Artist: Michael Kiske & Amanda Somerville 
   Title: Kiske Somerville
   Label: Frontiers Records

I have always been a fan of Michael Kiske since his days with metal legend Helloween and what has been Helloween's loss has been Melodic/Hard Rock’s gain, with Kiske appearing on many of best Melodic and Hard Rock albums over recent years.  And now thanks to Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino he has been paired with US singer Amanda Somerville for a new album that will simply rock the Melodic Rock world.

Along with Kiske and Somerville this album also boasts a real cracking band behind the vocalists, Mat Sinner of Primal Fear on bass and backing vocals, Magnus Karlsson on lead guitar and keyboards, Sander Gommans additional lead guitar, Martin Schmidt and Ramy Ali handle drum parts, with Jimmy Kresic completing the star-studded lineup on keyboards.  With Mat Sinner and Magnus Karlsson handling the songwriting along with Somerville and Sanders Gommans, on paper this looks like being one hell of an album.  So do the credits add up in the final product?  Yes indeed!

The album gets underway in emphatic style with ‘Nothing Left To Say’, a real classy hard rock to get things started, with Karlson delivering a real guitarists role from the off, with some stunning licks, then it's Kiske who takes the lead as he delivers a true vocal force as only Kiske can.  This package is then complete as Somerville comes in and delivers one of the finest female vocals you’ll hear this year.

The tempo is brought back down with some epic metal styling with the superb ‘Silence’, which is actually the first single from the album, with both Kiske and Somerville delivering a vocal that makes you wonder why this unity was newer brought to light before now.  This simply stunning release continues with the rockin’ ‘If I Had A Wish’, a real corker of a track with Karlson delivering some real punchy guitar licks, while Sinner throws out some massive bass lines.

If I had to pick one outstanding track then ‘Arise’ would be right up there, this is epic Melodic Metal at its best, grinding guitars, a power driven rhythm section all capped with the stunning vocals of Kiske and Somerville.

The top quality tracks continue with the stunning ‘End Of The Road’ which is very much an epic and featuring some of Somerville’s best vocals so far on the album.  This release isn’t an all out rock opus though, this track is more mellower that what has gone before while retaining the quality of these two vocalists, which all goes to making this one of the stand out tracks of the album.

The pace and tempo is picked up once more with ‘Don’t Walk Away’ before returning to the darker side with ‘A Thousand Suns’ and the magnificent ‘Rain’. 

Where are the ballads I hear you cry? Well ‘One Night Burning’ is the one for you. A track that stands out from the rest of the album as the towering keyboard dominate this one.  The keys continue to be an integral part of the next one ‘Devil In Your Heart’.  It has that epic feel to it once more as the keyboards and guitars are taken to up to another level.

It's back to earth with another ballad ‘Second Chance’ before the album closes off with my track of the album the mighty ‘Set Afire’ which rounds off my all out album of the year so far.


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 Afire



All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall Zine unless otherwise stated.