History & BiographyThomas Youngblood and drummer Richard Warner formed Kamelot in 1991 in Tampa, Florida. The two recruited singer Mark Vanderbilt and bassist Sean Christians and started to play shows and record demos. A demo was recorded in 1991 and another in 1993, which was also issued as a split with the band Oracle. Kamelot and Oracle shared management by Dustin Hardmann, who later on would take over Nuclear Blast America. He had also managed Brutality before.
The progressive hard rockers would obtain a long-term deal with Noise Records and issue Eternity in 1995. Jim Morris at Morrisound Studio recorded the album. Founder Warner would depart following Dominion citing an inability to tour for longer periods. A short time later, the band would also recruit Norwegian singer Roy Khan. Keyboardist Pavlico would depart following the recording of Siege Perilous. In the meanwhile, the band’s popularity was growing in Europe and Kamelot recorded The Fourth Legacy at Gate Studio in Germany. The ensuing tour had the band record a live album, entitled The Expedition. Khan would be involved in a car accident, but would improve enough to record Karma in time. Kamelot and pomp rock band Axxis would undertake a lengthy tour. Former Sieges Even drummer Alex Holzwarth would drum for the band on a few dates. A year later a couple of members would participate in Ian Parry’s project. Epica was a concept album based on the story of Faust. The band would recruit German keyboardist Palotai in early 2005 and again hit the road in Europe. The band also switched over to SPV Records for The Black Halo. The group issued a video and a live audio recording called One Cold Winter’s Night in 2006. Ghost Opera was issued in the summer and had a bonus DVD with the first pressing. Former bassist Sean Tibbets (of Royal Anguish) joined the band on its European and Japanese shows. Glenn Barry could not make the trip due to family commitments. Ghost Opera - The Second Coming, is a reissue of Kamelot's Ghost Opera album enhanced with extra features. The double-CD included the original CD plus ten additional live tracks recorded live in Belgrade, Serbia during the band's 2007 world tour and several bonus songs.
Edel/earMUSIC signed Kamelot in 2010. The band's new studio album, Poetry For The Poisoned, was released on September 3rd. The band called this album its "most diverse." Sean Tibbetts was back on bass after an absence of 18 years. Kamelot singer Roy Khan was replaced with Michael of Circus Maximus for touring purposes in September of 2010. Roy had fallen ill and could not tour. The band was also kind enough to also have a VIP meet 'n greet for its tour. However, with the rehearsals not working out the new replacement singer was utilized for just one show, namely ProgPower America. Kamelot singer Roy Khan [Roy Sætr Khantatat] continued to have medical issues and would not tour for the Poetry For The Poisoned album. The band picked up Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire) instead. Kamelot was supporting its Poetry For The Poisoned album through a North America tour in the summer of 2011. Dubbed Pandemonium Over North America 2011 the tour kicked off in August and featured Alestorm, Blackguard and The Agonist. Following his 2010 burnout Roy Khan definitively left Kamelot in April of 2011. The band was searching for a permanent new singer. Khan had originally offered his resignation in the previous autumn, but was given time to possibly rethink by the band and label. Shadow Society lost bassist Brian Werner in 2012 and has picked up Sean Tibbetts of Kamelot for its album recording sessions. In May of 2012, Kamelot signed a new deal with Steamhammer. The band remained with King Records for Japan. Kamelot was working on a new album due later that year. Kamelot announced Silverthorn as the title for its next album, which was due on September 24th, 2012 through Steamhammer/SPV. The album featured new singer Tommy Karevik. Khan would end up reforming Conception. In 2013, Kamelot keyboardist Oliver Palotai and Epica singer Simone Simons were expecting a child. Coen Janssen from Epica was stepping in to tour with Kamelot. The band entered the studio in mid-2014 to record the follow-up to its 2012 album Silverthorn. The new CD would be released in May through Napalm Records as part of a licensing deal through the band's Kamelot Music LLC. Kamelot’s next album, called The Shadow Theory, was out through Napalm Records in April. Casey Grillo opted to leave the band. Johan Nunez of Firewind jumped in. Kamelot announced the second leg of its North American The Shadow Tour for the autumn of 2019. Support on the tour would come from Sonata Arctica and Battle Beast. Kamelot made drummer Alex Landenburg an official member in April 2019 replacing Johan "Jo" Nunez who injured his leg a year prior. Kamelot’s I Am The Empire - Live From The 013 was a live album and DVD out through Napalm Records in August 2020. It was recorded in The Netherlands. Kamelot, Eleine and so-called modern metal act League Of Distortion were touring Europe in March and April 2023. Tommy Karevik quit Seventh Wonder to focus on Kamelot. He cited a lack of time as the reason. That band was seeking a replacement. Kamelot recruited Swedish drummer Adde Larsson (How We End, Cyhra, etc.) for several concerts on the band's 2023 U.S. tour. Larsson was filling in for drummer Alex Landenburg who became a father. Kamelot was to appear at ProgPower USA.
KAMELOT - KARMA - NOISE
A new Kamelot Record should be cause for celebration over in Europe and similarly an increasing number of fans in Canada are gathering around the band's mantle. Karma is quite a mature record. It is a must for melodic heavy metal fans and will not disappoint fans of the band's last record. Past the mundane intro, the first two songs Forever and Wings Of Despair are heavy metal tunes with a good melody and vocals. Things mellow a little from there and, unfortunately, the middle part of the record showcases the band's explicit Dream Theater influence complete with the keyboards and a slow song dedicated to Youngblood Sr. One nice touch is the red type on the Elizabeth trilogy's Requiem for The Innocent. The song is about the ways of Elizabeth Bathory. As a supposed bonus, the US/Canada version features a boring French ballad with little reason to exist. All in all, the new Kamelot is a successful record that will appeal to prog metal fans and will only swell the fans of the Floridians. - Ali "The Metallian"
KAMELOT - EPICA - NOISE/SANCTUARY
Kamelot's latest album Epica has been anticipated and discussed so much that one would be forgiven for thinking it an old album. It is not of course, but that has been the level of expectation surrounding it. What does it sound like? Does it live up to the hype? Will fans of pomp rock worship at the altar of Epica? Without question, the musical adaptation of Goethe's Faust is a pompous, epic and symphonic affair given a rousing reprise by the Florida boys. The sound is huge, a good number of guest musicians are amassed to achieve it and Epica has turned into a worthy follow-up to Kamelot's Karma released in 2001. Ignoring how the K&F is cause for aggravation here at Metallian Towers, one could still wonder why the band does not feature a permanent keyboardist in its line-up when the instrument is, well, so instrumental to Kamelot's sound. It, again, is worth mentioning that while Kamelot has good songs and song-writing ability, alternate tracks suffer under the weight of the Faustian concept. Not many bands out there can make the song subservient to a concept and still manage to keep up the pace and action necessary in this style of music. You have been warned. - Ali "The Metallian"
KAMELOT - THE BLACK HALO - SPV
The arrival of a new Kamelot album is bound to create a lot of excitement among the band's devoted fan base. The Black Halo is not much different than the band's previous output and maintains the act's established trajectory. The album features distinct progressive, orchestral and hard rock segments with the vocals of Roy Khan and the guitar solos outshining everything else. The band's regular K&F is present and is not going to go away. The good songs are of a high quality, but the CD does contain several filler tunes something which could have been avoided by shortening the lengthy album. Moonlight is one such song. Nevertheless, Kamelot has delivered another album loaded with layers and textures and guaranteed to fill the needs for followers of more commercial hard rock sounds. - Ali "The Metallian"
KAMELOT - ONE COLD WINTERS NIGHT (2DVD) - SPV
This double DVD’s first part is recorded in Oslo, Norway during a cold Norwegian winter’s night, hence the title. The band plays many songs from its latest album, The Black Halo, including March Of Mephisto, Soul Society and The Haunting, and some more from the Epica album like Center Of The Universe and Farewell. One of the main features of Kamelot, and this live recording in particular, is the presence of guest musicians and singers with the likes of Epica’s Simone Simons appearing to lend her voice live as she did on the studio version of The Haunting. Perhaps thankfully one is spared the inclusion of Shagrath and is only 'stuck' with a projection of the video for March Of Mephisto in which he appears. The quality of the recording and filming is certainly high compared to most and therefore the live feel is lost but only somewhat, all in all the quality of the musicianship is not in doubt.
The second DVD features an 'Ask The Band' segment where each member takes turns answering cliché questions like 'how do you like touring?' There is also an interview with Simons where she is basically allowed to promote her own band, surely something rarely seen on another band’s release. Four videos including 2 'Making Ofs' of the said videos are also included as are the obligatory photo gallery, bio and discography. Watch out for the home video style footage of the guys in their rather lavish Florida homes, a telltale sign that Kamelot’s album sales are healthy somewhere. - Anna Tergel
KAMELOT - ONE COLD WINTERS NIGHT (2CD) - SPV
This, the CD version of the Kamelot show in Norway, is of course the audio experience of the concert that took place in February of 2006. While the production and live recording is professional, one may feel that when a band puts on a show and spends money on a stage production it maybe best to see and face the visuals as they convey and present the full effect. This is certainly one for the diehard fans of the band as anybody curious and rich enough is better off experiencing the live show visually, by buying the double DVD, or see Kamelot live. - Anna Tergel
KAMELOT - GHOST OPERA - SPV
The opening instrumental, Solitaire, is very apt for the cover art as it features violins. Rule The World is a typically Kamelot catchy song with violins and other effects in the background of what is essentially a hard rock song. The title track follows and is more operatic and again very much Kamelot. The Human Stain moves deeper into the progressive, keyboard-oriented element. Blucher features further more of the added elements as synthesized sounds and effects accompany Khan’s vocals throughout. Love You To Death takes the listener to the Far East and is a slow ballad like song. Up Through The Ashes is on the operatic side of things and is mainly composed of slow segments dominated by Khan’s voice. Mourning Star, where not for the first time Amanda Sommerville makes an appearance on vocals, is operatic and progressive again. Silence Of The Darkness is generally higher tempo in what is now clearly and decidedly a dark album. Anthem is an all out ballad with pianos and orchestra. Eden Echo closes the album with more of the progressive side. - Anna Tergel