Back many months ago when Kamelot announced they’d be playing The Forum in Kentish Town, North London a few eyebrows were raised. Kamelot when they come to the UK have regularly played and sold out venues the size of a few hundred people so this was an ambitious step up.
Fast forward to the day of the show and we were afforded the rare opportunity to have a chat with Kamelot’s guitar maestro Thomas Youngblood, which will be available exclusively on this site in the near future (stay tuned for that one). As a result we missed the opening act, Canadian metallers Blackguard who by all accounts were received quite well by those in the venue early enough to see them. After Blackguard had finished performing we also were able to catch up with their frontman Paul “Ablaze” Zinay which will be another Rocksins exclusive that can be read here very soon.
After catching the end of Triosphere’s set, who were very entertaining (for those unfamiliar think Iced Earth with female vocals), the main support for the evening were Xandria. Again, for those unfamiliar, Xandria will very much appeal to fans of Nightwish but will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Whilst they were not to my personal taste, they put in a good performance, interacted well with the crowd and they went down very well with the majority of those in attendance.
Happily, by the time Kamelot were due on stage The Forum had filled up somewhat, though you still got the feeling that the step up in venue size had been a bit optimistic, but those who were there were eager to see a new chapter in Kamelot’s history (at least ass far as the UK was concerned) begin on this evening. Tonight’s Kamelot performance was primarily not about their new album Sacrimony, rather a chance to assess if new vocalist Tommy Karevik would be able to fill the considerable hole left by the departed Roy Khan.
Kicking off with a traditional show opener from the Khan era in Rule The World, from the off the whole band including Tommy Karevik seemed determined to put in a performance. Vocally he sailed through the opening batch of songs including Rule The World and Ghost Opera, at times making it look rediculously easy. He also seemed at ease interacting with the crowd, demanding more audience participation for The Great Pandemonium and they duly obliged.
Of the new songs, of which three or four got an airing, Sacrimony’s title track sounded hugely impressive with much more impact live than on the album but it seemed like the majority of those present werent too familar with the other new songs, not hugely surprising with the album only having been released ten days or so before the show. There were no such issues with well known songs such as The Human Stain, When The Lights Are Down and particularly Center Of The Universe being received extremely well and being performed to a standard in kind. In particular on Center Of The Universe Tommy Karevik hit the high notes that had been missing from Roy Khan’s range in more recent years effortlessly, a sign that bodes very well for Kamelot and also opens up options for them in terms of song selections to play live.
After a drum solo from Casey Grillo, one of Kamelot’s most distinctive riffs kicked in and the main portion of the evening was ended with Forever, complete with a mass “whoooaaa” singalong conducted by Tommy with aplomb. The opening to the encore was another much loved old favourite in the form of Karma, and after squeezing in another new song, proceedings were closed off with the obligatory March of Mephisto.
Kamelot are embarking on a new chapter in the band’s history, and all signs are that they are in very good hands with their new frontman. Confident and able to hit an impressive vocal range, Tommy Karevik looks like he is going to be an excellent choice by the band to fill Roy Khan’s shoes (and coat) with aplomb. Kamelot fans everywhere will now be hoping the excellence in the live environment translates into more killer albums (and a full UK tour) in the future but Tommy’s made an impressive start, long may it continue.
If you’d like to see some action shots from the show, please check out our exclusive photo gallery below: