Kiske / Somerville - City Of Heroes

Kiske / Somerville - City Of Heroes

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(CD, Frontiers, 2015)

I hope there is no one reading these lines who doesn’t recognize - at least - half of the musicians involved in this lineup. And yes, the term ‘supergroup’ fully applies in the Kiske / Somerville singing alliance simply because the music getting out is of the highest quality. You see, rich biographies are not enough to make really good music, so I guess we should think twice before using the 'supergroup' tag. How many times have we witnessed an all-star lineup putting out lame music? Anyway, this does not apply to “City Of Heroes” which is the second product of this collaboration with Amanda Somerville (ladies first) and Michael Kiske handling the magical vocals, and Magnus Karlsson and Mat Sinner most of the songwriting.

There is no warming up period for this little gem as the album’s title track sifting into the highest of the Hard Rock gears, opening the way with a fantastic riff and then tops things off with Kiske’s crystal clear voice. Then, comes Mrs. Somerville with her more melodic but equally powerful singing which gently pushes the song closer to AOR territories. Don’t be frightened by this genre because it’s all about the foot-taping groove, the arena-type bridge and chorus and the over-the-top guitars. Really, there is nothing more to ask from an album opener that kicks the door down and then serves super addictive melodies. Things go slower with the AVANTASIA-type “Walk On Water” and the killer bass sound that goes hand-in-hand with the subtle keyboards lines, so you may as well call this as a faster power ballad. By the way, the climax during the guitar solo will blow you away. “Rising Up” is an easy selection if you’re looking for something to lift your mood up and at the same time invites the sweet nostalgia that makes Hard Rock even better with simple almost naïve lyrics, amazing keyboard groove and Power Metal-flirting fast chorus. After listening the album so many times, I managed to isolate the reason why I like it so much, and I am referring to the music’s ability to flow between Metal genres in a smooth and therefore enjoyable way. There are some symphonic Metal elements (“Salvation”), Power Metal gems like “Open Your Eyes” and those Arena Rock hits that I think hold the majority in the album’s tracklist. The way the two voices complete each other is of course the main dish but I think equal credit is in order for the music orchestration that has set up the perfect stage for the two singers. Take for example the pompous and at the same time groovy “Breaking Neptune” or the clean guitar-driven “After The Night Is Over” where the duet really shines going from low to the higher register like it’s the easiest thing to do. One more thing that shouldn’t go unnoticed is the positive energy coming from the music, and trust me, you’ll start feeling better and even lighter after a long day as you listen to songs like “Right Now” and “Run With A Dream”.

If I want to be perfectly honest, then I should admit that I didn’t expect something less than awesome from this lineup. Again, it is not all about the names but about this lineup’s chemistry that I think has matured and has acquired an almost personal style after mixing all those Metal genres. I really hope that “City Of Heroes” will reach lots of ears, especially in this side of the Atlantic, and will be granted with some KISKE / SOMERVILLE live dates... daydreaming you said?

9/10


Links:

www.FaceBook.Com/KiskeSomerville


Tracklist:

01. City Of Heroes
02. Walk On Water
03. Rising Up
04. Salvation
05. Lights Out
06. Breaking Neptune
07. Ocean Of Tears
08. Open Your Eyes
09. Last Goodbye
10. After The Night Is Over
11. Run With A Dream
12. Right Now


Lineup:

Michael Kiske - Vocals
Amanda Somerville - Vocals
Magnus Karlsson - Guitar, Keyboards
Mat Sinner - Bass, Backing Vocals
Veronika Lukesova - Drums