3 years ago100+ Views
The second album by the duet project Kiske/Somerville is a worthy follow up to the successful debut. It borders on being slightly better compared to the first effort but loses some points due to some formulaic songwriting and the fact that Amanda Somerville is the leading voice in most of the choruses. Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Unisonic,Place Vendome) and Amanda Somerville (Trillium, HDK) handle the vocals once again. The songwriting team has also remained the same, with Mat Sinner (Primal Fear) and Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Allen/Lande) providing almost all the material, with just one song written by Sander Gommans (After Forever) and Somerville. The only line-up change is the fact that besides being the only guitar player on the album Karlsson is also in charge of the keyboards and orchestrations, while Veronika Lukesova is the new drummer. The music follows the known hard rockbordering on melodic metal formula, with some AOR touches and a more symphonic approach. The orchestrations are better, the guitar solos are more varied and elaborate, the rhythm section is very solid, while the whole band sounds tighter than before. Imagine a heavier, more symphonic and improved version of Karlsson's Allen/Lande project to get a better idea about the music. The vocals are varying and include trade off lead passages during the verses and harmonized choruses. Bothsingers sound outstanding, harmonize perfectly with each other and show off their ranges in an emotional and restrained manner. Somerville is usually the leading voice in the choruses with Kiske providing backing vocals or harmonies. Most songs fall under the melodic hard rock category, with a couple of symphonic metal numbers and a few ballads. The tempo varies throughout the album and the majority of the material is catchy and strong. The addictive punch of the heavier opener "City Of Heroes", the catchy symphonic ballad "Walk On Water", the atmospheric rock of "Breaking Neptune", the symphonic metal of "Salvation" and the happy rocker "Last Goodbye" are the stronger moments on the album. The ballads "Ocean Of Tears" and "After the Night Is Over" are also note worthy and feature some of the most emotional vocal performances on offer. Besides the album's strong points there are also some weaknesses, which make it a little difficult for City Of Heroes to top the debut album. There are some songs that while not bad sound a little generic and feature choruses that are too predictable. The fact that Somerville's voice is mixed higher throughout most of the choruses unfortunately gets a little tiring in the long run and makes the album sound a little monotonous. Another minor drawback is the fact that some of the lyrics are a little uninspired. If you enjoyed the debut album of Kiske/Somerville you will definitely like their sophomore effort. If you found the debut album to be too soft or un-metal you will be more pleased with this effort. The majority of the songs are very well executed and feature several addictive choruses, outstanding vocal performances, well executed orchestrations and some excellent guitar solos.
yes you have! ;)
I'll have to check this out!