US-Swedish symphonic prog masters Kamelot hit London and fucking hell it was good!
Kamelot have seen some changes in the past few months, it has altered the dynamic of the band for the better, sounding tighter on stage than ever before!
Arriving at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town after a mad dash from Camden and a fight with a ticket machine, I was somewhat stressed, arriving shortly after doors, most of the queue had entered the venue. On first look it seemed rather sparse inside, especially since Kamelot are only hitting the UK once on this world tour.
After a couple of beers the lights went down and on marched BLACKGUARD, a band relatively unknown to me, this Canadian Melodic Death Metal mob appeared and grabbed London by the balls, storming through the usual opening supports 5/6 song set these are a band who are set for big things, with hooks and riffs a plenty, they’re a must for any Machine Head fan.
Up next were the Norwegian heavy metallers, TRIOSPHERE. A band I got to see on the SONATA ARCTICA tour the year previous to this, this is a band that right from the off crash in with their melodic brand of metal, lead singer/bassist Ida Haukland shows she knows exactly how to work a crowd, fists are pumping and the crowd are starting to wake up. They delivered a set that really did leave you begging for more.
Whilst wandering about, during the set of main support XANDRIA, it was easy to see who the crowd were here for, with pretty much everyone in a Kamelot shirt, it was a sight to behold, the sparse crowd at the beginning of the night had now filled out, all waiting patiently for the main event.
After a brief intermission, out come KAMELOT, launching into ‘Rule The World’, new vocalist Tommy Karevik shows us almost instantly why he is doing this, a flawless performance with smiles on the faces of every single member of the band. Leading us through the classics ‘Ghost Opera’ and ‘The Great Pandemonium’, clapping and singing loud, the audience laps it up.
In comes the first new song of the night, ‘Veritas’ from their new effort Silverthorn (which is a fucking stunner of an album), backing vocals tonight, just like on the album are being handled by none other than the lead vocalist of Swedish Symphonic Metallers AMARANTHE and what a fine job Elize Ryd does.
Another two classics Centre of the Universe and Human Stain performed effortlessly and powerfully lead into the second new track of the night, the slower ‘Song For Jolee’ brings a melancholic feel, with arms up and swaying. Tommy Karevik has a penchant for charging the crowd with passion and energy.
A short but punchy and tribal style drum solo by sticks man Casey Grillo marches us on to ‘When The Lights Are Down’ and the lead single from Silverthorn ‘Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)’ my personal favourite, the duet between Elize and Tommy is delivered with the exact passion and care this song requires, at this point the feeling in the room is electric and a Pirates of the Caribbean feel keyboard and drum performance is just testament to the talent within this band.
A short encore brings out bassist Sean Tibbetts for a short yet sweet bass solo heading into the last songs of the night, ‘Karma’ and ‘Torn’ go down a storm and for the final offering ‘March of the Mephisto’, a tormented and dark piece with growled vocals provided by Shagrath of DIMMU BORGIR, on the album, but this evening it was the turn of BLACKGUARD’s Paul Zinay who added another dimension to my favourite track from this band. A perfect end to a brilliant evening.
Classic Kamelot, Perfection as ever: 10/10