16.4.15

Michael Kiske & Amanda Somerville - City Of Heroes (2015)

This is the second studio album for Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville duet, City of Heroes. Noted that they are now using expanded full version of their name, instead of simply Kiske/Somerville. The backing musicians are very much the same, Magnus Karlsson and Mat Sinner are on duty to provide arrangements. City of Heroes come with slightly different feel compare to the past debut album. While the debut sounds very much Timo Tolkien, City of Heroes is leaning more towards Magnus Karlsson world of power metal. Michael Kiske sounds very much home, this maybe his most power metal project, as compare to his other job in Place Vendome or Unisonic. Amanda Somerville is given more wide range tasks from operatic voices to soul-like singing,

"City of Heroes" is the usual opener with tasty intro riff, then the guitars are chopping through out the song. Michael Kiske sings the most of the song with Amanda providing powerful backing. This song can be describe as ideal power metal + Kiske + female voices setup. "Walk on Water" is rather quick piano + orchestra ballad incoming but then we'll know why.  It's a real potential hit. The song quickly do the male and female duet arrangement. Everything went out really epic when we got to the power chorus part, well remembered. The composition get their teeth shown well on the third track "Rising Up". The song will be good sung by any power metal singer, and of course absolutely beast in the hand of Michael Kiske and Amanda. It's a slowly built up, the orchestra parts is no brainer and the choruses are again well written. "Breaking Neptune" is another interesting point in the middle section. Started with re-touched familiar riff. It is interesting because the song done in simple one-two pedal drumming yet the accompanied musics are heavily symphonic metal. "Ocean of Tears" is teary violin ballad, come in real slow tempo and Amanda Somerville takes the control. Everything back in track with "Last Goodbye", guitar orientated heavy metal track. "After the Night Is Over" is the third ballad, this one done with acoustic guitar on top.

Aparts from the lead Kiske / Somerville spot light, Magnus Karlsson's melodic solos also contributed to the composition something like the third voices. We can say the song writing are really get into good hand by the musician team and executed well by the duo. We also witness one of few female power metal drummer, Veronika Lukesova in action. Her drumming didn't indicated anything feminism , instead as hard as any men can do. Kiske / Somerville is transformed into highly waited project, perhaps in rival to other "duo" such as Allen / Lande project. There is not much complained for power metal fans, this is one of the year highlighted album.

Favorite tracks: Walk on Water, Rising Up, City of Heroes
Metal Harem class: ********** nine stars out of ten

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Michael Kiske & Amanda Somerville - City Of Heroes (2015)

01. City of Heroes 04:02
02. Walk on Water 04:16
03. Rising Up 04:44
04. Salvation 05:59
05. Lights Out 04:49
06. Breaking Neptune 04:09
07. Ocean of Tears 04:28
08. Open Your Eyes 04:17
09. Last Goodbye 03:47
10. After the Night Is Over 04:57
11. Run with a Dream 04:39
12. Right Now 05:18

Line Up:
Michael Kiske - Vocals (Unisonic, Avantasia (live),  Place Vendome, ex-Helloween)
Amanda Somerville - Vocals (Avantasia (live), Aina, ex-Epica (live))
Magnus Karlsson - Guitars & Keyboards (Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall, Primal Fear)
Mat Sinner - Bass & Backing Vocals (Primal Fear, Silent Force, Sinner, )
Veronika Lukesova - Drums

Guest Musician:
Sander Gommans - Lyrics on track 6 (ex-After Forever)

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