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Album Reviews : Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

By on December 7, 2010

With their neo-classical power metal sound, overly serious promo photos and kind of cheesy band name, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Kamelot were a product of mainland Europe. It may come as a surprise to some that the band actually originally hail from sunny Florida in the good ol’ US of A. The brainchild of guitarist Thomas Youngblood, Kamelot have steadily released 9 studio albums across their almost 20 year career, with Poetry for the Poisoned their first album since 2007’s Ghost Opera.

Opener “The Great Pandemonium” is a decent enough way to start the record, with an awesome guitar solo from Youngblood bolstering the tune, but it takes the second track “If Tomorrow Came” to really get things moving, as the down-tuned guitars and jackhammer drums provide a heavy backing to the first great chorus of the record.

While Poetry for the Poisoned isn’t a huge departure from their previous albums, it does have a darker and more ‘metal’ undertone to the music, such as the album’s standout track “The Zodiac”. Featuring Jon Oliva, the song moves through gloomy melodies and carries another classy chorus. “The Hunter Season” is another strong song, with tasteful strings and choir work blending in with Roy Khan’s vocals.

Production wise the album is slightly disappointing, as the mix becomes fairly muddy in certain sections and Khan’s vocals seem to feature a tad too much delay and reverb.
“Seal of Woven Years” features some great drum work from Casey Grillo, and the four part title track is a fantastic example of the bands grandiose sound, as peaceful piano work and sumptuous female vocals (thanks to Simone Simons) intertwines with chunky guitar chords and driving drum work.

With a heavier edge, but whilst still retaining a lot of their epic past sound, Kamelot’s Poetry for the Poisoned has certainly lived up to it’s reputation as one of the most looked forward to melodic metal releases of 2010. While it might have been just a tiny bit stronger had some of the songs in the middle of the album been cut, it’s another great release from one of America’s finest power metal acts. 8/10

Band: Kamelot
Album: Poetry for the Poisoned
Year: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Origin: Florida, USA
Label: Kamelot Media Group/Riot! Entertainment

Track listing:

1. The Great Pandemonium
2. If Tomorrow Came
3. Dear Editor
4. The Zodiac <- Reviewer’s Choice
5. Hunter’s Season
6. House on a Hill
7. Necropolis
8. My Train of Thoughts
9. Seal of Woven Years
10. Poetry For The Poisoned: Pt I. Incubus
11. Poetry For The Poisoned: Pt II. So Long
12. Poetry For The Poisoned: Pt III. All Is Over
13. Poetry For The Poisoned: Pt IV. Dissection
14. Once Upon A Time


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.