Music / Kamelot

A Floridian Power Metal band formed in 1991 by guitarist Thomas Youngblood and drummer Richard Warner. Their first two albums are generally considered somewhat sub-par, mostly thanks to vocalist Mark Vanderbilt's mediocre singing, plus the completely unambitious songwriting but saw some success. Vanderbilt quit in 1998 because the band was becoming too big to balance with the other aspects of his life. It is doubted that many complained at this development.

Norwegian vocalist Roy Særtre Khantatat (also known as Roy Khan, or Khan, for short) of the then-recently broken up Conception took his place as a touring member and was soon asked to go sky diving with the band to secure a permanent place. He is considered by many to be a far better singer, and so this move is nearly universally considered a good thing. After one final rough album with Siege Perilous, they switched to a more progressive-influenced sound with The Fourth Legacy. Every album they've released since has been near universally loved by critics and fans alike. Along the way, they replaced their original bassist with the other one of two members to play on all of their albums up to Ghost Opera, Glenn Barry, their original keyboardist with ex-Blaze guitarist Oliver Palotai (after seven years of having no keyboardist), and their original drummer (who left at around the same time as Vanderbilt) with Casey Grillo.

In 2009, Glenn Barry had to quit the band due to problems in his personal life. He was replaced by Kamelot's original bassist, Sean Tibbets. As of April 22, 2011, Khan permanently left the band for various reasons: at first it was primarily health problems regarding his voice, however Thomas Youngblood stated that the primary reason Khan stayed away was due to "religious friction". It is hinted at that Roy was unsatisfied or unhappy with the much darker direction of Poetry for the Poisoned in comparison to their previous albums though Roy has kept open the possibility of personal projects in the future. The the vocalist position was temporarily filled by Fabio Lione of Rhapsody of Fire and the band chose Tommy Karevik, the lead vocalist of the Swedish progressive metal band Seventh Wonder, as their new, permanent vocalist.


Current Line-up:
  • Thomas Youngblood - guitars, backing vocals (1991-)
  • Oliver Palotai - keyboards (2005-).
  • Sean Tibbetts - bass (1991-1992, live only 2006-2009, 2009-)
  • Tommy Karevik - lead vocals (2012-)
  • Johan "Jo" Nunez - drums (2018-)

Former Members:
  • Mark Vanderbilt - lead vocals (1991-1997)
  • Roy Khan - lead vocals (1998-2011)
  • Glen Barry - bass (1992-2009)
  • Richard Warner - drums (1991-1997)
  • David Pavlicko - keyboards (1991-1998)
  • Casey Grillo - drums (1997-2018)

Notable Guest Musicians:
  • Simone Simons (Of Epica and Palotai's wife, guest vocals on The Black Halo, One Cold Winter's Night, Ghost Opera and Poetry for the Poisoned)
  • Miro (Real name Michael Rodenburg, session keyboard 1999-2007)
  • Mari Youngblood (Thomas Youngblood's wife, Helena on Epica, The Black Halo and One Cold Winter's Night)
  • Shagrath (Of Dimmu Borgir, Mephisto on The Black Halo.)
  • Fabio Lione (Of Rhapsody of Fire, touring vocals, 2010-2012)
  • Alissa White-Gluz (Of Arch-Enemy and formerly of The Agonist, guest vocals on Silverthorn and Haven, live backing vocals 2012-present)
  • Elize Ryd (Of Amaranthe, guest vocals on Silverthorn, live backing vocals 2012)
  • Charlotte Wessels (Of Delain, guest vocals on Haven)



  • Eternity (1995)
  • Dominion (1997)
  • Siege Perilous (1998)
  • The Fourth Legacy (2000)
  • The Expedition (Live CD, 2000)
  • Karma (2001)
  • Epica (2003)
  • The Black Halo (2005)
  • One Cold Winter's Night (Live CD/DVD, 2006)
  • Ghost Opera (2007)
  • Poetry for the Poisoned (2010)
  • Silverthorn (2012)
  • Haven (2015)
  • The Shadow Theory(2018)

Notable songs:

Tropes related to Kamelot (YMMV tropes go here):

  • Audience Participation Song: The audience sings along with "Forever".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Ariel's wish to know all the world's answers brings him nothing but pain. Mephisto granting his desires keeps ending up with him in worse positions than before.
  • Blood Bath: The album art for Karma depicts a woman in a nightgown waist-deep in a pool of blood. The last three songs on the album, "Elizabeth I, II, & III," are about the life of the Trope Maker, Elizabeth Bathory.
    • In the video for "March of Mephisto", the title character drinks blood out of a skull and then proceeds to pour blood over his head.
  • But Now I Must Go: Between "Farewell", "Lost And Damned" and "The Haunting", Ariel does this to people who care about him way too much.
  • Call-Back: In the bridge of "Moonlight" the melody of "Center of the Universe" is played on a pipe.
    • "I am the empire" from "Phantom Divine" comes up again in "The Proud and the Broken".
  • Chronological Album Title: The Fourth Legacy
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Songs from their first four albums have been gradually phased out of their live shows
    • Original members Mark Vanderbilt, Richard Warner, and David Pavlicko are only remembered by die-hard fans.
  • Concept Album: A notable theme with Kamelot. Epica, The Black Halo (based heavily on Faust), and Silverthorn are all full concept albums, and Karma, Poetry For The Poisoned, Haven, and The Shadow Theory all have concepts built into part of their song lists.
  • Cover Version: "Where The Wild Roses Grow" as a bonus on Poetry For the Poisoned.
  • Cyber Punk Is Techno: Downplayed in The Shadow Theory. Electronic/industrial elements appear at certain points but end up blending into the overall power metal of the album.
  • Darker and Edgier: Poetry for the Poisoned traded in the band's usual progressive/power metal style for a more goth-influenced sound. Reception was... mixed. The following album, Silverthorn, featured a new vocalist and a return to their previous form.
  • Deal with the Devil: Epica and The Black Halo are based on Faust after all.
  • Despair Event Horizon: "Abandoned" and "This Pain" from The Black Halo.
  • Divinely Appearing Demons: In the song "Descent of the Archangel", Mephisto (named for a demon in The Bible) appears to Ariel in his full angelic glory, offering Ariel a bargain for his soul.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Their first three albums were done in a standard power metal style, before switching to the prog-symphonic-power metal fusion on The Fourth Legacy
  • Epic Rocking: When played straight through, the three tracks that make up "Elizabeth" are about 12 minutes long.
    • "Memento Mori" from The Black Halo is 9 minutes long and definitely fits the 'epic' criterion.
    • The four "Poetry for the Poisoned" tracks from Poetry for the Poisoned amount to almost 9 and a half minutes.
    • "Prodigal Son" from Silverthorn.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Seal Of Woven Years" takes a full 1.5 minutes to set the scene for the song.
    • Most albums open with a minute or so long orchestral piece to set the stage for the rest of the album that leads into the first song on the album.
    • Though eventually averted on Haven, where the opening track "Fallen Star" has vocals, and the ending track is the instrumental one.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The music video for "The Great Pandemonium", with some cyber/dieselpunk and Lovecraftian influences as well.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Heavy Mithril: A little bit on the first three albums, though rather a lot less than you would expect from their name, having only two songs remotely about King Arthur to date.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: "Love You To Death" uses this.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Some of Mephisto's lines, especially in "Descent of the Archangel", just simply ooze this trope.
  • Horrible History Metal: A lot of examples all across their discography, including "The Inquisitor" (about the Witch Hunts), "Glory" (about The Crusades), the "Elizabeth" trilogy (about Elizabeth Bathory - even though they take more of a fantasy approach to the story), and "Blücher" (about the sinking of the eponymous German battle ship on the borders of Norway during World War II).
  • Ill Girl: The subject of the song "Love You to Death".
  • Light Is Not Good: The Inquisitor is a textbook example. The chorus alone spells it out rather clearly. Mephisto also appears to Ariel with 'Angel Wings, in White' in "Descent of the Archangel".
  • Lighter and Softer: Silverthorn. Though certainly not light and fluffy, it is much closer to the band's Prog/Power roots than the goth-influenced Poetry.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Lost and Damned" is a fast paced, epic song... about Ariel, the protagonist of Epica and The Black Halo deciding to leave Helena, his lover, to continue his pointless search for the meaning of life. What makes things worse is that this leads directly to Helena throwing herself and their unborn child into a river.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - A solid 7 for the most part, but "March of Mephisto" and about half of Poetry for the Poisoned push into the 8 territory, while their power ballads drop to 6 and their acoustic ballads are all the way down to 2 or 3.
    • "Revolution" off of 'Haven' is definitely a borderline 8.
    • "Liar Liar" tops at a hard 8, also including some accessible melodic passages.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "March of Mephisto" is the most prominent example. "The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)" gets a special mention as "Somewhere in Time" does appear in the chorus, but "The Haunting" doesn't appear anywhere.
    • "Necropolis" is not said directly in the song, "City Of The Dead" is said though.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Present in the form of Faux Latin (Or Faux Italian) in The Edge of Paradise and the interlude Opiate Soul.
  • Power Ballad: "What About Me," "Once a Dream", "Temples of Gold", "Abandoned", "Love You to Death", "Song for Jolee", "Under Grey Skies", "Static".
  • Purple Is Powerful: A lot of their album covers up to Epica make use of purple as most prominent color in combination with castle-themed imagery.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: "III Ways to Epica," where Ariel blames God for his grief.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech / "World of Cardboard" Speech: The title song of The Black Halo serves as both, with Ariel denouncing Mephisto and proclaiming he no longer fears damnation.
  • Rock Opera: Epica and The Black Halo as mentioned before.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "The Great Pandemonium"
  • Serial Escalation: Each part of the "Elizabeth" Trilogy is heavier than the last.
  • Soprano and Gravel: "March of Mephisto" and "Memento Mori." The gravel part was done via a guest appearance by Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir. "The Great Pandemonium" as well, with Björn Speed Strid doing the gravel this time.
    • "The Zodiac" features Jon Olivia in the gravel role.
    • "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" has a three-way version, with Alissa White-Gluz in the gravel role and Tommy Karevik and Elize Ryd in the soprano role.
    • "Liar Liar" is also a unique example, as Tommy provides soprano role while Alissa switches from gravel to soprano at the last part of the song.
    • "Phantom Divine" has Once Human vocalist Lauren Hart doing a soprano-to-gravel response hook midway through the song.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Continuing from Epica, protagonist Ariel is still stricken with grief and sorrow over his lover Helena's death. With Ariel's will nearly under Mephisto's total control, the fallen angel brings Ariel a beautiful young woman named Marguerite, who looks and speaks just like Helena. Ariel seduces Marguerite and the two sleep together, which completes Mephisto's manipulation of Ariel ("When the Lights are Down").
  • Together in Death: Ariel and Helena are united in death at the end of "Memento Mori".
  • Villain Song: "Descent of the Archangel" is when Mephisto appears before Ariel and offers him a Deal with the Devil.
    • "Veritas" from Silverthorn. While most of the album is narrated by its unnamed protagonist, this particular song is given from the perspective of his brother Robert.
    • "The Zodiac" is written from the point of view of the eponymous serial killer.
    • Other songs that qualify are "Where I Reign", "The Inquisitor", the "Elizabeth" trilogy, "March of Mephisto", "Citizen Zero", and arguably "Up Through the Ashes". They really like this trope.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: "Across the Highlands".