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Kamelot is one of metal’s most unique, influential and prestigious acts to come along in decades. The group’s reputation among fans and media alike is marked by enthusiasm as well as esteem, each of their seven studio albums to date surpassing its predecessor in terms of songwriting and production. As one of the most difficult-to-categorise artists on the metal scene, Kamelot are poised to assault the planet with their most insightful and ambitious project to date, Ghost Opera. Ready to continue their ascension to the pinnacle of metal royalty, founding guitarist Thomas Youngblood, bassist Glenn Barry, new keyboardist Oliver Palotai and drummer Casey Grillo join lead singer Roy Khan to complete this journey to systematically alter the face of metal. Throughout the recent years, their releases have achieved cult status around the world. Ghost Opera will once again raise the bar for others to follow.

“With the worldwide success of The Black Halo, we knew the follow-up had to be special”, Youngblood confesses. “With Ghost Opera, we wanted to try some new things and also work with new people. I enjoyed the camaraderie very much and it has refuelled my love for this band. It gave me some perspective.” Musically, Kamelot combine different styles which they blend into their own homogenous, distinctive trademark. “We have fans in many musical camps,” Youngblood characterises the band’s unique standing. “We play power metal as much as progressive metal and gothic metal.” All these elements come to bear on Ghost Opera. “Our music is pure versatility – double bass rhythms, progressive arrangements, but also ballads and straightforward mid-tempo numbers. We don’t care what you want to call this mix. To us, the most important criterion is our own style which can’t be compared to any other band. Our goal is always to top ourselves” states Khan.

Youngblood and Khan can rely on longstanding comrades-in-arms in Casey Grillo and Glenn Barry, while Oliver Palotai is a new addition to the Kamelot fold. In 2006, Kamelot added the German keyboardist as a permanent member. Fans of the bands Doro and Blaze know Oliver’s skills very well, and he proved to be a force live on Kamelot’s Black Halo World Tour. “We have been using guest keyboardists for several years now, but Oliver was different and special. We had to ask him to join us as a permanent member and would not take no for an answer,” adds Youngblood.

The production team: Sascha Paeth and Miro with Olaf Reitmeier engineering has repeatedly proved its worth. “Sascha and Miro understand us on a musical and on a personal level,” Khan and Youngblood praise the producers from Wolfsburg. “They always succeed in getting the best out of us without taking away our typical trademarks. As a result, our earlier albums still sound contemporary and fresh.”

In the first video, ‘Ghost Opera’ the band goes over the top visually with actors, choirs, orchestral members and incredible graphics seldom seen in the genre. Kamelot tell the (fictitious) story of a young-and-hopeful opera singer who is attacked, raped and injured on her way to her great debut. She could never recover from this traumatic event and every day and night she wonders what that night would have been like on her debut. This somewhat sinister story is underlined by the dark, melancholy basic mood of the song. The song features astonishing riffs and soaring melodies that surely will make it another Kamelot metal classic. “The new tracks are heavier and more complex than many of our earlier compositions,” says Youngblood. “We aimed at a tougher sound in connection with lugubrious melodies that are still extremely catchy.” Listening deliberately to Ghost Opera, you will discover a total of ten monolithic-sounding, self-contained numbers. “Some lyrics are very personal whilst others are interpretations of historical events and myths as well as comments on the world we live in. They all have a spiritual dimension to them, but these are ten songs that tell ten very different stories.” says Khan. All the more reason to mention the musicians’ ambitious project: they plan no less than ten videos from the album!

Now they can’t wait to present their new offering live on stage to convince their fans of its qualities. The band begin their world tour in Europe in June and return to the States for a headlining run in August/September.

Thomas Youngblood and drummer Richard Warner founded Kamelot in Tampa, Florida back in 1992. In 1994 the band signed a deal with Noise Records, and the release of the debut Eternity followed in August of the next year. The press praised the album as one of most promising debuts of all time. In 1996 the successor Dominion hit the stores, an opus that was even more diverse and varied than the debut. Then in 1997, drummer Warner as well as singer Mark Vanderbilt had to be replaced. Kamelot found more than just mere substitutes in Casey Grillo and former Conception singer Khan, who had already joined the band during the production of the third album, Siege Perilous. The new line-up undertook an extensive tour of Europe during the fall of the same year, only to return to the Gate Studio in Wolfsburg twelve months later to produce their fourth studio effort, The Fourth Legacy. The summer of 2000 brought the New Allegiance Tour through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Spain, during which the recordings for Kamelot’s first live album The Expedition were made. Only a few months later the band presented their fifth album entitled Karma, which took Khan, Youngblood, Grillo and Barry on yet another European tour. Epica arrived in 2003 and combined all the fortes of the previous productions with new ideas and majestic sounds, followed by another tour as headliners in Europe, Japan, Mexico and the US, as well many top festival appearances. The Black Halo added another exciting and epic chapter to the band’s brilliant history. The continuation of their Faustus adaptation about the battle between good and evil that began on the predecessor album, Epica, again combined Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s opus with the band’s own experiences and views. Kamelot’s video ‘The Haunting’ and ‘March of Mephisto’ became huge hits on Youtube and prompted the band to launch their own YouTube channel, aptly titled KamTV. KamTV’s initial launch hurled the band into YouTube’s top 10 music channels and #1 Metal Channel, transcending all genres. With the release of The Black Halo, Kamelot started on a headliner tour in Europe, North American, Japan and Brazil, with countless festivals around the globe. Following the hugely successful album, Kamelot released their first live DVD, called One Cold Winter’s Night, directed by the well known film company Revolver Films and world-renowned director, Patric Ullaeus. The DVD was heralded by the press and fans alike and set a new standard for DVDs in the genre. Ghost Opera is the beginning of a new chapter in the career of Kamelot, who still seem a long way from reaching the pinnacle of their popularity.

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