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Artist: Kamelot
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Seven Witches
Date: 11/21/2005
Label: SPV Records


It was a dark and rainy night when Kamelot made their very first appearance in New York City and despite this weather the overall reception would be a warm one. Inside the venue were hundreds of followers of this excellent provider of Melodic Power Metal and all were at the ready with fists in the air and screams aplenty. It was only recently that I found myself paying attention to this Florida based band and I was amazed at the level of quality that they delivered on their most recent effort “The Black Halo”. The album, released on SPV Records is an immediate follow-up to their last release “Epica” which continues along in its themes found in the book “Faust”. If you don’t own this album already you must make sure to do so as it brings you into an amazing world musically and vocally. Lead singer Roy Khan is probably one of the best singers in Melodic Metal to come around in some years and he follows well in the footsteps of Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Joacim Cans (Hammerfall).

Kicking off the night would be Seven Witches which is led by guitarist Jack Frost. Frost is always visible at area shows and is often a fun guy to talk to. His band lends a little more to the traditional style of Metal with a Power-edge and given this was also the first time seeing them I enjoyed a large portion of their set. Some of their stuff that was totally driving the crowd wild was “Dishonor Killings”, “Camelot” and “Apocalyptic Dreams”. Many people who follow the Metal industry will also remember that Frost was a member of the legendary Savatage for the album “Poets And Madmen” as well as Metalium. Jack and Company were also supporting the release of the new album “Out In The Cold”. Check them out sometime if you find them playing your area.

Kamelot came onstage amid the spewing smoke machines and began to deliver a set of unforgettable Power Metal. Guitarist Tom Youngblood and Bassist Glenn Barry do a fantastic job with the guitar and rhythm work playing off of one another and seeming to anticipate each others actions in advance. Rich textured hooks that are all layered in incredibly melodic lyrics belted out by Khan. As I witnessed this display I was sad that this was new group to me as I was finding it very enjoyable. It’s not always how I feel when I am new to a band. It was impressive to see how well they were going over because it is always something you wonder about when a band appears in your town for the first time. Mainstream radio does not showcase much in the realm of Metal and unless the Cable or Satellite stations are playing it there are limited places to hear this stuff. “The Black Halo” is full of great songs and the group would lean heavily on this record for its set list. On the album there are a couple of surprises in their guest stars of Shagrath (from Dimmu Borgir) and Simone Simons (from Epica) but they would not make an appearance this evening. Instead Youngblood would do the growls in songs like “March Of Mephisto” while the lovely Mrs. Youngblood would bring the vocals of Simone Simons to the stage. I am not sure if she is Mezzo Soprano as Simone is, yet I really enjoyed her assistance in these numbers. “The Haunting” was one of the best received numbers of the night with the entire crowd singing along it seemed. I had a number of favorites during the night and they were pretty much set as anything from the new album.

Roy Khan is a great singer as I mentioned above and he was winning over this crowd very quickly tonight. As you watched him perform you could see why as he is one of those singers that bring the passion of the music right to you and really is able to give the audience the same impact as the album in the live sense. Those that own the record know that there was some keyboard work by Jens Johansson and now the group presented to us the addition of Oliver Palotai. Oliver is one of those keyboardists that if you have been watching the world of Metal as you should that you would recognize him as playing with Uli Jon Roth and Doro Pesch. Oli would deliver a cool solo this evening and so would drummer Casey Grillo. There was so much smoke and dramatic lighting that I never got a clear look at him and later as the show was over I found myself talking to him and laughing when I realized who it was. Everyone in the group is a great guy and are deserving of the praise given to them for this album and tour. Keep your eyes out for more from Kamelot as you will be suitably impressed.

Kamelot Set List:
1. Center Of The Universe
2. Soul Society
3. The Spell
4. Nights Of Arabia
5. Abandoned
6. Edge Of Paradise
7. When The Lights Go Down
8. Keyboard Solo – Oli
9. The Haunting (Somewhere In Time)
10. Forever
11. Memento Mori
12. Drum Solo – Criss
13. Farewell
14. March Of Mephisto – encore
15. Epilogue – encore
16. Karma – encore

Official Web site: www.Kamelot.com
Official Web site: www.SevenWitches.com



--Ken Pierce


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