Poisoned might not reflect the traditional Kamelot sound but it is a unique and experimental turn that the band has taken. The band surely makes up for this with otherworldly musicianship, Khan dominating the vocals and beautifully vibrant song-writing.