By Colonel Angus

I have been a fan of Kamelot for a while now.  Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of change so it was a big disappointment for me to learn that Roy Khan was leaving the group.  I have been a fan of his work since his Conception days so it was quite a shock to learn that he was quitting.  Since vocals are a very big part of the listening experience for me, I was afraid that new singer, Tommy Karevik, wouldn’t have the pipes to fill the shoes left empty by Khan.  After multiple listens, Karevik is growing on me but he doesn’t have the same range that Khan had and that piece is what is missing from the puzzle of "Siverthorn".

Musically, the band is in fine form and the songs are all really good.  The band have created another concept record, although I can’t follow it like, let’s say, "Operation Mindcrime" or "The Wall".  It doesn’t really matter because no matter what the concept may be, the music is what matters and in that department, Kamelot deliver.   “Ashes to Ashes” is a great single and really shows off the band’s skill in writing melodic progressive metal without going over the top like so many in the genre tend to do.  There are too many tracks on "Silverthorn" to say “this is the stand-out tune” because each one is just as good as next one.  Songs like “Veritas” is just as good as “Falling Like the Fahrenheit” which is just as melodic and catchy as the title cut.  The material, like Karevik’s voice, all has a sort of same-ness to it and that is my minor gripe about "Silverthorn".  While it has a high level of consistency, it didn’t take me on that same journey that "Ghost Opera: and "Poetry For The Poisoned "did.  I really loved both of those releases but this one still leaves me wanting a bit more.  It would be easy to lay blame solely on the “new guy” but it is basically the same band as on "Poetry For The Poisoned".  Thomas Youngblood does come up with some great riffs and Oliver Palotai really makes his mark on "Silverthorn" but somehow it still falls a bit short for me.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great record, just not on the same level that I was hoping/expecting.

As with the last few Kamelot albums, SPV has released this one and in a few different formats.  There is a release that contains a bonus disk of instruments versions of the songs and 2 bonus cuts but I would only recommend that for the ultimate complete-ist.   Kamelot have made another really good album that I will continue to listen to in months to come but I still find myself going back to the previous two releases.  My recommendation is this, if you have the previous albums, by all means purchase "Silverthorn".  There is plenty here to make it worth your time and money.  If you don’t have any Kamelot records, then I would consider picking up "Ghost Opera" or "Poetry For The Poisoned" first.  You should still purchase Silverthorn, but only after getting acquainted with some of their earlier works.