Ghost Opera - The Second Coming
Reissue might be a good one for fans to pick up
Re-releasing deluxe versions of albums long after the release of the original album seems to be a common occurrence these days, and the latest band to have their last album re-released in expanded format is Floridian progressive power metal act Kamelot. Released a mere twelve months ago, the five-piece act (Comprising of vocalist Roy 'Khan' Khantatat, guitarist Thomas Youngblood, bassist Glenn Barry, keyboardist Oliver Palotai and drummer Casey Grillo) have decided to expand upon their eighth full-length album Ghost Opera as a double C.D.
For the most part, the first disc remains true to the original release, with the audio component a straight forward re-release of Ghost Opera. Having already reviewed last year, I'll simply sum the release as one of Kamelot's best, second only to their classic The Black Halo effort from 2005. Aside from the album itself, the disc features an enhanced component of their promotional video clip for The Human Stain, and a live version of Memento Mori from the band's performance in Belgrade (Serbia) during their One Cold Winter's Night European tour in 2007.
Disc two however is what will be determined by most fans as to whether or not this re-release is worthy of purchasing Ghost Opera for a second time. Originally conceived as a stand alone live album (Before being tacked on as the second disc on this re-release), the nine tracks (Excluding the opening instrumental Solitaire) that make up Live In Belgrade takes up most of the bonus disc. Featuring songs lifted off the last two albums exclusively (Apart from Epilogue, which was one of the Japanese bonus tracks for The Black Halo), Live In Belgrade is the perfect companion piece to the band's One Cold Winter's Night live album/D.V.D. from 2006, and just as impressive in terms of sound and performance. Highlights include The Human Strain, When The Lights Are Down, The Haunting (Which features a guest duet performance with Epica's Simone Simons) and March Of Mephisto.
Aside from the live tracks, the band have also added some exclusive studio tracks, including the ballad Season's End (The Japanese bonus track on Ghost Opera), The Pendulous Fall (The original bonus track on the limited edition of Ghost Opera), Epilogue and the interesting (But hardly essential) new dance remix of Rule The World.
Deluxe edition of recently released albums can more often than not be seen as a cash-in by the label. And in the case of Kamelot's Ghost Opera, it's true. But for die-hard fans, or those that still haven't gotten around to getting the album, this version is by far the definitive one. But for those who have already purchased the album when it was released last year, it's questionable as to whether it's worth buying a second time around at full price.