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Kamelot armed with heavy metal for Columbus show

Courtesy of Jon Freeman

Heavy metal bands might be stereotyped as groups of black-clothed, howling band members donning piercings and tattoos, with the sound of electronic guitars blaring in the background. But Kamelot, an American metal band, has a different image.

Kamelot, which was founded by Thomas Youngblood and Richard Warner in 1992, has a goal of being original. And it’s looking to share that originality with Columbus.

The band is scheduled to perform with Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish 7 p.m. Friday at Newport Music Hall.

Youngblood, guitarist for the band, said Kamelot built its “own identity” by mixing gothic metal and classical music.

“I believe diversity is the most important thing for records,” Youngblood said. “For me, classical music and metal is the most natural combination, and the way that we blend them, it works.”

He said that blend can be found on Kamelot’s newest album, “Silverthorn,” which is scheduled for release Oct. 30 in North America.

“(‘Silverthorn’) is a story about a beautiful young daughter who is dying in the arms of her two twin brothers, taking their secrets, despair and betrayals to her grave,” Youngblood said.

He said the band wants listeners to unveil the brothers’ secrets.  

“We want people to gather dots together, and sort of figure it out by themselves,” Youngblood said.

He also said Kamelot’s lyrics only tell part of the story. The performances tell the rest.

“Everything on stage is really important,” Youngblood said. “After watching our performance, which is based on what we built on the record, hopefully the audience can’t wait to come back.”

Kamelot’s shows draw in an assorted crowd.

“We have a lot of different fans. In the crowd you can see 14-year-old girls to 50-year-old guys,” Youngblood said. “We have a mixture of different genres, and a mixture of various show elements, so we have a mixture of different people.”

Even though Kamelot has a wide spectrum of fans, some of whom the band has played for in Europe and Japan, Youngblood said fans seem to react similarly to the band’s live performances.

“The core fans are pretty similar, I think. Everybody gets into it, their hands in the air, and become part of our show,” Youngblood said. “Generally, fans are pretty similar all over the world.”

Youngblood also said the band is looking forward to seeing how Columbus fans will react to its show.

“I heard tickets sold like crazy, so we are excited to see everybody out there,” Youngblood said. “It’s gonna be a big party.”

Some Ohio State students are enticed by the band.

Sarah Morgan, a graduate student in social work, said even though heavy metal sounds tough, it is a band’s own way to talk to people.

“I think they (heavy metal musicians) are getting a bad stigma. They are not all angry people,” Morgan said. “I’ve never heard of Kamelot, but combining violent sounds with beautiful classical melody sounds interesting.”

Tickets for Kamelot’s Friday show with Nightwish are $30 for general admission or $27.50 for in advance, available through Ticketmaster.

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