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Kamelot/ Dragonforce

Date: 11/21/15
Venue: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, New Jersey
Report By: Rich Catino


Dragonforce…oooohhh Dragonforce…even with their debut I felt they were a bit much, and I was right, because every album since just became more and more over the top, taking all the elements of (great) European Power Metal to laughable levels. The music they choose to create paints themselves into a corner, making for redundancy with almost each and every fast song composed. It’s ridiculous, and so are those kangaroo back kicks the keyboardist does, what is this the circus? Because of the speed, guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman always sound like they are always trying to catch up to the tempo, the leads and runs all sound the same, and those pinches and squeals are just horrendous. Their video game hit ‘Through the Fire and Flames’ is (was) the nail in the coffin, of course beneficial to them, but bad for the genre. At least a song like ‘Three Hammers’ slows things down for verses and catchy chorus. The ride out for the title track of the debut was one of, if not, the only time I heard a guitar melody that sounded like someone took their time to write, and not for the fact of sheer speed. I was over this band before they even got started.

Kamelot have been in the game since 1995, making music any fan of Queensryche merged with European Symphonic Power Metal would want from a second generation band to carry on the traditions of power and prog metal. On the road in support of the latest album “Haven”, second with new singer Tommy Karevik, founding member/guitarist Thomas Youngblood picked a setlist focused on more recent albums, with a couple classics from the album “Karma” on. Unfortunately, still nothing from the first four albums are in the set, not even ‘Nights of Arabia’ from the excellent “Fourth Legacy”. The stage was covered in enough lights for a large amphitheater, with Kobra And The Lotus sexy singer Kobra Paige joining the band on backing vocals for the female harmonies.

‘Veil of Elysium’, from the new album “Haven”, kicked the show off with a lot of energy from those raging drums, bass, and guitar leads and riffs Kamelot are known for. Several of the singles, and video tracks were in the set, including from the Kahn era ‘Rule The World’ off “Ghost Opera” and ‘March Of Mephisto’ to which Tommy’s naturally (Roy) Kahneque tone handles like a champ. Speaking of Tommy, his abilities and grace takes center stage for ballad ‘Here’s To The Fall’ as the females swooned in the crowd. Flashing light and strobes keep with the pace on ‘Forever’, ‘Center Of The Universe’, ‘When The Lights Are Down’, definitive speedy symphonic power metal classics. All three also coming from Kamelot’s most regarded albums “Karma”, “Epica” and “The Black Halo”. “Silverthorn” album was represented by ‘Torn’ and closer ‘Sacrimony’, while ‘The Great Pandemonium’ from “Poetry for The Poisoned”, the last album with Roy Kahn on vocals, sees Youngblood doing the contrasting darker black metalish backing vocal for this edgier number. ‘Revolution’ off the new album is more industrial and rhythmic, with the vocal effects also its probably Kamelot’s heaviest tune.

Kamelot setlist:

Veil of Elysium
When the Lights are Down
The Great Pandemonium
Center of the Universe
Here's to the Fall
March of Mephisto
Rule the World
Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)

Dragonforce setlist:

Fury of the Storm
Three Hammers
The Game
Operation Ground and Pound
Cry Thunder
Valley of the Damned
Ring of Fire (Merle Kilgore cover)
Through the Fire and Flames


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