Ah, gigs. Remember them? Well, I Am The Empire – Live From The 013 (Napalm Records), the new live release by veteran power metal act Kamelot is a welcome reminder of what live entertainment looked like in a pre-Covid world.
Recorded in Tilburg in September 2018, the Dutch venue is filled to capacity as the band play one of the most memorable shows of their career. An already magnificent performance is reinforced by several guest appearances, a couple of them sending the already overwhelmed crowd into a state of near-delirium.
‘Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)’ features Lauren Hart of Once Human, ‘My Confession’ is brought to life by a German string quartet, Eklipse, Charlotte Wessels of Delain performs a live premiere of ‘Under Grey Skies’, and Alissa White Gluz of Arch Enemy guests on no less than three tracks – ‘March of Mephisto’, ‘Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)’ (which also features Elize Ryd of Amaranthe) and the showstopping finale of ‘Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)’.
Elsewhere, producer and Avantasia guitarist Sascha Paeth joins the band for ‘Ravenlight’, while the son of guitarist and founder member Thomas Youngblood fronts a children’s choir during ‘Burns to Embrace’.
Of the many other highlights, ‘Rule the World’, ‘Insomnia’, ‘Veil of Elysium’, and a sensational ‘When the Lights are Down’ all make for a spectacular live recording. Presented separately or as a box set, the Blu ray and DVD also include backstage and rehearsal footage, plus interviews with fans and the band themselves.
8 / 10