Review: The Shadow Theory by Kamelot

by Anna PK

The Shadow Theory is symphonic power metal band Kamelot’s twelfth album, a third with newest vocalist Tommy Karevik. This album follows the previous one in turning from the dark operatic tones the band used to be known for to a more power prog metal tone better suiting Tommy’s lighter vocals, though it still maintains its symphonic roots. This album takes a faster pace, with lyrics that are catchier, if perhaps a little simpler, than usual for the band. While the album is not technically a concept album, it has a strong futuristic cyber dystopia theme throughout. Songs such as “Burns to Embrace” examine both the despair and hope of human nature in a world where the human kind is dying out, where the choices are death or giving up one’s body, and possibly identity, to have their mind preserves in a supposed digital paradise. On the flip side, there are songs such as “The Phantom Divine” taking place from the perspective of the ones who have created this reality, showing both its genuine desire to save the human race and make life better, while also the high of power that comes with such control. In addition to these, songs such as “RavenLight” depicts the feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability felt by many people in more everyday life. The album is bookended by instrumental pieces and songs proclaiming “I am the Empire,” to bring the album full circle. The album is wonderfully made, instruments and vocals all combining perfectly except where dissonance was intentionally added to jar the listener. Tommy’s vocals hold both the power and the vulnerability necessary to convey the full emotional range of this album. The album’s intensity is maintained in both their heavier and softer songs, and each song maintains its own clear identity. It is a wonderful listen for any who enjoy the power metal genre.

Favorite track: “Static”

 

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