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Kamelot - Haven CD (album) cover

HAVEN

Kamelot

 

Progressive Metal

3.43 | 66 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Kamelot is a band that is often criticized for remaking the same album with each release. I recently reviewed an album of theirs from 2000, and would be hard pressed to think of how the band has matured in these 15+ years! Think of how much bands like Rush or Dream Theater have changed in that time frame! If you're in to power metal then this isn't a bad thing, because the band hits all the right beats when it comes to making theatrical, energetic, romantic, and rousing music... it's just the same music over and over again. For years I haven't really cared, but there's something about a Haven that rubs me the wrong way, and makes me think that the band has crafted a release that makes the criticism of sameness not only accurate, but something that holds the band back.

Haven is for the most part pretty good. It's hard to knock that band's instrumental chops or energy level. Youngblood is an under rated guitarist who handles lead and backing duties, and sounds great. The rhythm section is very competent, and do a fine job driving the momentum of the album as Palotai's keyboards give us a consistent palette of textures and solos. So what's the problem?

It's the songs and the overall tone of the album, which is mired in melodrama that doesn't work this time around. The songs lack the creative "umph" and energetic spark that makes Kamelot's sound get under the skin to make one's head rock and toes tap. Even Ghost Opera, one of the band's 3-star releases immediately grabbed your attention and kept it; Haven's songs come and go. We don't have any extended pieces, a sense of crescendo throughout the album, nor a narrative thread to carry us through the music - just song after song of Karevik singing about lost love, regret, and other touchy-feely stuff. Kamelot's music always has a few soft-spots to heighten the drama and dynamics, but Haven uses it excessively, and because the exciting parts are just OK, the album is weighted down by bathos.

A few standout songs and good musicianship doesn't overcome the power metal cheese this time around, so Haven will be one for fans for whom Kamelot's style of drama-metal can do no wrong.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |

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