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Karma Import

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 4 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Noise
  • ASIN: B000085RTX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
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13. Ne Pleure Pas (US Bonus)

Product Description

Japanese version featuring a bonus track

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 63 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of power, inspiration, and beauty. Aug. 25 2001
By Lord Chimp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kamelot's current vocalist is Roy S. Khan, the former singer of the now defunct Conception. Conception was one of my favorite bands, so I was pretty torn when they broke up. Khan joined with Kamelot, and in my ignorance I became resentful of Khan's new band. I wanted Conception, darn it, not this Kamelot junk! But the sheer quality of Kamelot's latest release, along with the preceding album The Fourth Legacy, mitigates my ire. And if you knew how much I loved Conception, you'd understand that that's the highest form of praise I can give Karma.

In terms of songwriting, Karma is far beyond anything the band has done before. Even within the entire genre of symphonic melodic metal, Kamelot leaves their peers in their backwash. The Khan & Youngblood songwriting core commands a vast musical vocabulary, capable of interlocking rich symphonic elements and driving, aggressive metal. When that ability is added to their emotional sensibility and a remarkable ear for melody, you know Karma has to be great. The Fourth Legacy's best song was the exciting opener, the awe-inspiring title track and its symphonic prelude. "Forever," which begins Karma after keyboardist Miro's Braveheart-like composition, is likewise astonishing. Powerful orchestral strikes and choral exclamations underscore crisp, driving riffs, and a soaring chorus. Khan's voice is so powerful, especially his harmonies, and my body becomes racked with chills all throughout his shining delivery. "Wings of Despair" is tremendously uplifting, generating a spirit of heroism with the music and chorus. The incredible title track features a potent, spitfire guitar attack with elegant, crystalline pianos chords and glistening organ flourishes. "The Spell" is a harrowing and heavy song, while "The Light I Shine On You" has big inspiring melodies. The brimming optimism and big hooks are a boon to the band's music.

Karma's ballads are songs of extraordinary beauty. "Don't You Cry" is a touching tribute to Youngblood's departed father. In four minutes it builds to lovely crescendo of dramatic, sweeping strings, exquisite classical guitars, and the chorus which demonstrates Khan's emotional power and the deftness of his voice. "Temples of Gold" is more of a power ballad, distinguished by serene-to-crunchy dynamics and the lamenting lyric.

The trilogy of songs that comprise "Elizabeth" tell the story of the vile countess who sought to deny mortality by bathing in human blood (gruesome eh? Not to mention bloody...). Her story actually lent credence to the vampire myths in Europe several centuries ago. Part I, "Mirror Mirror," is a beautiful but haunting piece with bells, pianos, and strings. Part II ups the intensity with Youngblood's crunchy riffs driving towards the climax of Part III, "Fall from Grace." Here, the band unleashes what might be their most aggressive arrangement, with crushing riffs at breakneck speed. The way the band builds the intensity from song to song through the trilogy is gripping and, in a way, suspenseful.

All complaints sustained by The Fourth Legacy have been vindicated here. Producer Sasha Paeth's recording was low and muddy on Fourth Legacy, but here all the band's power is forcefully embraced by his impeccable mix. Youngblood's pummeling riffs are thicker and more powerful, making that urge to play air guitar pretty hard to allay. No longer does Khan's tremendous voice get buried in the mix during the choruses. And while The Fourth Legacy's tracks were merely excellent or good, every song on Karma is a breathtaking feat of incredible songwriting. Not a single song on Karma fails to give me goose bumps, which is immense approval from me considering what kind of music this is. As an added bonus, the American edition features a welcome bonus track, "Ne Pleure Pas," which is just "Don't You Cry" except with Khan singing in French. It's just beautiful with the intrinsically romantic language, and hey, it's nice to get a bonus track in this continent for a freakin' change! Although my French isn't very good, I can tell the lyrics are a bit different, instead of just a direct translation.

What it all boils down to is a purely enjoyable pot of powerful, meticulous, uplifting symphonic metal with a god-like vocalist. The grouping of great songwriting qualities makes Karma one of the best albums I've ever heard.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kamelot's Kataclysmic Karma! March 24 2002
By Just Bill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I bought Kamelot's Karma CD yesterday...and I've been listening to it virtually non-stop since. I'm nearly speechless.
Where do I begin to sing the praises of Kamelot?
Khan's voice is astounding. He's a combination of Geoff Tate and John Schlitt (a highly underrated rock singer, most recently of Petra), with a bit of Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) thrown in for good measure.
Guitarist Thomas Youngblood isn't a shredder the way Symphony X's Michael Romeo or Stratovarius' Timo Tolkki are, but he has a powerful, melodic style that I like very much nonetheless. Best of all, he's a true renaissance guitarist, equally at home on an electric, classical or acoustic guitar. Very few guitarists these days are that accomplished.
The songs on Karma are deep, creative, beautiful and sometimes complex without being overpowering the way Symphony X or Dream Theater can get.
I wouldn't call this prog metal. Symphonic metal is more like it. Or symphonic power metal. Whatever label you care to give it, this is extremely moving music.
It's hard to pick a favorite song, but I like the melody and brisk pace of "Across the Highlands."
Other favorites include "Forever," "Requiem for the Innocent," "Fall from Grace" and even "Ne Pleure Pas," the U.S. Bonus track, sung in French (with beautiful strings and classical guitar accompaniment).
Another surprise: This isn't a European power metal band. These guys are from Florida! Unbelievable. I had no freakin' clue that American bands were this good. Aside from Symphony X, I really didn't know any symphonic power prog/metal bands hailed from the States.
I'm going to waste no time ordering Kamelot's back catalog (I think they have five other CDs)...and keeping a watch on the concert circuit for a gig close to Michigan. This is truly a must-see band!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best power metal band on the planet? March 4 2002
By Joe White - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Is Kamelot the best power metal band on Earth? Well, I think they are at least the best European-style power metal band around. And Khan may be the best singer in all of metal.
Some things you should know about Kamelot:
1. Though three-fourths of the band members are American, Kamelot is definitely a European power metal band in style. In other words, their music has a lot more in common with Stratovarius and Rhapsody than Iced Earth and Jag Panzer.
2. Kamelot isn't cliched like many European power metal bands are. Sure, they sing about some of the same things (magic, dragons, honor, glory, knights, etc.). But even though vocalist Khan is from Europe, he commands the English language better than most European power metal lyricists. Kamelot avoids clumsy and cliched lyrics.
3. Though one reviewer here thinks vocalist Khan doesn't fit the music, Khan is still the best vocalist in all of power metal. Doesn't fit the music?!? Would you rather have a vocalist who tries to sing out of his range, mangles the English language and sounds like every other Euro power metal singer? No. Khan is a great singer (think Queensryche's Geoff Tate). He has range and is always in control of his voice.
4. Kamelot, though not really a progressive metal band, does have some prog touches here and there thanks to Khan. Khan's background as prog metal band Conception's lead singer and co-songwriter serve him well as a member of Kamelot. Khan's songwriting adds just enough difference to Kamelot's power metal base to make them stand out above the rest of the power metal norm.
5. Guitarist Thomas Youngblood. His playing style is awesome--equal parts thrash, speed and melody.
Karma, Kamelot's fifth studio album, may be the best album of 2001. It is every bit as good as Kamelot's previous disc, the Fourth Legacy. Every song is a highlight. Speed and power with just a hint of progressive is the Kamelot recipe.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite metal Feb. 25 2002
By sweepking - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kamelot is a band that has grown on me the past few years. When I first heard their last cd, I was not blown away. However, upon subsequent listenings, I started to hear that they really are one of the better bands around. They have an exquisite refined sound that really shines through on this cd. They don't shred or play really intricate time signatures yet you can tell they are all very talented musicians. Their music is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but they are also not quite as crazy as Dream Theater or Symphony X. Khan is a great singer and Thomas Youngblood has some really great, tasteful leads to complement some solid rhythm work. The other musicians are quite good too, especially keyboard whiz Miro. Standout cuts are Wings of Despair, the three part Duchess of Blood tracks, and the Highland song.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, melodious, moving...they crank Aug. 19 2003
By Nanohead - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Another band that satisfies my jones for hard driving, melody centered music, with progressive creativities. I admit, I am pathologically addicted to Symphony X, and now to Kamelot as well.
Karma is all over the place, slow, fast, driving, pounding, epic sounding in some places. They are like the other bands I love, not ego driven, little gratuitous guitar thrashing, little bombastic showmanship that doesn't fit in the context of their overall music. Everything fits, they display teamwork, and there is no thrashing (thank heavens).
They never fall into the trap that so many guitar driven bands fall into (Rhapsody, or Malmsteen as an example), where guitar noise takes over and the melody and the message of the song gets lost in noise and pounding distorted technical playing. These guys just love music and it shows. Lots of interesting instruments, and different vocal interludes. And Khan simply cranks. King Khan is awesome!!
I love these guys. Karma is awesome,