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Kamelot + Evergrey + Amaranthe @ O2 Academy, Islington - Thursday 28th April 2011

posted 9 May 2011, 11:36 by Paul Broome   [ updated 9 May 2011, 11:44 ]
Review and Photos by Claire Frays

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Tonight is the second of Kamelot’s two UK dates on their extensive Pandemonium Over Europe Tour. Over the past couple of years Kamelot have quickly gained a reputation for their flawless live performances. With a loyal fanbase behind them there simply is no stopping The Great Pandemonium!

Swedish/Danish Pop/Melodic Metal band Amaranthe are the openers this evening. They have not one, not two, but THREE vocalists. At times it is questionable as to just what this adds to their sound and whether three vocalists are really necessary. Nevertheless, their performance is very sleek and very polished. Their sound mixes pop with metal, in places sounding reminiscent of Swedish Metal outfit, Dead By April but with the addition of a female singer. Their songs are extremely catchy and have a very uplifting vibe. Songs ‘Leave Everything Behind’, ‘Automatic’ and ‘Call Out My Name’ are infectious and addictive.  

Setlist: Leave Everything Behind, Enter The Maze, 1,000,000 Light Years, Automatic, Call Out My Name, It’s All About Me (Rain), My Transition, Hunger

Swedish Melodic Metal band Evergrey are next up with a very dark atmospheric and progressive styled sound with vocals bearing some resemblance to Symphony-X’s Russell Allen. Their guitar work and keyboard work are exceptional. Their set is extremely crowd-pleasing with a majority of their short set encompassing tracks from Evergrey’s most recent release ‘Glorious Collision’. From soft keyboard melodies through to the heavy riff of guitars this title sums up their sound down to a T. Tracks ‘Leave It Behind Us’, ‘Frozen’ and ‘Wrong’ are all “glorious collisions” of intense dark metal.

Setlist: Leave It Behind Us, Monday Morning Apocalypse, Wrong, Blinded, The Masterplan, Recreation Day, Frozen, Broken Wings, A Touch of Blessing

The recent departure of Kamelot’s long serving and highly regarded vocalist, Roy Khan, may have rocked a storm and broken the hearts of hardcore Kamelot fans across the globe, but fear not, as Rhapsody of Fire Vocalist, Fabio Lione, steps up to the Mic. He may not have the illustrious floor-length trenchcoats of Khan, but he is a man more than capable to fill the role on this tour cycle. Tonight Lione is joined by a string of special guests including Simone Simons from Epica and Tommy Karevik from Seventh Wonder.

From the moment Lione stepped onstage, the audience were swept away by his expansive vocal range, which delivered song after song note perfectly with ease. From older Kamelot songs, right through to songs from Kamelot’s 2010 release, ‘Poetry For The Poisoned’, it was certainly a night to remember.

Opening with the jaw-dropping and intense ‘Rule The World’, followed by the epic and mysterious ‘Ghost Opera’, it’s clear from the start that Kamelot mean business.

‘Center of the Universe’ is taken care of by Tommy Karevik, who doesn’t put a foot wrong. Whilst, Lione’s rendition of ‘Nights Of Arabia’ makes it sound like the song was written for him. His powerful voice really shines through on the chorus. Things are slowed down with “old school” Kamelot ballad ‘A Sailormans Hymn’, which Fabio Lione proclaims is his favourite Kamelot song. With guitarist Thomas Youngblood adopting an acoustic guitar and Amaranthe vocalist Elize Ryd accompanying Lione on vocals, the mood becomes magical.

Individual instrumental solo pieces from Casey Grillo (Drums), Oliver Palotai (Keyboards) and Sean Tibbets (Bass Guitar) are real treats and showcase the enormous amount of talent and skill that fuels the instrumental sound of Kamelot. ‘Descent of the Archangel’ is an unexpected addition to Kamelot’s setlist but a very welcome one indeed, as Lione’s vocals soar against the sound of exquisite musicianship.

A further highlight of the show was when Epica Vocalist, Simone Simons, joined Lione for the epic Metal Duet, ‘The Haunting (Somewhere In Time)’ from ‘The Black Halo’ album. There are no words to describe the intensity both singers brought to the song. It was simply spectacular.

‘Forever’, opens with guitarist Thomas Youngblood playing the beautiful melody of Edvard Grieg’s ‘Solveig’s song’, which has the power to send shivers down the spine, as the crowd get their chance to sing with the melody. The entire song is an incredible masterpiece taken to new heights with a phenomenal presence and breathtaking vocals.

Kamelot’s set draws to its close with fan-favourite, ‘March of Mephisto’ with its ferocious and pounding drum beats echoing across the Islington Academy.

The future of Kamelot may be uncertain, but what’s clear tonight is that with or without Khan, their live performances are still up there with the best in Heavy Metal.

Setlist: Rule the World, Ghost Opera, The Great Pandemonium, The Human Stain, Center of the Universe (with Tommy Karevik), Nights of Arabia, A Sailorman's Hymn, When the Lights are Down, Soul Society, Keyboard Solo, Descent of the Archangel, EdenEcho, Necropolis, The Haunting (with Simone Simons), Drum Solo, Forever, Bass Solo, Karma, March of Mephisto