Kamelot

Ghost Opera

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As recently as the mid- to late '90s, it was pretty darn incomprehensible for a band to merge heavy metal with a symphony orchestra. But a decade later, the number of "symphonic metal" bands seemed to be growing by the day -- as the genre was being spearheaded by such acts as Kamelot (with most of symphonic metal bands hailing from Europe, Kamelot is an exception -- they're natives of Florida). On their eighth full-length overall, 2007's Ghost Opera, the band continues to merge tricky prog metal with swirling strings -- following a musical path not all that far removed from such "thinking man's metallists" as Queensr├┐che and Dream Theater. Kamelot's symphonic metal hybrid is best sampled on such album standouts as "Rule the World," "Blucher," and the title track, while a track such as "Anthem" seems custom-made for a fleet-footed ballet or ice-skating adaptation. Both bombastic and complex, those Kamelot boys sure can play!

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