Album Cover

Album: Haven

Release Date: May 5, 2015 (USA)

Number of Tracks: 13

Genre: Symphonic/Power Metal

I have been a fan of this band for 10 years now. A few  years after falling in love with Nightwish, I found this band through recommendations on iTunes. Like Nightwish, it only took one song for me to get hooked! So for many years, I awaited every album like I’m awaiting The Last Jedi. But when this album came out, I forgot about it like an awful fan. But recently, I watched one of their music videos from this album (it’s down below), I bought the entire album and been listening to it for the past several days. So, here’s a breakdown of this album that’s my new obsession.

  1. Fallen Star (4:39): This beginning track starts slow and feels almost full of longing as the singer is talking to someone. This narrator stays for someone, but struggles with how they feel about their situation. This kind of theme is one Kamelot has rarely explored and I enjoyed the personal struggle but care for someone the narrator is referring too. Also, their signature style offers a great, complimentary contrast to open the album. 8.5/10
  2. Insomnia (4:13): This song was the second single and music video for this album. The YouTube description of the video talks about how its about a man who discovers this facility where people are kept in a state of insomnia. This concept song is similar to their previous album Silverthorn (2012). It also have the theme of surveillance being everywhere and its very relevant for our day now. The video is slick and great to watch as well. This single shows just glimpse into this album and it’s a great introduction to this album. One of my favorite tracks here. I especially love singer Tommy Kaverik’s voice here; his voice has been polished even more since the last album.  10/10
  3. Citizen Zero (5:49): This revolution theme song starts out quiet as the narrator talks about coming out of the darkness and into the light, knowing the truth. This is a great track to follow the previous track and concept aspect of this man discovering the truth. The crescendo of the music is awesome, from a quiet but eerie keyboard solo to the booming voice of Karevik and the chorus. The vocals on the chorus is very alluring and draws the listener in until the very end. A really solid song! 8/10
  4. Veil of Elysium (3:54): The very first single of this album had an accompanying lyric video with the album’s release. It refers to Elysium, the afterlife mentioned in Greek mythology and how it talks about seeing someone again in the afterlife. With the music itself being a bit edgier at times than what they’ve previously done, I love that the lyrics are ultimately hopeful, with trusting in miracles and being optimistic. These lyrics are a great showing that Kamelot is trying new things for their themes and compositions.  While the  music doesn’t draw me in quite as much as other tracks on this album, the meaningful lyrics get me every time; it feels rare to have hopeful lyrics like this in metal music. 9/10
  5. Under Grey Skies (feat. Charlotte Wessels and Troy Donockley) (4:52): The only ballad on this album was the first song I had heard from this album when it came out. Delain singer Charlotte Wessels and new Nightwish member Troy Donockley on a tin whistle capture both the sadness and hope with Karevik in this beautiful song. Karevik and Wessels’s voices are stunning together, melting beautifully into the haunting melody. This pair needs to keep doing duets together. The lyrics of trying to see the silver linings in life and seeing hope amidst darkness is truly beautiful and a song I recommend to anyone who needs a bit of hope in their life. An all time favorite among Kamelot’s catalog. 10/10
  6. My Therapy (4:26): Oh man, this song got me onto this Kamelot obsession in the first place! I randomly saw their music videos for this album and this was one I hadn’t seen yet. The message about portraying how anxiety affects people is deeply realistic, as well as offering hope. The YouTube description shows what singer Kaverik talks about the meaning beneath this song and it’s worth a read. We all need people in our lives and despite the pain we feel, human contact is therapy. The message in here is so beautiful and true to its inspiration. Kaverik’s longing voice in parts is something I hadn’t heard from Kamelot in a long time and the main melody for this song shows the hesitation, fear but longing to reach out that we feel as people. This is a track I can always listen to and feel hopeful and want to reach out to people more. I can’t recommend this song enough. 10/10
  7. Ecclesia (0:44): This tiny instrumental seems like a random attachment on the album. I don’t have any attachment to it, but it flows fine right after the previous song. 6/10
  8. End of Innocence (3:49): This song about seeing the end of innocence in people, but also not wanting the end of innocence of growing up is a beautiful theme in this song. This is my second favorite song compared to “My Therapy” with its emotion, hopeful vocals from Karevik. While it talks about losing some hope, it also doesn’t up about not forgetting people and hoping for those who are broken. The heavy metal instrument is a bit restrained here in parts, but it feels necessary for Karevik to steal the whole show. I can even see Evanescence fans loving this song. 10/10
  9. Beautiful Apocalypse (feat. Charlotte Wessels) (4:25): This song kicks things up a notch after the previous about talking about our trivial selves in society and not wanting to give in to that self. But there’s still that element of reminding people they’re not alone and someone is there for them. The lyrics of standing on the edge of that side of ourselves is very relevant today. But I do wish Wessels had a bigger part; she’s not as easy to hear in this song and I feel like the emotion isn’t quite there. But a solid song to this great album. 7.5/10
  10. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy) (feat. Alissa White-Gluz) (5:54): This song was the other one I had known about when the album came out, but hadn’t listened to it much. This continues the concept theme that was earlier in “Insomnia” left off, where this man is shown a dystopian world and that only revolution can change their circumstances. The imagery in the music video is fantastic and the concept theme here is much stronger than in “Silverthorn” (2012). The theme of surveillance everywhere also closely relates to us today and wanting change. Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy is no stranger to being a cameo artist on Kamelot albums and tours. While I personally don’t like the death metal style vocals, it does add that edge to this song. But her clean vocals are simply stunning and makes me want to hear more of that from her. A strong song with a great video and well portrayed popular theme. 9/10
  11. Here’s to the Fall (4:04): Being the most melancholy song on the album, this has the fear of the unknown and mortality. This reminds me a bit of their previous song “Don’t You Cry” with talking about losing someone, while this one goes deeper into the emotion. It also asks if God will answer. While it’s a deeply sad song, it is well done. I do believe differently than what this song talks about, but fans of this band like me appreciate how Kamelot continues to dig deeper in the many topics they approach. 7/10
  12. Revolution (feat. Alissa White-Gluz) (4:49): Enter the heaviest rifts this band has produced in a long time on this adrenaline fueled song. The theme from “Liar Liar” talks about wanting the next person to pass the torch and begin a revolution and find better circumstances. White-Gluz offers her talent again here and it does match the theme here. I like that the band experiences different levels of the heavy riffs. Karevik also shows off more of his vocal range in a few moments and it’s truly awesome to here. He’s come such a long way since coming to the band and it’s heard loud and clear on this album. For those who like the dystopian themes will enjoy this song as well. 7/10
  13. Haven (2:14): The closing song is another, longer instrumental sound that closely resembles the closing outro on “Silverthorn” (2012). It does offer a hint of what could come in the next album, since the band has said before that the next album will be a follow up to this one. The sound of distant drums and other percussion is a nice touch to the previous bombastic tones, but are much quieter here. While for me, it’s not their best instrumental track, it’s a good close to a bold album. 7/10

Overall Thoughts: I have no idea why it took me so long to listen to this album, but it’s one of the band’s best since “Ghost Opera” (2007). Their passion is heard in every track and the bit of diversity in topics they approach is nice to here. Karevik continues to prove himself as a fantastic lead for this band after Roy Khan’s departure. A few songs on here have really resonated with me personally and it also reminds me how amazing this band is. If you love progressive/power/symphonic metal at all like Dream Theater or Nightwish, give these guys a try 🙂

Have you listened to Kamelot? If so, what do you think of this band? Do you have a favorite song?