Released: Oct 29, 2012
Genre: Progressive Power Metal, Symphonic Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
"Silverthorn" is the tenth studio album from metal band Kamelot. It is the first album to feature Tommy Karevik as the lead singer.
RosetaStoned351, on may 08, 2014 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Kamelot is one of the Top 3 bands in symphonic metal, right up there with Nightwish and Epica. In the middle of the 2000's they turned away from their power metal roots in favour of a more symphonic and modern sound, this album is no exception.
The songs are written in a style quite similar to "The Black Halo" on many tracks and the production is great. The song "My Confession" has more reliance on symphonics and drawing out emotion, and it recalls songs such as "Up Through the Ashes" and "Mourning Star." I've never been a fan of Kamelot's ballads and "Song for Jolee" is probably the worst song on the album. The song "Solitaire" features a melody from "Lord of the Rings" and "Prodigal Son" brings to mind what the "Poetry for the Poisoned" tracks would've given off, if they had been united into one song. // 9
Lyrics: Roy Khan was a great vocalist, but Tommy Karevik is a also a great one. In fact he sounds very similar to Khan, particularly on the songs "Sacrimony," "Veritas," and "Silverthorn." Yet even so, he has his own touch and style that certainly makes him notably different. I can't think of another vocalist who could've been a better fit, he sounds very sincere and delivers a stunningly emotional performance. When it comes to the 2 guest vocalists featured on the album, I think it's pretty ironic that they picked both the best female growler in metal: Alissa White-Gluz, and the best female singer in metal: Elize Ryd, even if Simone Simons voice fits Kamelot better. Both does an outstanding job and it all comes together on "Sacrimony," which features all 3 singers and a truly fantastic chorus. Definitely amongst some of the best songs Kamelot has ever put out. The lyrics are what you would expect, no surprises there. // 8
Overall Impression: "Silverthorn" is truly an impressive album and amongst their best. It's not as good as "The Black Halo" or "Ghost Opera," but it's much better than "Poetry for the Poisoned" and anything before "Karma." It's like they took inspiration from all of their releases and melded them together, the result is an album that doesn't make you miss Roy Khan that much at all. The best songs are "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)," "Ashes to Ashes" and "My Confession." // 8
damillion, on october 26, 2012 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: It is finally here: Kamelot's new album. Following the departure of singer Roy Khan last year the band revealed Tommy Karevik from Seventh Wonder as their new vocalist. The band has been hinting that this is trying to find back to their roots, so I thought it would be extra interesting to see where this would go compared to their previous album, "Poetry For The Poisoned".
Composition-wise this isn't a big leap from what they've been doing in the past. We're still dealing with symphonic, slightly progressive power metal, and the single, "Sacrimonium", struck me as similar to their song "Ghost Opera", but maybe a bit more over-the-top. The title track reminded me a bit of the title track from "The Black Halo".
The only real problem with the record sound-wise is the extremely compressed sound of the production. However, I think the band is hardly to blame. It seems to be something producer Sascha Paeth has started doing, for example on Epica's latest album "Requiem For The Indifferent". Some people won't mind, but for me the drums, guitar and bass needed more punch, and the sound is a bit too polished even for Kamelot.
To end this section on a positive note, the guest artists are quite incredible! They include Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist), Istvn Tams (accordion) and EKLIPSE (a string quartet from Germany) and everyone does an amazing job on this record. Also I felt that Sean Tibbets (bass) really got to shine with some really tasteful playing and phrasing. // 5
Lyrics: As some may already know, this is a concept album. The story revolves around a family tragedy, involving a girl named Jolee dying at the hand of her brothers. As for the lyrics I didn't care for them either way. I like the concept a lot, but the lyrics by themselves aren't as spot on as they could have been, maybe.
There is no doubt Tommy Karevik is a brilliantly skilled singer. However I would be lying if I said I didn't have a problem with any of the vocal melodies. It's more melodic than before, perhaps overly melodic. It has quite a bit of that cheesy Broadway sing along-sound that some will love, but for me it was a bit much. It becomes most apparent in the song called "Solitaire". That chorus was, in my opinion, tasteless. Unfortunately I can name quite a few moments on this album when I didn't like the vocal melodies. On a little sidenote, why put out another song called "Solitaire" when they already have one called "Solitaire" from the "Ghost Opera" album? Giving two songs the same name seems a bit unimaginative. // 5
Overall Impression: Overall I think the song writing wasn't as strong on this album as on for example "Ghost Opera" or "The Black Halo". For me the shift came on "Poetry For The Poisoned", which to me didn't offer any new Kamelot classics either. I have to say that despite perhaps having gone back to their roots a little bit on some songs overall the riffs remind me a lot of the ones on "Poetry For The Poisoned". The progressive elements from that album are still here.
As for songs, "Sacrimony" is the strongest one on this record, quickly followed by "Silverthorn". "Veritas" has a nice twist or two that I enjoyed as well. "Continuum" is absolutely beautiful and reminded me of the "Assassins Creed: Revelations"-theme, of all things!
I think that lots of people who listen to this and don't like it are going to blame new singer Tommy Karevik for all the "mistakes" on this record. Personally I think that would be more than a little unfair. The vocal melodies make up part of why I didn't come to care for this record as a whole, but it's equally much due to the songwriting that feels like an experiment that isn't quite mastered yet (just like "Poetry For The Poisoned" did) and the production techniques by Sascha Paeth.
I would like to give this a higher rating, but as a reviewer I think I have to ask myself if I would recommend this album to someone uninitated to Kamelot; in other words, if this is representative of the band, and since I think this is the least noteworthy album since "Siege Perilious" I would not do so.
On a positive note, if we're going to talk about singers, Roy Khan's first album wasn't brilliant either. Then it sort of came together and some quite astounding records were produced. Thus I have great hope for the future of Kamelot. I also want to say that I think some of these songs will work a lot better live than they did on the album. At least that's how I hear them in my head.