Kamelot - Siege Perilous
Noise Records
Prog / Power Metal
10 songs (50:35)
Release year: 1998
Kamelot, Noise Records
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

ENTER: The Roy Khantatet. Following the dissolution of Norway's answer to prog metal, Conception, Kamelot poached their singer, Roy Khan. While the end result would be incredible albums, moving music, stellar concerts, and memories upon massive memories, Roy's debut with the band was still a bit shaky. I attribute that to the fact that this was the mid to late nineties, and at that point in time having a singer from Norway and an instrumental section in Florida, America's wang, was a big hurdle to get over. There was no DropBox, and I doubt songwriter and guitarist Thomas Youngblood could send over wav files (pre mp3 remember?) through some prehistoric version of CompuServe. So, the simple fact that the band and Roy were willing to make this partnership work shows tremendous belief in each other.

Hooray! Thomas must have learned something about either guitar settings or producing, because we finally have a tone that sounds like the Kamelot we would come to know. Keyboards have also taken a much more upfront role on this album. While Kamelot would use wunderkid Miro as a session keyboard player on future studio releases, here they actually had a guy listed in the band, David Pavlicko, who wouldn't be officially replaced until Oliver Palotai several albums later. Because of this, the technique of the keyboards, while still sounding cheap overall, are better woven into the songs. The keyboards aren't embarrassing like they were at times on the previous albums. Another slight problem that rears its head in the first song, Providence is that Roy's vocals are mixed rather low. I thought I was imagining things, but no he really is very low in the mix. However! His performance makes you forget this technical blunder. While he too would improve dramatically over time, even a young Roy had his trademark style down. Unlike Vanderbilt, Roy can be emotional with his voice while utilizing theatrics without sounding like a tryhard. Plus, he has that smoothness that is oh so righteous. This is on full display in King's Eyes, where you can hear conviction in his voice.

This is it. With the exception of short lived keyboard guy, this is the core band that would go on to make great music. Casey Grillo, Glenn Barry, Thomas Youngblood, and Roy Khan were a really unique set of musicians that came together at the right time. When the next album The Fourth Legacy dropped, it launched Kamelot's career. They would go on a run of four classic albums and one pretty decent album in Ghost Opera. Hey, for having to follow up The Black Halo, which was ANOTHER breakout album for the band, it was much better than expected given the pressure they were probably under. Again, I cannot stress enough the impressiveness of the growth that Kamelot would undergo for each consecutive album that lasted about a dozen years. That type of progressive evolution, maturation, and improvement with each member on their instruments is so rare, I don't think you understand how uncommon that is. The only other band that really comes to mind is Judas Priest. They too kept practicing and getting better at their instruments throughout their career. By the time Painkiller came out, Glenn Tipton was sweep picking. Damn, now I gotta put The Fourth Legacy through Ghost Opera next on the listen list. And then some Priest.

Killing Songs :
King's Eyes, Expedition, Providence, Irea, Where I Reign
Ben quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Kamelot that we have reviewed:
Kamelot - Dominion reviewed by Ben and quoted 66 / 100
Kamelot - Eternity reviewed by Ben and quoted 50 / 100
Kamelot - Haven reviewed by Joel and quoted 93 / 100
Kamelot - Silverthorn reviewed by Cory and quoted 84 / 100
Kamelot - Poetry for the Poisoned reviewed by Thomas and quoted 86 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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