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The Fourth Legacy

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(37 Reviews)

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  • A really good book is one that puts you right there in the setting by use of vivid descriptions and lush vocabulary; where you just have a feel for that time and place. Music should be the same, and Kamelot seem to have found a firm grip on just how to mesmerize a listener with a barrage of powerful rhythms and rich, full melodies, to give them just the bit of originality neseccary to set them apart from the up and coming masses of power/progressive metal units that are emerging from the legacy of such bands as Helloween, fates Warning, Queensryche, and even Rush. One listen to the “Fourth Legacy” and you will hear the influence of those bands immeiately. The title track blisters forth with the double bass drum attack even most death metal drummers would be frightened by, without sacrificing precision and clarity. The accompanying guitar playing of Thomas Youngblood is equally frantic, yet tight and clean. Imagine if you will, the violinists of a symphony orchestra tossing aside stratoverious’s for stratocasters instead! The result is magnificent, as if Beethoven himself played the electric guitar instead of a keyboard. And speaking of keyboards, guest artist Miro is the grand mountain looming in the background of the coloresqe landscaping if Kamelot had crafted their work into oil paints. The song arrangements are quite lucious and rich, adding power and grandeure to the tight ensemble that Kamelot is. “Silent Goddess” has a distinctive late ’90s groove, with Neal Peart like drumming from Casey Grillo, who gives a percussion clinic throughout the “Fourth Legacy.” “Desert Reign” is brilliant instrumentation that transcends the listener to a place where magic carpets fly by and genies escape from bottles, providing a perfect lead in to the driving rhythms of “Nights of Arabia,” which has a chorus that will be etched into the brain for hours after listening. “Shadows of Uther” continues to drive forth with traditional power metal triplet patterns and rhythms, with orchestration that brings to mind a more metal minded Kansas. Kamelot provides break in the action with the sombre and brooding “sailorman’s Hymn”, then picks up again the records gem, “The Inquisitor” which is a mid-paced, no nonsense sinister rocker, with a killer guitar riff at mid point leading into the solo break. “Glory” offers more thought provoking lyrics and provides another moment of rest , then the album wraps up with another double bass kicker “Until Kingdom Come” and the groovier “Lunar sanctum” which closes the release in an all out jam session, showcasing the individual talents of Youngblood, Grillo, and bassist Glenn Barry, who is also solid throughout. Vocalist Roy Khan has a clean and solid voice, at times similar to Geoff Tate and the more refined effects of Warrell Dane, displaying a wide range but slightly lacking the emotional tones achieved by the ‘Ryche frontman. Therein is possibly one of only two complaints there may be regarding “Fourth Legacy”; that raw emotion is not always captured by the voices and instruments, however technically proficient they are, and finally, that while powerful and driving, I’d like to hear more straight ahead raw guitar riffs from Youngblood, a la the lead in to the solo break mentioned on “Inquisitor.” that slight lacking of edgy riffing is what may turn the usual headbanger off to Kamelot, but one cannot deny the overall power generated by the “Fourth Legacy”s texture and rich, full arranging. I am by trade a fan of more harsh, riff heavy thrash, but as a fan of good music, I found “The Fourth Legacy” to be a very fulfilling, enjoyable, and memorable listen. No matter how you prefer your metal served up, Kamelot is just plain and simple good music, and metal fans of all genres should find something here to cheer about! 4 1/2 stars

    Posted on January 31, 2010