Royal. This is the one word to most effectively describe "Karma". Majestic compositions, truly grand vocals, the whole in an absolutely regal atmosphere...
But let's start at the beginning. "Karma" is the fifth album of KAMELOT, the third with Khan on the microphone. Their last album "The Fourth Legacy" still is one of my absolute favourite albums, so they had quite a status to defend. When I first had heard the album, I went "Very good, but doesn't reach 'The Fourth Legacy'." But then I started some sort of heavy rotation in my car, at home, even at work and this album grows on you!
The sound, again courtesy of Sascha Paeth, is very round and somehow, hm, soft, but not in the not-heavy meaning, you get what I mean? Add to that a more symphonic element than before, with piano-passages that suit the sound of the Americans (and Norwegian) like the hand fits the glove. I am not sure, if ever before American and European steel had been forged more harmonically.
After the bombastic classic-intro "Regalis Apertura" they start out with speedy opener "Forever", where Khan's powerful yet still velvety voice forms an incredibly ideal contrast to the heavy guitars, a dream! The title-track with its slight inclination towards New Age and other sub-genres is a masterfully arranged killer, just like "Across The Highlands" is coming over quite fast. But also in powerful mid-tempo or the differently structured ballad "Don't You Cry" the quartet simply excels! And I won't even start to write about the closing trilogy "Elizabeth"!
So if you are closely watching the quality-level of your Metal, then "Karma" is an essential buy - and I won't accept any excuses!