This was the very first KAMELOT CD from way back in '95, the first of two albums they did with their original singer Mark Vanderbilt. Those only familiar with KAMELOT's work with Roy Khan will hardly recognize them here, as this is very different from what this band has become.
If one influence can be said to reign supreme on this CD, it would have to be CRIMSON GLORY. Even though KAMELOT were (and remain) a single-guitar band, on this album Youngblood's riff style is highly reminiscent of the first CG disc. Even moreso are the vocals of Mark Vanderbilt, who does sound a bit like Midnight, though without the upper range. What is most noticeable is that Vanderbilt is trying so hard to sound like Midnight you become embarrassed for him. He works so much at mimicking that legendary singer's inflection and phrasing that it borders on parody at times. On the following release he didn't lean so hard on it, and so he sounds much less forced than here. Though I will admit that at times the resemblance is pretty close, so it almost sounds like Midnight, if you squint.
That said, this is not written as well as any CRIMSON GLORY CD, but it isn't bad at all. This is much more basic American-style metal than what KAMELOT are making now, much more guitar-driven and a bit more aggressive. Most of the songs here are mid-paced, and that's a drawback, as after eleven tracks at pretty much the same speed it starts to wear. But there are some good songs on this thing: "Call Of The Sea", "Fire Within", "Warbird" - and no real bad ones. Even the ballad "What About Me" doesn't suck.
This is a good album, if not a great one. No one who heard this would ever guess it was the same band that would make "The Fourth Legacy" or "Epica", but even if this sounds nothing like KAMELOT sound now, it is still worth picking up. (Online January 15, 2004)