Thus begins the refrain of the third and title track. If you have read any of my other reviews, you know the title is a favorite or meaningful lyric from the songs in the CD. Sometimes finding title-worthy lyrics can be difficult, but not with Kamelot. This title reflects the music type, as does the CD’s name, The Ghost Opera. I find it more symphonic than The Black Halo, and if there is anything better than power metal, it is symphonic power metal. None-the-less, I think Black Halo is slightly better overall, but Ghost Opera is easily another five star production by Kamelot. Again every song is excellent in all aspects: lyrics, vocals and instrumentals.
Track one is a one minute violin solo that blends smoothly into the power of the second track. And here we immediately encounter the striking words “sometimes I tremble like a little child/that faces morning with a broken smile.” Rule the World is the song, but it is about ruling your life. In fact, this whole CD is about life…and death.
You will notice a considerable contrast between The Human Stain (track 4) and track 10, Anthem, a beautiful ballad. In Anthem we have “what’s a miracle/if life itself is not” and “I do know this/I’ll be the best I can.” Compare that to “but it hurts to be alive my friend/in this silent tide we’re driftwood passing by/don’t you wish you were a child again” and “but it hurts to be alive my friend/in this masquerade where all one day must die/don’t you wish you were unborn again” in The Human Stain. And there in two songs, Kamelot has condensed the whole conundrum of being human. It can be wonderful just being alive and being able to comprehend life, but that package includes the knowledge of death.
Just as Black Halo had a connection to Epica, here we have two connections to The Black Halo. The first, Simone Simons beautiful voice being again included in one of the songs (Blucher, which seems to be about the death of a German sailer in World War I), is minor, but I find the second intriguing. Black Halo has the haunting Abandoned where Khan sings the part of Christ in the Agony in the Garden. In Ghost Opera, Khan moves to a subsequent setting and plays the part of Pilate in Up Through the Ashes. If you listen carefully, you will even here the crowd chant “Barabbas.” I’m wondering if the next release will fittingly end with the Crucifixion. (I may have to send Kamelot a copy of this review.)
Now, since two of the songs here, Love You to Death and The Pendulous Fall, deal with suicide, and the others with life/death in general, I again, as in my previous review, must ask myself if the subject matter has not overly influenced my attraction to the music. Again I say that the music itself is enough. However, nearly everyone has experienced the grief of loss, or considered, to some extent, their own death. Therefore, this is part of the attraction, just as it is in many examples of the best books, poems and movies. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, these guys can write. (Please see my profile for a brief discussion of my rating philosophy.)