Kamelot – Eternity
Recorded and released in 1995, this album was the debut for Tampa metallers Kamelot. Having released an EP a few years years before, they signed a deal with Noise Records and had this album released.
The intro is clearly symphonic, and promises of a symphonic-melodic album; but as the intro melody fades away, it’s replaced by very basic power metal. There’s nothing really noticeable about this except for its melodies. Usually this album is not recognized as Kamelot – and when listening to their post-1997 work, I can see why.
However, back to 1995. Already here guitarist Thomas Youngblood and keyboardist David Pavlicko show good songwriting skills – these songs are undeniably good, though not extraordinary. The lyrics, mainly written by Pavlicko, are medieval-themed and emotional, and so is the music. It brings my mind back to medieval knights, travellers, horsemen and epic travels in imaginary lands. And the band name, being a clear reference to the legend of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, has something to do with it.
You might think of a good, talented, opera-trained singer when reminded of Kamelot; this is nothing like that. Mark Vanderbilt, the first vocalist, had a singing style that was rough and dry, yet soft in slower songs (see “What About Me”). His voice sounds forced, as if he’s trying all too hard to sound like someone else. He’s far from the best of vocalists, but here, his voice fits the music. It’s got the same bizarre rawness as the instruments.
The overall feel of the album is that it’s a solid one; it’s got catchy and powerful riffs and melodies that get stuck in your head – for a long time after listening. Therefore, I’d say that the choruses of these songs have the “The Final Countdown”-factor; hear the first line, and you immediately know the rest of the chorus and its melody. Songs such as “Call Of The Sea”, “Warbird” and “Black Tower” are ones I’d especially showcase for that. I wouldn’t say all Kamelot fans have heard of these songs, but they’re known for their – you guessed it – choruses. “Call Of The Sea” in particular was recorded during a tour and used on their first live CD.
But if you’re not into power metal, I wouldn’t recommend this. It’s very typical for its genre, and though it has its own style, it’s basic; this is power metal before adding layers upon layers of keyboards, various string instruments and choirs. This is the original Kamelot. The more I listen to this, the more I like it. But if I knew more about the power metal scene at the time I would say more about this album… Had this been released today, I wouldn’t pay much attention to it.
Tora’s Rating: 3.0 out of 5