KAMELOT – EPICA – KOTIPELTO April 3 – Plato – Helmond

As I saw Stratovarius many times on stage I was kind of looking forward to hear Timo Kotipelto doing his solo stuff. But already after the first two songs “Seeds Of Sorrow” and “Lord Of Eternity” I was fed up, as the volume was too loud and the mix was not really as it should be. In fact I was just waiting for some Strato-songs to start enjoying myself… When Timo started with “Hunting High and Low” the audience finally came to life, and with “Black Diamond” he played the best song of the evening…

Still I was rather disappointed and so I started focusing on the second band of this evening Epica. The Dutch gothic have just released a new album called “Consign To Oblivion”, but on this evening the set mainly consisted of “old” material from their debut album “The Phantom Agony”. Simone’s voice could hardly be overheard as again the mix was not as it should be. But fortunately during the set this changed for the better, so I could enjoy great songs like “The Last Crusade”, “Dance Of Fate” and “Cry For The Moon”. Mark grunted a lot this evening, and as you already may know, that is not really my cup of tea. It was a shame that they only played two new songs, but on Pinkpop (15 May) they will be playing a lot more of their new fabulous CD.

Then the band, everybody was waiting for, including yours truly, came on stage, as this was the first time I heard Kamelot alive. “The Black Halo” is one of my favourite albums of 2005 and so when Khan and Co hit the stage I was truly overwhelmed.

After the intro, the band kicked off with “Centre Of The Universe”, proving how tight this band can play and how well Khan’s voice is, even in a very bad acoustic hell hole like Plato. Just as with the other two bands, the volume was way up too high and the mix was again a disaster. Especially in breathtaking songs like “Uther”, “Nights Of Arabia”, “The Haunting” and “Black Halo” this horrible mix rather annoyed me. The next time I will go to a Kamelot gig I will first check if the venue is suitable for this sort of melodic power hard rock.

The band did nothing wrong and the set list was rather to my liking too, but the f*** volume and the f***** mix spoilt my evening too much to really enjoy this gig. Highlights of the set: “Edge Of Paradise” and “March Of Mephisto” with Mark from Epica doing the grunt parts.

Review by Martien Koolen
Photos by Kari Helenius

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