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A Floridian power metal band formed in 1991 by Thomas Youngblood and Mark Vanderbilt. Their first two albums are generally considered somewhat sub-par, mostly thanks to Vanderbilt's singing, but saw some success. Vanderbilt quit in 1998 because the band was becoming too big to balance with the other aspects of his life. It is doubted that many complained at this development.
Norwegian vocalist Roy Særtre Khantatat (also known as Roy Khan, or Khan, for short) of the then-recently broken up Conception took his place as a touring member and was soon asked to go sky diving with the band to secure a permanent place. He's a far better singer, and so this move is universally considered a good thing. After one final rough album with Siege Perilous, they switched to a more progressive-influenced sound with The Fourth Legacy, though Your Mileage May Vary on whether you enjoy that one. Every album they've released since has been near universally loved by critics and fans alike. Along the way, they replaced their original bassist with the other one of two members to play on all of their albums up to Ghost Opera, Glenn Barry, their original keyboardist with ex-Blaze guitarist Oliver Palotai (after seven years of having no keyboardist), and their original drummer (who left at around the same time as Vanderbilt) with Casey Grillo.
In 2009, Glenn Barry had to quit the band due to problems in his personal life. He was replaced by Kamelot's original bassist, Sean Tibbets. As of April 22, 2011, Khan has permanently left the band for various reasons: at first it was primarily health problems regarding his voice, however Thomas Youngblood has stated that the primary reason Khan has stayed away was due to "religious friction". It is hinted at that Roy was unsatisfied or unhappy with the much darker direction of Poetry for the Poisoned in comparison to their previous albums though Roy has kept open the possibility of personal projects in the future. The band is currently searching for a new lead vocalist with the position being filled, at least temporarily, by Fabio Lione of Rhapsody of Fire.
- Thomas Youngblood: Guitar (No longer the only founding member with Sean's return, 1991-)
- Sean Tibbets: Bass (formerly known as Sean Christians, 1991-1992, 2009-, live bass 2006-2009)
- Casey Grillo: Drums (1997-)
- Oliver Palotai: Keyboard (Ex-Blaze and also with Sons of Seasons, 2005-).
- Mark Vanderbilt: Vocals (1991-1997)
- Roy Khan: Vocals (1998-2011)
- Glen Barry: Bass (1992-2009)
- Richard Warner: Drums (1991-1997)
- David Pavlicko: Keyboard (1991-1998)
Notable Guest Musicians:
- Simone Simons (Of Epica and Palotai's fiancee, regular guest vocalist)
- Miro (Real name Michael Rodenburg, producer and session musician associated with Kamelot's producer, Sasha Paeth, session keyboard 1999-2007)
- Mari Youngblood (Thomas Youngblood's wife, Helena on Epica, The Black Halo and One Cold Winter's Night)
- Sascha Paeth (Second guitar on the live version of "Moonlight", live bass summer 2010)
- Fabio Lione (Of Rhapsody of Fire, touring vocals, 2010-)
- Shagrath (Of Dimmu Borgir. Provided the vocals of Mephisto on The Black Halo.)
- Eternity (1995)
- Dominion (Last album with Mark Vanderbilt and Richard Warner, 1997)
- Siege Perilous (First album to feature Roy Khan and Casey Grillo, last album to feature David Pavlicko, 1998)
- The Fourth Legacy (Considered to be the album where they started improving, 2000)
- The Expedition (Live CD, 2000)
- Karma (2001)
- Epica (First concept album, 2003)
- The Black Halo (Second concept album, continues Epica's storyline, 2005)
- One Cold Winter's Night (Live CD/DVD, 2006)
- Ghost Opera (First album to feature Oliver Palotai, last to feature Glenn Barry, 2007)
- Ghost Opera: The Second Coming (Reissue, 2008)
- Poetry for the Poisoned (First album to feature Sean Tibbets, last to feature Roy Khan, 2010)
- Eternity - Note we said "Notable," not "Good."
- What About Me - Possibly the only decent Vanderbilt song, but try to imagine how awesome an Enhanced Remake with Khan would be.
- Center of the Universe
- March of Mephisto (feat. Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir)
- The Haunting (Somewhere in Time) (feat. Simone Simons of Epica)
- Memento Mori
- Ghost Opera
- The Human Stain
- The Great Pandemonium (feat. Bjorn "Speed" Strid of Soilwork)
This band may exhibit the following tropes:\
- Audience Participation Song - Khan has the fans sing along to "Forever" on One Cold Winter's Night and punching the sky on March of Mephisto.
- Badass Longcoat - Try watching One Cold Winter's Night and not thinking Khan looks awesome in the cassock he wears when performing "March of Mephisto."
- The Band Minus the Face - Possibly with Khan's departure.
- Blood Bath - The album art for Karma depicts a woman in a nightgown waist-deep in a pool of blood. The last three songs on the album, "Elizabeth I, II, & III," are about the life of the Trope Maker, Elizabeth Bathory.
- In the video for "March of Mephisto", the title character drinks blood out of a skull and then proceeds to pour blood over his head.
- Chronological Album Title - The Fourth Legacy
- Concept Album - The albums Epica and The Black Halo are two parts of a rock opera based on Goethe's Faust
- Cover Version: Where The Wild Roses Grow as a bonus on "Poetry For the Poisoned"
- Creator Backlash - Very subtle, but Khan is on record with a dislike of being a guest vocalist, stating that his appearance on Epica's Consign to Oblivion was done as a thank you and his appearance on Avantasia's The Scarecrow was because he and the rest of Kamelot are good friends of Tobias Sammet.
- The reason Khan left the band besides personal and health issues.
- Darker and Edgier - Poetry for the Poisoned
- Deal with the Devil - Epica and The Black Halo are based on Faust after all.
- Epic Rocking - When played straight through, the three tracks that make up "Elizabeth" are about 12 minutes long.
- "Memento Mori" from The Black Halo is 9 minutes long and definitely fits the 'epic' criterion.
- The four "Poetry for the Poisoned" tracks from Poetry for the Poisoned amount to almost 9 and a half minutes.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: "Seal Of Woven Years" takes a full 1.5 minutes to set the scene for the song.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell - The music video for "The Great Pandemonium", with some cyber/dieselpunk and Lovecraftian influences as well.
- Heavy Mithril - Though rather a lot less than you would expect from their name, having only two songs remotely about King Arthur to date.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: Love You To Death uses this.
- Hey, It's That Voice! - Simone Simons, Jon Oliva, Shagrath, Bjorn Strid
- Homoerotic Subtext - Some of Mephisto's lines, especially in Descent of the Archangel, just simply ooze this trope.
- I Am the Band - Thomas until Sean took his place back from Glenn.
- Ill Girl - The subject of the song "Love You to Death".
- Intercourse with You - Said literally during the Incubus section of Poetry for the Poisoned.
- When the Lights Go Down, On the coldest winter's night and mentioned in The Haunting
- Large Ham - Khan.
- And, of course, Lione after him.
- Light Is Not Good - The Inquisitor is a textbook example. The chorus alone spells it out rather clearly.
- Lyrical Dissonance - "Lost and Damned" is a fast paced, epic song... about Ariel, the protagonist of Epica and The Black Halo deciding to leave Helena, his lover, to continue his pointless search for the meaning of life. What makes things worse is that this leads directly to Helena throwing herself and their unborn child into a river.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - A solid 7 for the most part, but "March of Mephisto" and about half of Poetry for the Poisoned push into the 8 territory, while their power ballads drop to 6 and their acoustic ballads are all the way down to 2 or 3.
- Multinational Team - Casey, Sean and Thomas are Americans, though Casey is from Oklahoma while Thomas and Sean are Floridian, Khan is Norwegian (of Singaporean and American descent) and Oliver is German (of Hungarian descent). Thomas and Khan call the shots when it comes to songwriting.
- Name's the Same: "Soul Society" has little to nothing to do with Bleach.
- Non-Appearing Title - "March of Mephisto" is the most prominent example. "The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)" gets a special mention as "Somewhere in Time" does appear in the chorus, but "The Haunting" doesn't appear anywhere. "Elizabeth" may seem like an example at first, but near the end of the first song (Mirror, Mirror) a man whispers "Elizabeth... wake up...".
- "Necropolis" is not said directly in the song, "City Of The Dead" is said though.
- Ominous Latin Chanting - Present in the form of Faux Latin (Or Faux Italian) in The Edge of Paradise and the interlude Opiate Soul.
- One of Us - Oliver is a fan of Star Trek.
- Power Ballad - At least one per album, including "What About Me," "A Sailorman's Hymn," "Don't You Cry," "On the Coldest Winter Night," "Abandoned," "Anthem", and "House on a Hill".
- There's also "Epilogue", the bonus track on the Japanese edition of The Black Halo.
- Rage Against the Heavens - Inverted with the song "Abandoned" which isn't so much a rant against God as a meek plea for forgiveness.
- "III Ways to Epica," where Ariel blames God for his grief may be a more fitting example of this one.
- Rock Opera - Epica and The Black Halo as mentioned before.
- Sanity Slippage Song: "The Great Pandemonium"
- Soprano and Gravel - "March of Mephisto" and "Memento Mori." The gravel part was done via a guest appearance by Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir. "The Great Pandemonium" as well, with Björn Speed Strid doing the gravel this time.
- "The Zodiac" features Jon Olivia in the gravel role.
- Villain Song: "March of Mephisto" is all about who Mephisto is in the context of the story told by Epica and The Black Halo, but is merely used to reintroduce the setting of those two albums. "Descent of the Archangel" is a more traditional villain song in that it introduces Mephisto and his plot while moving the story forward.
- Elizabeth from the album Karma is about Elizabeth Bathory. Basically the female Dracula.
- "The Zodiac" from Poetry for the Poisoned is from the point of view of the Zodiac serial killer.
- The Vamp / Femme Fatale: If Tomarrow Came is about this type of woman
All you've seen and all you've known/Tells you that she kept you warm
- Who Wants to Live Forever? - "Across the Highlands".