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Michael Kiske/Amanda Somerville - Kiske/Somerville

Michael Kiske/Amanda Somerville
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 06 September 2010, 4:09 PM

I guess there is no need to introduce Michael Kiske to the average metalhead who have at least the basic knowledge in the 80s Metal and especially the German Power Metal scene. The name of HELLOWEEN still haunts his name and every interviewer gets tempted to ask the gifted singer whether there is chance to reunite with the famous Metal act. Well, this is ancient history and Michael has already been following several paths making impressive guest appearances or releasing albums under the PLACE VENDOME moniker. This time Frontiers Records bring us a very interesting collaboration between Kiske and Amanda Somerville. Amanda has proven her high vocal abilities when she took over the singing duties for EPICA during their North American tour supporting SYMPHONY X. Amanda did an excellent job then and managed to impress me with her performance especially in the operatic parts.

In the press release that accompanies the promo explain how this idea was born. As it seems, Michael did a guest appearance for INDIGO DYING as a duet with a female singer. Things turned more than well and Frontiers Records resident Serafino Perugino threw the idea of making a full length album with a similar collaboration and Amanda was chosen as the ideal singing partner.

Having Mat Sinner in this project as a bass player, songwriter and co-producer it is not a surprise that this album has a strong Power Metal backbone with distinct references from the German scene. "Nothing Left To Say" enters exactly in the aforementioned music recipe lead by an almost GAMMA RAY (I was thinking of "Land Of The Free") guitar riff followed by the always impressive vocals by Kiske. Somewhere in the bridge Amanda joins him and to my surprise she does fit the Metal atmosphere. Don't get me wrong here but, I thought Amanda as a more symphonic Metal oriented singer based on her EPICA serving dates. Their duet really shines during the following song "Silence" where the keyboards are joined by a hearty PRIMAL FEAR heaviness in the guitars. Fortunately, the album is not single minded and in times experiments a little in an attempt to take full advantage of the two voices. "Arise" is the perfect example to my saying where the Zakk Wylde guitar vibrato flirts with an WITHIN TEMPTATION approach without losing points in terms of overall heaviness. In "End Of The Road" Amanda sings in a familiar to her music surroundings with symphonic orchestrations and an almost power ballad attitude. Again the Kiske / Somerville collaboration works like a Swiss clock creating a killer song with such a powerful atmosphere.

There is no room to doubt this project and this is not just due to the singers. The musicianship is of a high level with great orchestrations and very good guitars. I believe the Metal scene should stop asking for HELLOWEEN reunion (with Hansen and Kiske on the team) and start enjoying the music offerings by one of the best Metal voices. Of course, many kudos to Somerville for working really hard in creating a strong name in the Metal scene and I think it is time for her to form a full time band.

3 Star Rating

  1. Nothing Left To Say
  2. Silence
  3. If I Had A Wish
  4. Arise
  5. End Of The Road
  6. Don't Walk Away
  7. A Thousand Suns
  8. Rain
  9. One Night Burning
  10. Devil In Her Heart
  11. Second Chance
  12. Set A Fire (bonus track)
Michael Kiske - Vocals
Amanda Somerville - Vocals
Mat Sinner - Bass & Backing Vocals
Magnus Karlsson - Lead Guitar, Guitar, Keyboards
Sander Gommans - Additional Lead Guitar
Martin Schmidt, Ramy Ali - Drums
Jimmy Kresic - Keyboards
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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