By Mike Maher 

Ghost opera is the 8th release of Tampa, Florida based power metal band Kamelot. Following up the success of their last two releases (Epica and the Black Halo), the band moves into what they call new musical waters. Guitarist Thomas Youngblood states that “Ghost Opera” is full of “new and varied elements,” and vocalist Roy Khan thinks it is their “best, most exciting and important production to date” (From Kamelot’s website).

For Ghost Opera, the band opted for shorter length songs (all but one clock in under the 5 minute mark) and a more prog-influenced sound. Thomas Youngblood’s guitars are catchy as hell and were really the first thing I noticed (we all expect Khan to sound great!). This guy can play! Khan’s vocals are outstanding, emotional and are mostly in his mid-range. No long power metal screams heard here, and not a lot of the high pitched singing we’ve heard on older Kamelot albums like the Fourth Legacy or Karma. Additional female backup vocals appear throughout the recording (Ghost Opera, Human Stain, Love you to Death) as a background chorus and supplement Khan’s superior vocals (ala Black Halo).Personally, I was not excited to see the band continue with semi-concept albums, so this album instantly got my attention. I will say that the Ghost Opera seems to focus its energies on feelings of sadness, death and loss. The guitars, ghostly background singing and Khan’s voice really bring the album together. “Love you to Death” is my favorite song, and when Khan sings that line you feel like the guy is really pouring his heart out – it’s unbelievable.

Old fans can take comfort in the catchy songs and in Youngblood’s excellent guitar work. Fans of Black Halo will be happy as the band continues in a prog vein. I will say that Kamelot has developed their own sound and fans can take comfort that there’s no mistaking that this is a Kamelot CD. Of course, people will be turned off any time a band tries something even slightly new but give this CD a listen, it will hook you