Supared - Supared
Noise Records
Melodic Hard Rock
14 songs (55'12)
Release year: 0
Supared, Noise Records
Reviewed by Marty
This is the long awaited debut album from this new band featuring Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) on lead vocals. This album has been a long time in the making and puts Michael where he wants to be, back into a band situation again. He has had moderate success as a solo artist releasing 2 albums, Instant Clarity (1996) and Readiness To Sacrifice (1999). Instant Clarity was the more successful of the two and received more world-wide distribution. That particular album had some real gems that were a throwback to the glory days of Helloween whereas Readiness To Sacrifice saw him moving in a different and much more softer musical direction. Never one to succumb to outside pressures, Michael has repeatedly dismissed any possibility of a reunion with his former Helloween band mates. He has however, done guest appearances on the Land Of The Free album by Gamma Ray with Kai Hansen and recently did some vocals on the debut album by Mastermind, Roland Grapow's new band. One assumes that there is no love lost between him and Michael Weikath. He has often stated that he would never be in a band again unless he could be friends with the other band members (one assumes that this was not the case with Helloween). Any flicker of hope for a Helloween reunion is all but extinguished by the release of this album. Stating that metal music doesn't satisfy him anymore and that it was only good in the 80's when he was doing it with Helloween, there is nothing here that even remotely sounds like that era of the band. Any skeptics who doubted his ability to still sing metal music have been silenced by his recent performances on both Avantasia albums. I've always been a big fan of Michael's voice ever since I heard the Keeper Of the Seven Keys - Part 1 album. He has such a natural, pure voice and singing almost seems like second nature to him. Few singers, whether in the metal genre or not, have the power and range that he has. Michael is a very spiritual and deeply religious person and his beliefs and philosophies are the guiding light both in his life and in his career right now.

Rounding out the line-up of this band is Sandro Giampietro, guitar, Aldo Harms, bass, and Jurgen Spiegel, drums. Supared sees Michael branching out into new musical territories and doesn't seem quite as personal as his 2 solo efforts. Their music is a mix of mid-tempo rockers, some lighter ballad style songs and even a few pounding heavy, almost grunge-like numbers. There's more of a light-hearted feel to much of this album and not quite as serious as Michael's previous offerings. There's also nothing Power Metal about this release at all and those expecting Keeper Of The Seven Keys - III will be sadly disappointed. This album contains a wide variety of material and much of it has a more heavier guitar sound than on his solo material. All the songs however, are blessed by Michael's amazing, powerful and melodic voice. He just soars on songs like Can I Know Her, Let's Be Heroes, Bit Of Her, Ride On and Freakaway. A few tracks feature mainly acoustic guitar and voice and to the other extreme, a couple of tracks contain very modern and heavy guitar riffs accompanied by very abstract and synthesized vocal styles. Every track has a certain melodic hook to it but unfortunately they come from Michael's vocals and not the music of this band. There's some very catchy tunes here and most of the choruses to the songs are very good. What seems lacking here is a killer band to really be in the same league as Michael's vocal talents.

I respect the man for standing up for what he believes in and to do the music he wants to do, it's just that although the potential is there for some of these songs to be really great, most are just not that exciting. This band is all over the map musically and try too hard to be very diversified. This could've been an excellent melodic hard rock/metal album and I think some fans will be surprised by how heavy it is in parts (due to his very public dislike for metal music anymore). The heaviness suggests to me that Michael is still interested in playing heavy music, just in a different style than what he's done before. This album gets better after a few listens, but still, there's only a few stand-out tracks. Overall, it's a decent album but only recommended if you're a huge fan of Michael Kiske's. If this band continues, they may want to take a hard look at what seemed to work for this album and what didn't and consider this album a learning experience. I hope that they approach their next album with a more clear game plan as to what they wish to accomplish. With that in mind, I think their next album could be a vast improvement over this one.

Killing Songs :
Let's Be Heroes, Freakaway and A Bit Of Her
Marty quoted 70 / 100
Mike quoted 60 / 100
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