Kamelot (1987-present): a Power Metal band from Tampa, Florida, USA.


lorida's Kamelot have been a rising star in the progressive metal and melodic metal fields as of late but their story goes much farther back than the last few albums. They started in the early 1990s under the direction of Thomas Youngblood (guitar), Glenn Barry (bass; who had quickly replaced Sean Christians), Mark Vanderbilt (vocals), David Pavlicko (keyboards) and Richard Warner (drums) to release their Eternity debut album in 1995 and Dominion follow-up in 1997. Later that year, founder Richard Warner departed the band; drummer Casey Grillo was brought in.

It was the arrival of Roy Khan (ex-Conception) taking over vocals that heralded a new era for the act with an up-tuned sound. Their third effort Siege Periless (1998) was the charm. The Fourth Legacy (2000) saw Pavliko leave before its completion, leaving the keyboards vacant until the follow-up live effort The Expedition (2000) with Gunter Werno taking his place. But the group was back to a foursome for Karma (2001) and Epica (2003).

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Based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's version of the legend of Faust, about a man who sells his soul to the devil, Kamelot's seventh effort, The Black Halo (2005) was supported by various guest musicians, the most renowned among them Shagrath (vocalist with Dimmu Borgir), and Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson. The opener was a gripping mid-tempo in the form of March of Mephisto and featured a sensational meeting of Kamelot, Shagrath and Johansson. The album was followed up with the band's first ever music videos for the songs The Haunting (Somewhere In Time) and March Of Mephisto. In 2007 the very atmospheric album, Ghost Opera would follow. During this period Simone Simons would join as an additional vocals and would stay until 2012; Simons is also known for work in the Dutch symphonic metal band Epica.

In 2009, Barry left and was replaced by the touring bass guitarist Sean Tibbetts, who had been a full-time member of the band briefly during 1991-1992.

Poetry for the Poisoned (2010) would follow and hit the US Billboard 200 charts at 74 (143 in the UK), their first to make major market charts.

On September 6, 2010, the band announced that Khan had fallen seriously ill during rehearsals for the upcoming North American tour and had returned to Norway. While it was initially reported that the band would continue the tour with vocalist Michael Eriksen of Circus Maximus in Khan's place, the band later announced that it would postpone the tour to wait for Khan's recovery. In the end it was announced that Fabio Lione of Rhapsody of Fire would replace Khan for the remaining and rescheduled dates. Following a period of uncertainty, Khan and Kamelot released separate statements on April 21 and 22 respectively, announcing Khan's departure from the band, Tommy Karevik would assume his position; Silverthorn (2012) would be his debut.

The album that followed, Haven (2015) saw Alissa White-Gluz, Troy Donockley, and Charlotte Wessels appear as guests and entering the US Billboard Chart at number 75 and the Billboard Hard Rock Chart at number 1.

February 2, 2017 marked the second time Kamelot would join the heavy metal cruise 70000 Tons of Metal, they would later open for Iron Maiden, Ghost and Exodus on July 1, 2017 at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California, USA. After only two performances on the supporting tour for their latest album, The Shadow Theory (2018), (The Shadow Toyur), Johan Nunez would step away due to injury, with Alex Landenburg taking his place; Landenburg would replace him permanently after the tour.

In 2020, the biographical book, Veritas: A Kamelot Legacy l would be released and further supported by the live album, I Am the Empire: Live from the 013 (2020). On the follow-up, The Awakening (2023), Alex Landenburg had assumed drums.

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Kamelot in 2013 with Alissa White-Gluz.
Photo by: Xandra73
(CC BY-SA 4.0)

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