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
has proven her high vocal abilities when she took over the singing duties for EPICA
during their North American tour supporting SYMPHONY X
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
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
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.