Prooooobably my favorite band currently recording is Kamelot (I say probably because come on, that's like picking French fries or mashed potatoes), a power metal outfit originally from Tampa, FL and now based mostly in Europe. Norway, specifically. This is because Roy Khan is Norwegian--remember him?
Yeah. He's foxy. He's also fucking talented (proooooobably my favorite band NOT currently recording is Conception, his other project). And now apparently he's found religion, and will not be singing for Kamelot anymore. This is both completely shocking and totally unsurprising, for the same reason: many of Kamelot's lyrics and most of Conception's revolve around, at the least, a confusion about mainstream religion, specifically Christianity, and at the most, a hatred for it. I talked a little about this in a post a few years back--an incomplete post, since I hadn't listened to Flow, Conception's last album, and Poetry for the Poisoned hadn't come out yet (and now I have linked to my own blog twice, and that is totally chavvy and I will stop), but its point is reasonably clear. From listening to both bands, it seems obvious that the songwriter has a real problem with religion. Many songs from both groups focus on the search for personal truth, self-reliance, damnation, and so forth. So to read Khan's statement, which ends with "The good news is, God was there after all...", is a tad--odd. Unsurprising, but weird.
I am sure I'm not the only impressionable young thing who started listening to heavy metal and then magically became an atheist. What I'm saying is the music of Kamelot and Conception had a profound effect on my mental development regarding religion. I have posted here a couple of times--resisting the urge to link!--about Deep Thinky Thawts stemming from Conception lyrics. Hell, I even based a short story on a line from one of their songs, and it actually got published. To my shallow mind this whole shebang feels like a betrayal...partially because Kamelot's most recent tour was SUPPOSED to start in my city on my birthday, best coincidence ever, and then it was canceled because Khan left. So yeah, I'm a tad butthurt. But I also think it's kind of awesome that Khan's journey has ended, or at least changed course, and that I and maybe hundreds of other people can still derive our own meanings from his music. And I'm glad that I was lucky enough to see Kamelot play at their height, several times, and I know whoever they snatch up is going to kick (nearly) as much ass.