Kamelot - The Expedition
Recorded on the European tour for The Fourth Legacy, The Expedition is a slick eight track live spread (plus three rarities: more on that later), that is the product of multiple shows, each track picked to perfection, highlighting the band's memorable synthesis between medieval guitar and keyboard riffs, riding the fine line between power metal and prog, documenting a band fully on the rise. Of the rarities, We Three Kings is a Trans-Siberian Orchestra-styled metalization of the Christmas tune, One Day was a sparse and mellow Japanese bonus track for the excellent Siege Perilous album, and We Are Not Separate is a reworked oldie, proud, tight, galloping, probably the coolest composition on this album. And as befits the good habits of this genre, the booklet is stuffed to overflowing with photos, lyrics, all the credits you could ask for. Note: in interviews, the band is considering this a bit of stopgap before their next studio statement, promising a sprawling double live album one day that will be "definitive."
Megadeth - Capitol Punishment
Man, that's a lot of hits, so you've got to extend a congratulations to this long-running, long-disputed institution. Plus it looks like Mega-Dave is willing to meet his old fans half way, said sentiment expressed through the raw and rocking two new tracks attached at the front of this contractual fill 'em out. Kill The King is pretty damn inspired (except for the questionable catchy melodramatic lyric and phrasing of the chorus), lots of rhythmic chunk, something which has always been Megadeth's ace. Dread & The Fugitive Mind is an interesting case, almost like a parody of Sweating Bullets, very close in stop/start/sneer style, but with a few riff-mad step-outs. The rest, well, you can name off the songs, every record represented with an appropriately-chosen highpoint or two, except the debut, from which the label was either too proud or lazy or too cheap to license a track, a class gesture which would have tied this story with a big pink bow. Cool cover, colours, graphics, plus lyrics, although a band history or tribute history would have completed the package.
Hard Reviews Page 5