Kamelot – The Shadow Theory (Album Review)

On the cutting-edge of Power Metal, Kamelot reign among the most celebrated acts in the genre with a rich history going back as far as the late 1980s. Possessing supreme talent for uniting Power Metal, Progressive Metal, and Symphonic Metal, in time, Kamelot would build an extensive catalog of diverse Metal music, captivating fans the world over. On top of that, Kamelot amassed a strong following as a hot live act while touring with Power Metal’s best such as DragonForce as well as Kobra and the Lotus, gifting an enthralling live show to packed houses of devoted Metal fans.

As Kamelot enter 2018, the band’s core lineup of founding Guitarist Thomas Youngblood along with Vocalist Tommy Karevik, Bassist Sean Tibbetts, and Keyboardist Oliver Palotai strike back with their twelfth overall studio album, The Shadow Theory, due out on April 6, 2018. A follow-up to their 2015 No. 1 charting album, Haven, The Shadow Theory, their sophomore album on Napalm Records, sees Kamelot continue their longstanding relationship with Producer Sascha Paeth (Avantasia), with mastering credits going to Jacob Hansen. On a sadder note, The Shadow Theory comes as the last to feature Drummer Casey Grillo who parted ways with Kamelot on February 5, 2018 to pursue other musical avenues including devoting time to his drumhead company. Officially taking over behind the drum kit for Kamelot moving forward will be Johan Nunez, Drummer for the Greek Power Metal band Firewind.

All this in mind, over the last 365 days, Kamelot have meticulously crafted The Shadow Theory with a mindset based around analytical psychology as the album spans three key pillars – The Shadow Empire (The Global Mind), The Shadow Key (The Resistance), and The Shadow Wall (The veil that blinds us from the truth). The dystopian view of The Shadow Theory studies the intricacy of a human mind and the role it plays in an unjust civilization similar to the the world we live in today.

A storied endeavor, The Shadow Theory opens via the ominous and fitting instrumental, “The Mission,” before the saving grace of “Phantom Divine (The Shadow Empire) Feat. Lauren Hart” delivers the first appearance by Metal Vocalist Lauren Hart (Once Human), who lends her roaring pipes to an epic number. “Raven Light” gives hope to finding the light in the dark while the fierce “Amnesiac” explores the irony in being held back for doing the right thing. Not turning a blind eye, “Burns To Embrace” pleads for deliverance from ignorant recklessness before a guest appearance by Operatic Metal Vocalist Jennifer Haben (Beyond the Black) on the ballad “In Twilight Hours.” Haben’s gorgeous vocal ability blends perfectly with Karevik’s powerful voice, making for a stunning pairing on this track.

Next, the impenetrable “Kevlar Skin” begs for the unmasking of one’s true self and “Static” brings together two imperfect people who match even though they are opposites. Thereafter, defiant and direct vocals strike hard on “Mindfall Remedy,” as the album’s most dramatic composition blesses The Shadow Theory with another fierce Vocal performance by Hart. A telling piece, “Stories Unheard” believes in seeing the light no matter the darkness and then undying love burns in the melodious “Vespertine (My Crimson Bride).” Beyond epic, “The Proud and The Broken” is Kamelot’s biggest moment, as this huge theatrical number graphically dwells on the blunder of ignoring our own faults before The Shadow Theory closes via the compelling instrumental “Ministrium (Shadow Key).”

Subtle, yet powerful, as illustrated by Kamelot, The Shadow Theory is a beautifully dark portrayal of a society, riddled by oppression and ignorance, whose savior is the population choosing to push positive energy amongst their world, while at the same time, bringing about change. From beginning to end, Kamelot have forged emotionally charged lyrics with Theatrical and mesmerizing Symphonic Metal, driven by Karevik’s breathtaking vocals, thus making The Shadow Theory one of the bands best efforts. A must listen for fans of Kamelot and Power Metal, CrypticRock gives The Shadow Theory 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase The Shadow Theory:

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