“ Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Hard Rock / Artist: Kamelot / MP3 Download released 2012-01-09 at UMC (Universal Music Catalogue) „
I've been a Kamelot fan since 2010, when they released their most recent album, Poetry For The Poisoned. I was blown away by the beauty and tranquillity of Roy Khan's voice and he quickly became one of my favourite male vocalists. After listening to that, I listened to The Black Halo, Epica and Ghost Opera and was amazed by the magic Kamelot and Roy Khan's voice had. Sadly, Roy is no longer part of Kamelot, but the band are working on their 10th album as well as looking for a new vocalist.
Before they had Roy Khan, they had Bruce Dickinson-Wannabe Mark Vanderbilt for the first two albums. Eternity is their debut album, but no one ever really pays that much attention to the album. Even the success with Roy Khan wasn't enough for the fans to dive deeper into the band's roots. Despite that, Black Tower is the main topic of any pre-Roy discussions I've found.
While you can still tell it's an album by Kamelot, but Black Tower is the only song worth listening to on this album. There's nothing really wrong with the album to be honest. I think the musical arrangements are good and Mark Vanderbilt is pretty good. The problem that they sound like they're trying to be like classic heavy metal bands before them like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. I couldn't get into Dominion (Kamelot's second album and the last with Vanderbilt) either because of the same issue. They don't really have an identity until they had Roy. Despite all my issues with this album, Mark Vanderbilt is a great vocalist, he sounds better on ballads but when he goes all balls out, it can be really funny. I think the lyrics
Thomas Youngblood's lyrics are the saving grace on this album. The lyrics are catchy and hard to forget. They capture the feeling of danger and paranoia. "Oh Black Tower! What is your power? What makes men run and hide?" - opening to Black Tower.
There's plenty of cheesy music ahead on this album, like in the title track we had a medieval kind of opening which nearly every metal band has tried to do at some point, and sometimes it makes the song sound haunting, beautiful and inspiring, but it's not the case on this album. The title track goes right out of my head straight after listening to the album.
Call Of The Sea pretty much describes the overall sound of the album. Warbling notes, melodic and agrressive riffs and timid drums. The way Vanderbilt cries out, "the sea is calling me" makes me notice how much expresses himself and the emotions of the lyrics in the song. His vocals aren't really everyone's cup of tea. It sounds like Vanderbilt was actually scared which might explain why there is so much stress on his vocals. Nobody, but perhaps close friends have heard Vanderbilt sing since leaving Kamelot.
Black Tower is both the best and worst song on the album. A fantastic song on a boring album. Vanderbilt at his best, in my opinion. I don't really understand how it's my most played or favourite song from Kamelot, when they clearly have much better songs. I guess it's the borderline parody that does it for me.
One Of The Hunted is a dreadful sequal to Black Tower. They're trying way too hard to portray the anger and the danger in this song that it sounds like a Meatloaf parody. So yeah, you'd be better off skipping that song. Warbird, I don't know what to say about that song, other than Vanderbilt has an interesting way of pronouncing night, although the concept of it sounds pretty epic.
What About Me surprised me because I wasn't expecting Vanderbilt to sound a bit like Roy Khan yawning while he's singing. Also, I didn't expect a cheesy 80's power pop ballad, it sounds nice. It's a nice song, but it dosen't really stick with me.
Etude Jongleur is an instrumental that's just shorter than a minute. It uses an acoustic guitar over layered with ethereal sounds and the random flute, this could have been extended some more, but it's too much and too quick to leave that much of an impression. The album closes with The Gleeman. The song in my opinion is quite repetitive and catchy and I like the symphonic jumps, and it does borrow from Iron Maiden.
It's certainly an interesting album that has just as many highs as it does low. I probally won't reccomend Eternity as a whole album, but you can probally tell that I would reccomend Black Tower as if was my favourite from the album. I don't really like this album that much. It's got great lyrics, interesting vocals, decent musical arrangements, just needed some originality and identity. The best songs on this album are Call Of The Sea, Black Tower and What About Me. It's far from Kamelot's best album, but they've come a long way since this 1995 album.