Symphonic metal legends Kamelot return with their first full-length in five years, 2023’s aptly titled The Awakening. The band’s 13th studio album will be released March 17th, 2023, via Napalm Records.
It doesn’t get more epic sounding than this, which might almost be par for the course when it comes to Kamelot. Except with The Awakening, the legendary symphonic metal band up the ante with one of their most cinematic sounding releases yet. A showcase of sumptuous and larger-than-life sounding heavy metal bookended by an intro and outro that makes the whole release feel more like the score of an epic movie.
If all of that wasn’t impressive enough, Kamelot also deliver head-banging anthems throughout. For all its cinematic value, it is still undeniably a metal album. An area that Kamelot continue to showcase a ton of imagination and deliver many moments of unforgettable heaviness.
A lot of this falls at the feet of how well put together the entire album is. The clarity in sound, letting every single instrument roar, and letting the vocals soar. Nothing dominates and everything works in wonderous tandem. The importance of which can’t be understated as Kamelot have a lot of good riffs, massive choruses, and blood-thumping groove to showcase. All layered with symphonic tones that take on a multitude of forms.
One such example of how well balanced all of this is, is with the thumping, fist-pumping, and virulent darkness of One More Flag in the Ground. There’s also the heart-racing frenetic musical concoction that is Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem) and the dramatic dichotomy of NightSky and The Looking Glass. A real ‘beauty and the beast’ showcase of melody and metal from Kamelot.
How about the pure energy and speed of The Great Divide or the mellow and mournful Willow?
The mammoth offering that is The Awakening is certainly never boring, that much is for sure. There’s no sense of exaggeration or padding at any stage of the record and Kamelot make every moment feel as important as the last. In fact, the album blazes by in a tornado of bright, brilliant, and brash symphonic epic metal. Take your pick, The Awakening has a lot of big moments that significantly resonate within the mind, body, and soul.
What could have been just another great Kamelot album, and there have been plenty, ends up being grander than most. Not just because it’s been a long five years without fresh Kamelot music, but because they’re really embracing their cinematic side more and more. Kamelot have always sounded epic but this is truly something else.
Kamelot – The Awakening Track Listing:
1. Overture (Intro)
2. The Great Divide
4. One More Flag in the Ground
5. Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem)
6. Midsummer’s Eve
9. The Looking Glass
10. New Babylon
12. My Pantheon (Forevermore)
13. Ephemera (Outro)
Kamelot - The Awakening (Napalm Records)
The Final Score - 8.5/10