Release Date: January 13, 2003

User Review
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The American/Norwegian combo Kamelot has done it again. This must be the most successful North-Atlantic union since NATO was formed. Epica is the band’s sixth studio album, and the fourth featuring ex-Conception singer Khan on vocals. The half Thai half Viking singer joined the band in 1998, and from there on Kamelot’s records have continuously reached new levels. But also important in the history of this band, founded by guitarist Thomas Youngblood, was the recruitment of Duracell bunny drummer Casey Grillo at the same time.

The Fourth Legacy, released in 2000, was an easy pick for favorite record of the year. Karma, released the following year, was just as good, and I really didn’t even dare to hope for that. This year, history repeats itself. As Karma was all of …Legacy and a bit more, Epica sees the band moving into a more diverse musical landscape, utilizing lots of different instruments, more female singing than before, and a much wider musical aspect with well thought-out background orchestration. Like I recently said about Pagan’s Mind’s Celestial Entrance, this record simply has it all; one of the most charismatic singers in the business, a guitar that can carry the whole band, orchestration and lots of symphonic and bombastic keyboards, and a drummer that makes Swiss clockwork look stupid.

The opener “Center Of The Universe” is Kamelot playing safe, just like you expect them to, and the song is as good as “Karma”, the title track. Next up is another future classic; “Farewell”, while “The Edge Of Paradise” has a Conception feel and a massive groove. “Wander” can melt any heart of steel, and actually I could have mentioned every little piece of music on Epica. Miro shows he’s indeed a magician on synth arrangements and orchestration, like there ever was any doubt about that, and it’s a bit weird that Kamelot really don’t have a permanent member on keys. Gunter Werno plays on Epica, and the Norwegian who stood in on the last European tour is here as well, whose name I can’t remember to save my life right now, so maybe the band simply benefits from utilizing talents from different musicians on their records?

Epica is a conceptual record, but please find out for yourself what it is all about. You really will have to dig deep into this record if you like “castle metal” with amazing melodies and impressive musicianship delivered with conviction and pride. If Kamelot doesn’t break with Epica, there are indeed industrial factors and other bottlenecks to be blamed.


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