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Music / Kamelot

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L-R: Sean, Youngblood, Karevik, Oliver, Johan

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-)
  • Alex Landenburg - 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)
  • Johan "Jo" Nunez - drums (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)
  • Kobra Paige (Of Kobra And The Lotus, live backing vocals 2017-present, engaged to Tommy Karevik since 2019)
  • Lauren Hart (Of Once Human, guest vocals on The Shadow Theory, live backing vocals 2018)
  • Jennifer Haben (Of Beyond The Black, guest vocals on The Shadow Theory)
  • Cloudy Yang (Choirs and backing vocals, 2010-2018)
  • Amanda Somerville (Backing, choir and guest vocals from 2005-2012, also wrote the story for Silverthorn)


Studio Albums:

  • Eternity (1995)
  • Dominion (1997)
  • Siege Perilous (1998)
  • The Fourth Legacy (2000)
  • Karma (2001)
  • Epica (2003)
  • The Black Halo (2005)
  • Ghost Opera (2007)
  • Poetry for the Poisoned (2010)
  • Silverthorn (2012)
  • Haven (2015)
  • The Shadow Theory (2018)
  • The Awakening (2023)

Live Albums

  • The Expedition (2000)
  • One Cold Winter's Night (CD/DVD, 2006)
  • I Am the Empire - Live from the 013 (CD/DVD, 2020)

Notable songs:

Say my tropes, no beautifying filters...

  • Advert-Overloaded Future: The "Amnesiac" video, borrowing heavily from Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell (2017).
  • 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 Báthory.
    • 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.
    • "Citizen Zero" has a Title Drop in "Revolution" courtesy of Alissa White-Gluz.
    • "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. They even have their own TV Tropes links in the discography folder!
    • Karma, Poetry For The Poisoned, Haven, and The Shadow Theory all have concepts built into part of their song lists.
      • The last two are almost their own loose narrative: Haven tackles societal problems like loneliness and corruption, then in the end someone incites a revolution hoping to find a haven in the wake of it all. In The Shadow Theory, this trend continues but this time technology and Carl Jung's shadow aspect come heavily into play as the likes of "Kevlar Skin" and "Phantom Divine" imply that the fight is now within as Cybernetics Eat Your Soul.
  • Cover Version: "Where The Wild Roses Grow" as a bonus on Poetry For the Poisoned.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Silverthorn has "Sacrimony" and the Title Track. The Shadow Theory has "Burns to Embrace".
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: "The Great Pandemonium" has close-up shots of a woman whose Body Horror combines with this trope, dieselpunk-style.
  • Cyberpunk Is Techno: Downplayed in The Shadow Theory. 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.
  • Death Seeker: "Across the Highlands" is about an immortal who longs to die.
    Searching for a way / To finalize my history
  • 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 their signature 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 their eponymous album amount to almost 9 and a half minutes.
    • "Prodigal Son" from Silverthorn.
    • "The Proud and the Broken" from The Shadow Theory as well.
  • 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.
  • Godhood Seeker: In Karma's three-part "Elizabeth", Elizabeth Báthory comes to believe she can attain immortality and divinity by bathing in virgin blood. By Part 2, she's deluded herself into imagining that her victims became immortal with her. By Part 3, she realizes she's damned herself for nothing.
  • 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.
  • 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 Báthory - 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).
  • In the Hood: Tommy Karevik loves this trope oh so much.
  • Kill and Replace: The video for "Phantom Divine" seems to imply that Shadow Industries want to do this to Kamelot, and they successfully 3D-printed a clone of Lauren Hart. They seem to have succeeded, only for the copies to shut down after the band are found still alive thanks to the Shadow Key.
  • Kill It with Fire: "The Inquisitor," unsurprisingly, burns witches.
    Ease your pain
    The fire's burning wild
    Ease your pain
    The inquisition
    Has drained the demons
    Like I said it would
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • "The Inquisitor."
      Won't you let me ease your sorrow
      Let me guide you through the night
      All my methods clean and thorough
      Don't you fear the light
    • Mephisto 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.
  • Longest Song Goes Last:
    • Pre-outro:
    • Longest song as closer:
      • "The Gleeman" from Eternity clocks in at 6 minutes 19 seconds.
      • "Lunar Sanctum" for The Fourth Legacy is almost 6 minutes.
      • The "Elizabeth" trilogy from Karma is an interesting case: The trilogy in itself plays the trope straight as one; divided, the 11-minute final third does only if you count the silence after 4 minutes 14 seconds.
  • 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.
  • Man on Fire: Some impeccably timed live photos show Tommy either in close proximity to fire or apparently ON fire. He's also a firefighter.
  • Mephistopheles: The albums "Epica" and "The Black Halo" are heavily inspired by the story of Faust. Mephisto, a Fallen Angel, makes a bet with God that if he can claim ownership of the soul of the philosopher-scientist Ariel, God must allow him to return to Heaven. He then manipulates Ariel into a Deal with the Devil: Mephisto will grant him access to worldly power and knowledge in order to satisfy Ariel's yearning to understand universal truths, on the condition that if Ariel ever experiences a moment of such deep contentment that he wishes to stay there forever, he forfeits ownership of his soul to Mephisto.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Tommy Karevik. Behold.
  • Non-Appearing Title:
    • "Lunar Sanctum," "March of Mephisto."
    • "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.
    • "Citizen Zero" is not said in the song... and then, said in "Revolution."
    • In "Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)," "Shadow Empire" part is not said.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The end of the "Necropolis" video. You need only your ears.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting:
    • Present in the form of Faux Latin (Or Faux Italian) in The Edge of Paradise and the interlude Opiate Soul.
    • The Title Track from The Fourth Legacy features some in its middle section.
    • The bridge of "Citizen Zero" lists Seven Deadly Sins in Latin.
  • Power Ballad: "What About Me," "Once a Dream", "Temples of Gold", "Abandoned", "Love You to Death", "Song for Jolee", "Under Grey Skies", "Static".
  • Progressive Metal: The band has always had a progressive streak, which shows in tracks such as "Lunar Sanctum".
  • 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. Downplayed ever since Ghost Opera (and averted in Silverthorn) where their shades of grey are sometimes tinged with purple.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: "III Ways to Epica," where Ariel blames God for his grief.
  • "The Reason You Suck" 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.
  • Serial Escalation: Each part of the "Elizabeth" trilogy from Karma is heavier than the last.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Listed in the bridge of "Citizen Zero," in Latin.
  • Shout-Out: The main melody of "Forever" is based on "Solveig's Song", written by Edvard Grieg for his Peer Gynt Suites.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Kamelot has been in love with this trope since 2005.
    • The Black Halo featured Shagrath as Mephisto in "March of Mephisto", who then battles another soprano (Mari Youngblood, as Ariel's lover Helena) in "Memento Mori".
    • "The Great Pandemonium" has Björn Speed Strid on gravel.
    • "The Zodiac" features Jon Oliva in the gravel role.
    • "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" has another three-way, with Alissa White-Gluz in the gravel role and Tommy Karevik and Elize Ryd in the soprano role.
    • Alissa returns to duel with Tommy in Haven with "Liar Liar" and "Revolution", shifting to soprano role in the former's penultimate hook.
    • Sascha Paeth provides background gravel in the Karevik era, notably on "Ashes to Ashes" and "The Proud and the Broken".
    • "Phantom Divine" has Once Human vocalist Lauren Hart doing soprano-to-gravel midway through the song. "Mindfall Remedy" and possibly "The Proud and the Broken" feature her in her full gravel glory.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Usually in introductory parts like "Manus Dei" and that of "My Therapy".
  • 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").
  • Surreal Horror: The music videos for "The Great Pandemonium" and "Necropolis" ooze with this.
  • Throat Light: Björn Strid in "The Great Pandemonium" video grunts with the insides of his mouth on fire.
  • Together in Death: Ariel and Helena are united in death at the end of "Memento Mori".
  • Uncommon Time:
    • "Karma" and "Eden Echo" have verses in 5/4.
    • Common on Epica and The Black Halo. "III Ways to Epica" and "The Black Halo" have sections in 5/4, "March of Mephisto" has single bars of 5/4 in its second and third choruses, "Abandoned" starts in 7/4, and later changes between 4/4 and 7/4 in the last few bars, and "A Feast For the Vain" switches to 11/8 for the bridge.
  • Villain Song: They really like this trope.
    • The "Elizabeth" trilogy on Karma is about Elizabeth Báthory.
    • Epica has "Descent of the Archangel", in which Ariel, the album's protagonist, is about to kill himself in despair over the fact that his search for the meaning of life went fruitless for years when Mephisto approaches him and offers him the resources to continue his search in exchange for his soul.
    • The Black Halo continues this with "March of Mephisto" which is essentially gloating over Helena's death and how this will aid Mephisto's plan to win Ariel's soul and re-enter heaven.
    • "The Zodiac" from Poetry For The Poisoned is written from the point of view of the eponymous Serial Killer.
    • "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. He has some issues, to say the least.
  • We All Die Someday: In "The Human Stain," the human race is hopelessly flawed; life is miserable and senseless, and someday, we all must die; yet, we want to live for just a little longer.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: "Across the Highlands".
    But I am damned
    If life itself is condemnation
    I am immortal
    Thus my freedom is captivity
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: "Some of these wounds will always bleed" in "This Pain."