Let’s just say it’s a darn good thing the band got Sasha Paeth in for production duties.Siege Perilous is the third album from symphonic metal outfit Kamelot. More notably, it is their first release with ex-Conception vocalist Roy Khan, who possesses one of the most unique and powerful voices I’ve heard, and his also has remarkable songwriting abilities. So how does a band show off their immensely talented new member? Certainly not with a sloppy, muddy production that leaves Khan’s mighty voice dragging behind the instruments. Siege Perilous is one of the most poorly produced metal albums I’ve ever heard, with puny buzzing riffs and inconspicuous vocal presence. Casey Grillo sounds like he’s asleep behind the drum kit, which is pretty shocking considering his awe-inspiring performances on later releases. Song structures lack the inventiveness and powerful symphonic elements in the band’s latest releases. It’s not a total loss… since there’s some solid songwriting here (mainly “Expedition,” “Rhydin,” “Parting Visions,” and “Millennium”), the band has some good stuff to throw at their audiences in live shows when they can really ROCK. (The band’s 2000 live album, The Expedition, features awesome cuts for “Expedition” and “Millennium.”) Perhaps the most noteworthy song is the instrumental “Siege,” which is probably the only song not crippled by the terrible recording. With Youngblood playing classically inspired passages on guitar and a surprise acoustic solo from ex-Conception guitarist Tore Ostby, it’s nearly the best song on the record.If you admire Kamelot like I do, you may want Siege Perilous just to complete the collection. Otherwise, think twice…or thrice.