Kiske/Somerville - City Of Heroes
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
12 songs (57:00)
Release year: 2015
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Joel
The follow up to their 2010 debut, finds Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville back together on Frontiers Records, with songs written by Primal Fear's(and his great solo project, Free Fall) Magnus Karlsson, and bandmate Mat Sinner. Anytime you get a pairing like this, the comparison to an Allen/Lande cd must come to mind. Melodic infused rock and metal, with radio friendly sensibilities. The music definitely does not win the originality award, but it is well written and enjoyable to anyone who enjoys melodic rock and metal.

With the opening track which serves as the title track, the disc lures you in, for the next fifty five plus minutes of melodic. City Of Heroes, is definitely the perfect track to open the disc up. From the vocal harmonies, to the verses in which our two leads trade off, to even the guitar riff, the song has everything you would expect from a single, and the first song on a disc. While Walk On Water slows things down a bit, the former Helloween vocalist, takes the intial lead, before Somerville joins in. The chorus is a sing-a-long, done in perfect harmony. A hugely melodic song that is followed by the faster Rising Up, of which the lyrics personally come off as a little cheesy to me, but nonetheless a good song. Songs like Salvation and Lights Out are both melodic songs with some solid riffs from Karlsson. Though at this point on the disc, the vocal trade offs become almost formulaic in their order. Breaking Neptune stands out, with its change in melodies during the song, and the musicianship getting a chance to shine just as much as the leads.

The somber Ocean of Tears opens the second half of the disc, and finds a crooning Kiske taking the first lead, before the angelic vocals of Somerville join in. The latter part of the song, has the rest of the band to join in, and features my favorite guitar solo of the entire disc. Open Your Eyes, has a real melodic power metal feel to it, much in the way City Of Heroes opened the disc up and should be the second single in my opinion. While sticking to a similar formula with Run With A Dream, the song is carried by its two leads. Right Now features more Somerville taking the initial lead followed by Kiske. The final song like the ones that came before it, are solid examples of melodic music. I specially like the chorus to Right Now.

While the formulaic nature of the song structure may wear thin on some listeners, this is definitely a better release then their debut. Kiske has always been on of the more unique vocalist in rock and metal music, whether you are a fan of his early Helloween work, or his later solo work. Somerville is someone who is more known to be a background singer then a lead, which to me is completely wrong. She offers something different than the world filled with soprano's trying to emulating Tarja or like-minded singers. A melodic female singer, with a great range, and vocal ability many wish they could have. If you like what you hear from her, check out Trillium, and their disc Alloy. A band that features her on lead vocals, and was released as well by Frontier Records, in 2011. With an all-star cast of musicians behind them, and the always solid songwriting skills of Karlsson, City Of Heroes is a solid melodic release, that will cater to finds of the genre. In these days of gloom and doom lyrics, it is nice to break away, and find something that is equally positive in its message,and still rocks.

Killing Songs :
City Of Heroes, Breaking Neptune, Open Your Eyes, Last Goodbye, Right Now
Joel quoted 85 / 100
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