The Black Halo Review

artist: Kamelot date: 02/05/2009 category: compact discs
Kamelot: The Black Halo
Release Date: Mar 15, 2005
Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Genres: Death Metal/Black Metal, Heavy Metal
Number Of Tracks: 14
Black Halo has staked a claim for best ever Kamelot album, and therefore a highly recommended album by any standards.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (2) 27 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
The Black Halo Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 29, 2007
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: When I first heard of them, I was expecting the sound to be the standard type of power metal, with iron swords and fire breathing dragons. But then, when I decided to listen to one of their songs, I imediately went out to buy this album: The Black Halo. Like I said before, they aren't the Rhapsodysh kind of metal. They have their own unique sound. They are actualy power/progressive metal and might I say that the songs on this album are unbelievably compelling and pure. The guitar play is original and unthought of. I didn't think songs like these could have be created. Casey Grillo (drums) does a great job of diversifying his playing he never uses the same drum beats twice, every song has it's own drum play. If there's a song that could resume this album it would be the 12th track, Memento Mori. They are overwhelming from the begining to the very last second. But good thing they've put in Interludes to take a breather from the intensiy that they deliver.Since these guys are perfectionists, there isn't a song short of a solo or a riff or anything. Every song has been thought out and beaten until there was nothing left to make it better. // 10

Lyrics: Kamelot's lyrics are more than just power metal, they're stories. They are so unique that they are the only ones that can be accompanied by the music that they are put with. I will ad this, only Roy Khan can sing these songs to perfection. Not only is he the right singer for the band, but just the way he sings makes him seem as if he was an actor. He has the right tones for the songs, he makes the lyrics stand out along wth the music. The lyrics are different from the standard power metal. For example in the song soul society. it starts like this: If my soul could revive from my carnal remains, what does it matter to me. If it all fades to black if I'm born once again then no-one really is free. // 10

Overall Impression: If I had to compare this album to another it would be hard because I don't know any other band with the same type of metal as them. After 6 albums since 1995, this one has to be the best one of them all mainly because every song stands out but those that I would recomend listening to get into them are: March Of Mephisto (the first track), When The Lights Are Down, Soul Society, The Black Halo and Memento Mori. There isn't one thing I hate about this album and I don't only love one thing about it, I love everything. Lastly, about it being lost or stolen, I might not be able to buy it again mainly because their CD's don't get mass produced like other band. // 10

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overall: 8.3
The Black Halo Reviewed by: James TH, on february 05, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: There is no doubt that Kamelot is pure power-metal and by no means takes their title lightly as one of the most well respected in the industry. In my opinion, disappointment was everywhere in this album for me when it came to the actual musical content. Strings were over-all very well done (for power metal, known for pretty basic 'power' guitar) and the addition of synths, organ and keyboards adds another dimension. Unlike my predecessor, I didn't find anything spectacular enough about the drums to the carry the music to the next level. In all defense, heavy metal drumming has become increasingly difficult at to be considered very good at, but for me, Casey Grillo achieves only a 7/10. A good sound but nothing out of the ordinary, as expected from Kamelot. // 7

Lyrics: This is where the album shines. Did I mention that it's actually a rock power metal opera? Classic power metal move and yet done with a great amount of ease by these well trained rockers. The vocals in this album may be first thing that you notice upon listening whether you are a guitarist, vocalist, drummer, bassist, pianist, or any unmentioned. Roy Khan along with Sascha Paeth (female backing vocals) bring you on a marvelous journey through the story of love, lust and everything in between. Guest appearances include black metal king Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir on the opening track "March Of Mephisto" and a well expected and very well suited "Kamelot Choir" throughout the album. With great ease, anyone can understand the story through the lyrics. The singing on all fronts is very strong and the recording quality is next to perfect when it comes to vox on this album. // 10

Overall Impression: Don't get me wrong, Kamelots departure into a much unnavigated territory of power metal rock operas is among the most unique performance I have ever encountered by a metal band. The sound doesn't seem up to par even with earlier Kamelot material. If the album were lost or stolen I would be hard pressed to go out and buy it again, not because it isn't worth getting but because for me it isn't an album worth listening to over and over again. Kamelot is a great band with a lot of potential, I would like to see them use it for something much greater than this chapter in their career, however murky the next album must become to get it right. I love the singing, I dislike the sound. Better luck next time Kamelot, but nevertheless, a must have for a metal collection! // 8

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