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Ghost Opera

Ghost Opera

1 Jun 2007
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I always preferred the live sound of Kamelot, finding the sound to produced and muffled in the studio, but this album has improved vastly on the past ones, with the sound clear, and well-produced.

Ok, the classical opening does seem to be becoming a bit of a fad, strange how this album follows an album by Dutch rockers (and Kamelot friends) Epica with an orchestral opening, but I like it, and fad or not, it is certainly not something I object to.

The title track is a highlight for me. I loved the different time signature, rather than the usual poppy 4/4 used by most bands.

Song such as "Love You To Death" and "The Human Stain" had me singing along very happily.

The slow song of the album, "Anthem" was one of few that I can really get into. It didn't seem to be put there by necessity, or because the studio told them to. It felt considered, and worked on.

I do have a few niggling problems with the album. First and foremost being that on the song "Blücher" which is a fantastic song, but I was saddened to notice that Simone Simons beautiful vocals were pushed so far into the background. So much so that I didn't notice them until I read the booklet.

Another problem is that some of the songs struck me as a bit weak, and filler. But then, it may be that I just haven't given them a chance...you tell me...

Am I the only one who noticed that some songs did sound curiously like Epica songs? I am not sure if I object to it or not, I do like Epica, after all.

It is certainly good to see Kamelot develop, and progress beyond tried and tested formulas of the past, and come out with a fresh, certainly darker album than before. I certainly can't fault the guitar playing of Thomas Youngblood and Sascha Paeth.
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Format: Audio CD
It has been a rather interesting time thus far in 2007, as several new releases from some of the progressive metals most praiseworthy purveyors of the genre have bestowed their creative artistry upon the listening public. For example, the latest Dream Theater, Redemption, Threshold, Symphony X opuses have graced the music outlets as of late and now mid 2007, Kamelot have returned with their latest offering titled, `Ghost Opera'. The last album, 2004's `The black Halo' received critical acclaim from the fans and media alike and was cited as one of the best releases in many a year, mustering up countless new fans along the way. At this point in time, `The black Halo' was the darkest, heaviest and most ominous release the band had undertaken in their illustrious career and eventually this paid strong dividends for them. With `The black Halo' they had pushed the boundaries even further, by including Norwegian death metal stalwart, Shagrath to incorporate some varied deathly styled vocals on the track `March of Mephisto'. This had never been done before by the band and was a leap of faith for them and in all likelihood; they were travelling in uncharted waters here. It is interesting to point out that since the `The black Halo' was released, a few other progressive metal bands have followed suit and have done the same with the death metal vocals by using guest musicians.

Threshold is one name that comes to mind on their latest release, `Dead Reckoning' by collaborating with Swedish music guru, Dan Swanö to do a few ghoulish growls on two of the tracks. In most people's minds `The black Halo' was their most diverse and best time-honoured album that left a marked impression on the masses, but what the people want to know was if Kamelot had eclipsed all previous efforts?
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Format: Vinyl
ICED EARTH, ACCEPT, and KAMELOT (Vinyl Reissues)

It's the 25th anniversary of SPV / Steamhammer Records, the German based rock and metal label who are one of the leaders of the genre. To celebrate they're taking batches of classic albums and reissuing them on lovely, lovely vinyl, with some of the records making a debut on the best ever format.

Iced Earth - The Crucible Of Man: Something Wicked Part 2

The Crucible Of Man: Something Wicked Part 2 from American power metallers Iced Earth came out in 2008 and, as the title suggests, was the concluding part of their ongoing Something Wicked saga. It picked up where Framing Armageddon left off in 2007 and saw their best loved vocalist Matt Barlow, firmly ensconced in the band again, replacing ex Judas Priest man "Ripper" Owens, alongside guitarist and songwriter Jon Schaffer. Barlow contributes some amazing vocal lines to what is a dense work, and not the easiest way to get into the music of Iced Earth, but there are some amazing riffs to savour on tracks like "Crown Of The Fallen" and "The Revealing". It's gloriously presented here as a double album in a gatefold sleeve, with stunning artwork across the full cover spread and will definitely be a collector's piece.

Accept - Restless & Wild

Next we leap back to my childhood and the classic Restless & Wild album from Teutonic heavy metal band, Accept. A defining album in metal history, it contained what is arguably the first ever speed metal track, in the shape of opener "Fast As A Shark". The demented, air raid siren vocals of Udo Dirkschneider remain as peculiarly compelling as ever, a quarter of a century down the road, and allied to the fabulous guitars of Wolf Hoffman and Jorg Fischer on tracks like "Shake Your Heads" and "Flash Rockin' Man".
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