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Kamelot Biography

Last updated: 06/13/2012 12:00:00 PM

• 1991 - 1995

In 1991 Kamelot was founded by guitarist Thom Youngblood and drummer/ school mate Richard Warner but it took until August 1995 for their debut album "Eternity" to be released. Signing to Noise Records Germany in Spring 1994. Fans and critics alike praised Kamelot as being one of the most promising newcomers in Metal.

• In 1996...

...their second album "Dominion" received even more attention, because it showed the variety of the band, spanning all the way from European metal to classical music and progressive.

The fans and sales for Kamelot would grow over the year and the group was being touted as one the new leaders in Melodic Metal from the U.S. Not resting on their laurels the group went back to work on their 3rd and most important release. But obstacles were ahead...

• Kamelot 1997

A year of major changes. After the success of "Dominion" many tour opportunities came to Kamelot. Unfortunately drummer Richard Warner and vocalist Mark Vanderbilt could not tour and there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the two to ever tour.

Kamelot's first goal was to find a new drummer. After one audition Casey Grillo was the man. Local music veteran at the age of 21, Casey was a perfect fit for the opening. After listening to between 75 and 100 audition tapes of vocalists the band was a standstill. A whole record had been written but no one worthy enough to grab the mic.

Enter Norwegian born Roy Khan. Khan's former group "Conception" had split up the year before: That was the genesis of the new Kamelot. Before he was taken on as a band member though he had to pass a final test - he had to skydive with the other members of Kamelot.

Apprehensive at first, he came through with flying colors. The chemistry was perfect from the beginning and it is a great sign of what's to come from this union.

• In 1998... vocalist Roy Khan and drummer Casey Grillo were enlisted and the record "Siege Perilous" was now a reality. The record spawned great reviews from fans and critics led to the groups first tour of Europe in late 1998. Upon returning to their hometown of Tampa, Florida the band decided to take some time off to write and relax.

• In December 1998...

...the journey for "The Fourth Legacy" would begin after the Kamelot tour. Writing began in Tampa, Florida but after a month of work Thomas Youngblood decided to relocate to the mountains of Virginia to concentrate on songs and get a different vibe for the record.

• March 1999

After 3 months of ideas, Thomas traveled to the small village of Sørskogbygda in Norway, home of vocalist Khan. 3 weeks of isolation in the snowy village proved the songwriting team of Youngblood/Khan to be a new force to reckon with.

Now to find a producer, Sascha Paeth was first on the list. His work with Rhapsody and Angra called attention to Thom's wish list and a few phone calls later the deal was set. Final preproduction would need to be done: Where else but in the home of Kamelot in Tampa Bay, Florida. For a month the group worked out the kinks of the new songs with producer Sascha Paeth.

• August 1999

Recording began in Wolfsburg, Germany in August 1999 and continued til October. Choirs, real string sections and guest keyboardist Miro would round out the final songs to a beautiful blend. Mixing would be done over the next month and final mastering complete in November. The new record will set a new standard for Kamelot and the Melodic Metal genre.

• January 2000

"The Fourth Legacy" is released in January and receives rave reviews from the media and is touted as album of the year by many.

• April 2000
Kamelot tour Europe with Crimson Glory and Evergrey, and are accompanied by Günter Werno (Vanden Plas) as guest musician on keyboards.

• September 2000

The live album "The Expedition" was recorded during Kamelot's tour through Europe in April 2000. The songs were recorded and mastered by Sascha Paeth and then the album was completed by adding three rare tracks:

We Three Kings - this instrumental track hasn't been released before. The song, which is based on the story of the three kings of Orient that travelled to Bethlehem, was engineered by Howard Helm who also played some of the string parts.

One Day - this track was the bonus track for the Japanese release of "Siege Perilous". The first ballad that Thom and Roy wrote together. It was done while sitting in the lounge at Morrisound Studios.

We Are Not Seperate - originally released on the "Dominion" album. The remake of this song is with Khan on vocals and Miro playing keyboards. The song maintains its original fire but has more guitar and crunch. The string lines add an extra dimension to the composition.

• Spring 2001

Thomas and Khan reside in Wolfsburg, Germany from December 2000 til March 2001 to record the latest album "Karma". Like "The Fourth Legacy" the new album Karma is produced by Sascha Paeth and
Miro in the Gate Studio, Wolfsburg.

Miro not only works as a producer and sound engineer, but also contributes all keyboards and orchestral arrangements to the album. On top of that, Olaf Hayer (Luca Turilli etc.), Robert Hunecke-Rizzo (Virgo, Heavens Gate )and Cinzia Rizzo (backing vocals) are engaged.

Kamelot present 12 new songs, among them the opener "Forever" being the speedy track on the album, "Don't You Cry" being an homage to Thomas Youngblood's father who died when Thomas was 12, and the musically experimental title track being inspired by New Age and world music.The centre of the album consists of the trilogy "Elizabeth", divided into three parts ("Mirror Mirror", "Requiem For The Innocent" and "Fall From Grace") and telling the story of Elizabeth Bathori who lived in the 14th century and is aid to have had more than 600 people killed as she hoped to gain eternal youth from their blood.

Kamelot's approach in this case can only be called masterly as all tracks on this album are intense and ambitious in their intention.

The new album "Karma" completes the band's history and also opens new perspectives for the future. Kamelot are definitely standing at the beginning of a glamorous year.