Ghost Opera: The Second Coming
8/8/2008 - Review by: Raising Iron
Kamelot have now re-released "Ghost Opera", with a 2nd disc containing 10 live tracks from a show performed in Belgrade, Serbia as well as 4 bonus tracks which are: "Seasons End" - Japanese bonus track off the initial Ghost Opera release, "Pendulous Fall" - new studio track for this re-release, "Epilogue" - Japanese bonus track off "The Black Halo", and a hardly necessary remix of "Rule The World" off "Ghost Opera". For a review of the "Ghost Opera" album proper, see Vinaya's spot-on assessment elsewhere on the site. Here, we will strictly focus on what's new for the re-release, hence, my rating reflects only the new material.
Personally, I'm getting a bit tired of labels releasing an album, only to reissue it a year later with a bunch of "bonus" material (which is usually filler), resulting in nothing but a cash-grab. I find that to be pretty much the case here, as there's nothing new considered to be an absolute must-have, save for maybe the new bonus track. Now to be fair, I am a long-time Kamelot fan and own most of their catalog. These guys, being one of the elite bands in the progressive-power genre, come highly recommended.
But, let's move on to what you're really paying for here. First off, if you want Kamelot live, pick up the stellar "One Cold Winter's Night", which includes the outstanding "Elizabeth" trilogy performed in it's entirety, as well as a nice cross-selection from their back catalog. The live disc here comprises four songs off "Ghost Opera", and the remaining six are from "The Black Halo". Hardly a good live representation of their work. I do not know if the Serbs actually got more than this or not, but it's all you're going to get here. Of course, it is Kamelot live; highly professional, excellent mix, and Simone Simons' (from Epica) beautiful voice graces the song "The Haunting". Also, "Abandon" is a wonderfully performed ballad with a nice audience exchange. The bonus tracks, as listed earlier, can be found on previous releases, sans the new song "Pendulous Fall". But, if you pick up Kamelot's 2007 compilation, "Myths and Legends of Kamelot", you can get these as well as pretty much all of their bonus and b-sides on one silver platter. Lastly, the remix of "Rule The World" is hardly necessary (are they ever?) and simply serves as the final bit of filler. Oh, and yes, there are a couple of videos included as well as a revamped booklet.
If you're not in the know, Kamelot have slowly progressed from a power metal band with some progressive and orchestral tendencies, to something completely the opposite. Now, they've firmly rooted themselves in the symphonic realm, with metal being one of the many brushes they use to color their music. That's not a bad thing, but if you're new to the band, be careful where you start. If you don't already own "Ghost Opera", you may as well kick in the extra couple dollars and get this reissue, if you do have it, skip this reissue and pick up the "Myths and Legends" compilation to get those bonus tracks you may be jonesing for. Finally, if you're a die-hard completist, then you're the sorta fan the labels target with these things. Wear your bullseye with pride.
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