Roy Khan is a singer / songwriter unlike any other. His voice is powerful yet soothing at the same time. His ability to reach highs and lows, while still maintaining a clean voice with little or no reverb is no mean feat. Today, March 12th, happens to be Roy’s 41st birthday.
Most popular for having been the frontman of the American Power Metal band Kamelot, Roy has been their principal songwriter since 1998 till April 2011, when he abruptly left the band. In his span of 13 years with Kamelot, they released 7 studio albums, each one arguably better than the next. Operatically trained, the clean delivery of his voice stood out at the forefront of the band’s sound, despite a good amount of distorted electric guitar riffs, the occasional double bass drumming and some incorporation of synth/orchestra.
Listening to the lyrics and themes of Kamelot’s songs, one will notice that they are heavily influenced by Germanic and Norse Mythology, especially the Metal Opera like concept albums Epica and The Black Halo, from whence came some of Kamelot’s most highly acclaimed songs, known for their adaptations of German poet/philosopher Goethe’s Faustian legends.
In 2010, right at the peak of Kamelot’s touring, Roy Khan suffered a tremendous mental breakdown, citing such reasons as anxiety and depression. He had since not been seen playing / performing with the rest of the band, which forced them to cancel many subsequent tours. In April 2011, Roy released a formal statement claiming that he will be parting ways with Kamelot for good.
“I am terribly sorry that my decision is affecting so many others and I want you to know I wish the band and associates all the best for the future and that I enjoyed every second in the spotlight. How could I not?! They were nourished by the best fans in the world!“
“I am eternally thankful for everything you and KAMELOT have given me and equally sorry that it has to end here. The good news is; God was there after all…“
And thus, the man who had written such songs as The March of Mephisto and the four part Poetry for the Poisoned bade the musical world goodbye, to fulfil his own quest to seek the greater truth, much like his own character Ariel, from the albums Epica and The Black Halo.
Coincidence? Twist of Fate? Irony? Whatever it is, we are still very thankful for his having been with Kamelot for those 13 years.
Happy Birthday, Roy!