Home > *Music, Reviews > Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned: Review

Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned: Review

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

On September 1, one of my favorite bands, Kamelot, released their latest album in Japan. Now if you’re in Europe, Poetry for the Poisoned is out on the 10th, and for America it is the 14th. Because they are among my top bands, I had high expectations diving into this album. You can imagine how disappointed I am having to use the word “average” in its description.

The Music (rating: B-)

  1. The Great Pandemonium
  2. If Tomorrow Came
  3. Dear Editor
  4. The Zodiac
  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

Kamelot steps away from the power metal genre in this album and incorporates a darker sound. This should be no surprise as the band stated exactly this prior to the release of Poetry for the Poisoned. There are definitely remnants of their classic power style, but it is not as evident. In this record, the band seems to be venturing more towards the symphonic and gothic metal realms, though personally I am not a big fan of the latter in general. But it is not the style or change in direction that hurts the album.

The album is resounding of Ghost Opera, but much less memorable. Almost all the songs in the album, though not mainstream, are quite dull. It has all been done by Kamelot before except with much better execution. On this record, there is not a standout masterpiece or anything close to it. The first few songs are decent, but incomparable to the band’s best. They have their moments, both good and bad unfortunately. At approximately the mid-section, the record deteriorates. Whether this is due to the song quality itself or the unfulfilled anticipation of being wowed, I cannot say (it is likely both). By the end, it is simply a waiting game.

The biggest heartbreak is the performance of vocalist Khan. I say this self-loathingly, as Khan is among my favorite vocalists. But he seems to lack the range and power which made him so beloved. And not only that, his phrasing seems much less inspired, dynamic, and controlled than it did on previous albums. Still, I love his voice and he sings better on Poetry for the Poisoned than many vocalists can even attempt. But when all is said and done, Khan is no match for the extremely high standard he has set for himself.

As for the other instrumentalists, their performance comparable to Khan’s. The guitarist gave some good riffs here and there, but did not consistently shine. The bass and drums also had some spotlight moments, but were shy of spectacular. On behalf of the keyboardist, the exact same can be said. Perhaps the instruments falling to the background is to give room for the vocals to sparkle. However, that did not happen and the music is often left with a void of emptiness. All the band members are all full of talent, but none of them could thoroughly hold their own ground. Even together, they seem to have lost the magic that made such classics as The Black Halo and Epica. Epica… that reminds me; the guest vocalists did quite well and added some extra flavor to the album, but not enough to help its cause. But that surely could not be expected of them, and their performances only adds to the album.

I was really hoping for a knockout album, but Poetry for the Poisoned is painfully average. Its flaws are noticeable and its grasping moments are sparse. The instrumentalists, especially Khan, did not live up to the high esteem in which I hold them in. After all the criticism I have given, I still would not call it a bad album. I definitely support the continuation of the band, and I sincerely hope there are many that disagree with this review to serve Kamelot’s financial needs. But if there are no Kamelot albums in your collection, this is not the place to start.

  1. Hoc
    September 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    “Poetry for the Poisoned is painfully average”

    What a souless album, they did the same but worse.

    I like Kamelot, but this album is quite boring, I think it is more elaborate than the previous one but I like more ghost opera

  2. October 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I actually like PftP quite a bit. I found “Ghost Opera” (which is a good album) to be a bit repetitive and a little too symphonic. PftP has more variety, and I liked the dark, gritty feel it has. But, everyone has their own opinions, and I respect yours. The review is well written, and your disappointments well explained. ;)

  3. Wes
    November 4, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Anyone who actually listens to music seriously will agree. PftP is an awful album. It is not even a good gothic/symphonic album, its more of an industrial rock album but extremely boring, watered down, and forced. There are no more beautiful intros or background music, its all simplified, and I mean all of it is. The vocal melodies are all too easy to predict and redundant. Ghost Opera and even Black Halo use repetitive vocal melodies but the execution is flawless and the instruments and background music makes it worth it. Poetry on the other hand looses everything that made these albums worth it at all. Take “Hunter’s Season” for example. You can tell this song was made simply in order to be put in the trailer the way it transitions. And the vocal melody is absolutely terrible and annoying.

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