This is because I can spell confusion with a K
and I can like it,
It’s to dying in another’s arms, and why I had to try it
It’s to Jimmy Eat World and those nights in my car
When the first star you see, may not be a star
I’m not your star –
Isn’t that what you said?
What you thought this song meant?
Something Corporate – Konstantine
On June 5, 2007, American power metal band Kamelot released their eight studio album entitled ”Ghost Opera”. I downloaded (I am ashamed, please forgive me) the album the same summer.
Since I first heard Kamelot (with first loves like ”The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)” and ”The Black Halo”) in the summer of 2006, I’ve loved the band. There is something special with their ability to combine some of my favorite genres in metal: symphonic, progressive, power and (on later albums) gothic. My love for the band is nothing that changes with this album, not at all. As a first comment on it… I love the title and art work… I will buy it as soon as I get some money, I promise. However, I more want to buy their ”One Cold Winter’s Night” DVD. It seems cool.
Over to the review.
The album kicks off with a one minute instrumental entitled ”Solitaire”, that really feels like a waste of time, or an excuse to have eleven tracks on the album, cause it sounds much better than eleven…. A solo violin playing the most boring notes, where’s the KAMELOT? Just skip the track… I do.
”Rule the World”, the second track, is one of those songs that has nothing special that sticks out, but that it’s nothing wrong with. I like the raise of Roy Khan’s voice in the chorus, and it’s quite speedy. It doesn’t really touch me otherwise, but it’s really an okay song.
The main track has an eponymous title with the album. ”Ghost Opera” is a speedy, interesting breaking-border song. And GOD that video’s fabulous! It’s quite boring in a way, though… I can refer to Sonata Arctica’s song ”Wolf & Raven”; the song seems to have a great potential but everything fades when it sounds the same without grande changes. It’s not catchy enough.
”The Human Stain” is the fourth track of the album. It is a cynic’s view of the world: everything bad, human kind’s selfishness (”No one really wants to die to save the world”), and the wish to be an innocent child again. It is a good, cool and catchy song, that is sad and interesting with gothic metal-similarities such as the keyboard playing throughout the song.
”Blücher” is based on the sinking of the the German cruiser of the same name in World War II. It’s a bit like ”Rule the World” but better; it’s quite neutral, nothing good nor bad about it… It’s cool with the intro as well as some parts of the background that’s just filled with sounds of the war; screaming, shooting etcetera.
And here comes what I would presume is my favorite track of the album. ”Love You to Death” is a beautiful story about a couple where the girl is dying, and this is his speech to her about how he will stay by her forever, love her to death… It’s the longest song off the album (5:13) and for that I’m glad. It has a cool intro and a catchy chorus… Me like.
”Up Through the Ashes” is what I would call one of the heaviest song of the album. It’s quite angry. I like it.
”Mourning Star” is quite neutral. I’ve got nothing against it, despite it’s not one of my favorite. Guess I miss some kind of turn that never shows up.
Vocalist Roy Khan tries lots of new vocal methods in the song ”Silence of the Darkness”. It also holds a great guitar solo that has a cool, outstanding sound. I guess I’ll try it as soon as I have the powers. This is one of the songs that seems really cool live (I might go to their Stockholm concert in May, 2008, wih).
Kamelot is really good on slow, sad songs, and they usually have at least one per album. On Ghost Opera, ”Anthem” is the one. It is a sad piano song with a fascinating chorus and beautiful yet sad lyrics. I keep listening for the introduction of sudden drums in the end, by ”I’ll be the best I can”. That would sound great… WHY NOT?
The final song of the album is ”EdenEcho” which is another song that would be lovely live. It doesn’t really make it unto my mind, so I cannot count it as one of my favorites. Yet it has a cool chorus.
- ”Solitaire” – 1:00
- ”Rule the World” – 3:40
- ”Ghost Opera” – 4:06
- ”The Human Stain” – 4:01
- ”Blücher” – 4:03
- ”Love You to Death” – 5:13
- ”Up Through the Ashes” – 4:59
- ”Mourning Star” – 4:37
- ”Silence of the Darkness” – 3:43
- ”Anthem” – 4:24
- ”EdenEcho” – 4:13
The album also features two bonus tracks (”The Pendulous Fall” and ”Season’s End”), both which I haven’t heard.
Today I downloaded a tablature editor called ”Power Tab Editor” for free from Download.com. It handles guitar, bass and similar string instruments and is good (thinking of the fact that it’s free). Strongly recommended.
I have now created yet another website, this time called Chords. The website offers free chords and lyrics to all kinds of instruments, everything from piano to the oboe. Chords to two songs are gathered so far, Led Zeppelin’s ”Stairway to Heaven” and Sonata Arctica’s ”Shamandalie”. Be my guest.
In 2004, Finnish symphonic power metal band Nightwish released their fifth studio album, Once, leading to a giant world tour. After the last concert, the members of Nightwish wrote an open letter which officially fired the lead singer, Tarja Turunen, leading to a giant debate; the name of Nightwish have become famous because of the operatic female vocals creating the new genre \”symphonic power metal\” – so without Tarja, is their a Nightwish? In the fall of 2006, Nightwish surprised their fans and reporters all around the world by announcing the possibility of sending in a demo tape to the Nightwish members. Thousands of applicants sent their demos to Nightwish, and in February 2007, lead member, main composer and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen announced that the new member was found.
On May 25, Nightwish officially released their new single, Eva, a radio single which was sold as download only. All the income goes to a child charity. Though, already as I got home from school yesterday, a leak had made the song downloadable on The Pirate Bay. I don\’t really know if I should take that as good or bad, but I guess bad. I mean, the song should have been released TOMORROW. Goddamn it, wait one day at least!
The identity of the new vocalist wasn\’t leaked, however. Her identity was officially revealed on Nightwish.com yesterday at 5 pm Finnish time (4 pm Swedish time, 2 pm American). I was glad to hear that the singer, Anette Olzon (birth name Anette Blyckert) wasn\’t very famous at all; according to Nightwish.com, Google searches and Wikipedia, she had joined a band as a teenager, Alyson Avenue which she still was a member of before Nightwish. The band had only released two albums and they never got very famous. So why am I glad to hear that? Actually, I must confess that I had started to believe those bloody tabloids, and I really thought that the singer would turn out to be Simone Simons of Epica, Lady Angellyca of Forever Slave etcetera. For the first thing, this would be quite boring. No new blood. I already know these voices. Two: this would perhaps mean that the new singer already is famous, perhaps even more famous than the other members, casting shade on them, taking over totally and turning Nightwish into another band. I don\’t want that to happen, I want Tuomas to hold the control of the band, keep composing their songs and being the front member. And the third and last reason: I want to see a brand new artist develop. I really think that I think the same as the members thought choosing to have a demo outtake instead of asking famous singers of other metal bands. I want to see a girl (okay, she\’s 35, so woman) develop from being non-famous into being one of the world\’s most famous singers of the metal genre. And I think that Anette Olzon has got that competence. I really do.
Over to my analysis of the song itself; no more talk about Anette and Nightwish\’s last years. Eva begins with a calm piano play in twenty seconds, before Anette\’s voice appears and calmly introduces the songs, with the piano repeating itself in the background. The refrain begins after 56 seconds: \”Eva flies away, dreams the world far away. In this cruel children\’s game, there\’s no friend to call her name\”. Something already destroying Nightwish\’s nature of before is Anette\’s humming; actually, my thoughts of humming aren\’t that great. I look at humming as a cheap way of \”singing\” instead of using some other instruments to make the sound. Another similar thing that reminds (oh, god, can I really say this about Nightwish?) of pop is Anette\’s voice at 04:01, her drawn out version of the word \”sunflower seed\” (okay, I suck at hearing lyrics and I can\’t find the official lyrics, so it\’s possibly not \”sunflower seed\”). I hate that. Please. Don\’t use that beautiful voice of yours for humming and similar.
At the end first refrain, at about 01:30 of the song, no drums have been used, and as I can hear nothing but piano and calm singing. The song is really calm, but due to experience, I can say that metal songs can\’t do totally calm songs. They can\’t live without drums and electric guitars, and I don\’t blame them. I love calm, sad songs, but they are rather boring if the tempo all the song through is the same, and if the only instrument is the piano. I compare with for example Sonata Arctica\’s Shamandalie and Evanescence\’s My Immortal. Calm metal songs. I love them. Eva don\’t ruin this tradition, introducing drums at 02:12 (which follows through till the end), and the song has got an electric guitar solo at 02:52. At 03:38, a louder refrain with drums, piano, electric guitars and backing vocals appears and goes till the end of the song, at 04:24.
After listening to Eva, I am every time surprised about its length. The song really has it all; introduction, piano solo, electric guitar solo, it is calm, it is hard, it has it all. On less than four and a half minute.