Ummm… I guess that Kamelot’s sound could best be described as overly dramatic prog-metal, featuring inspirations by Journey, Yngwie Malmsteen, and other artists whose lives are the stage. The music is extremely complex and the musicians are ridiculously talented, but I’m afraid this falls into the Dream Theatre Paradox category; in theory, the most talented musicians should be the most successful, but reality is nothing close to that. These people are too talented to play such rudimentary music, plain and simple.
Seriously, Epica sounds like opera played with a drum kit, electric guitars, and keyboards; it just doesn’t make sense. The lead singer, I swear on Richard Simmons’ afro, sounds like a cross between Peter Cetera and the lead singer of Foreigner. What the fudge? I found myself utterly confused and scratching my head as to why anyone would sit and listen to this, so I browsed a few other reviews that people had done of this record.
One reviewer said that listening to this record is like watching a movie, and it really is. The thing is, it’s like watching Spies Like Us or Ishtar. The late ’80s ended a long time ago, and I am amazed that there is still a market for medieval themed, dramatic prog metal.
Don’t get me wrong; the musicians in this band are incredibly talented. The riffs these guys come up with are very fast, and they follow all of the appropriate scales that they were apparently taught at the Musician’s Institute. The drums are so incredibly precise and technical, that I find myself wondering how one person, with only two arms and two feet could be playing the drums tracks on Epica. I could do without the keyboards, so I won’t bother that issue. The lead singer has a warm, buttery, vibrato-laden voice, and he never even approaches hitting an inappropriate note. These things are both the strengths and weaknesses of this band.
Young knighted guitars man: those guitar solos are so corny and predictable! Who cares how fast you can fly through an “A Dorian” scale? You can speed pick very well, but why is there not any bass coming out of the amp?! It’s all high end and mid-range! Yuck! Sir drummer, your silly drummer tricks only serve to give me a headache; it’s impossible to keep up with what you’re doing. Most of us out here aren’t robots, like you, so rather than being terribly impressed, I’m just confused. Lead singing squire: my God, man! Why are you in a “metal” band? Your voice is not intimidating, in the least, and you sound like you should be singing duets with Elton John or Celine Dion. Come on, buddy; let’s come back down to Earth. Your warm voice sounds weird above those metal guitars.
In summary, I just can’t make sense of this. There has only ever been one prog band that found that happy medium between showing their talent without alienating the audience: Rush. They were obviously talented, but they didn’t need to show off every single second of every song. It seems, though, that Kamelot has a large fan base, so I guess this just isn’t for me. If you need me, I’ll be trying to remove the images of knights and fair maidens from my head.
Noise Records: http://www.noiserecords.com/