It's been five years since the first Michael Kiske and Amanada Somerville collaboration, a self-titled album of melodic metal that was quite entertaining. Since then both have been busy with a variety of projects, but now they deliver their second effort, City Of Heroes, once more on the Frontiers Music label.
Essentially, this is a repeat of that first album, part two as it were. The melodic heavy metal blended with a hard rock groove remains with the vocalists complimenting one another. Also, adding to the general consistency of the Kiske/Somerville sound, Matt Sinner and Magnus Karlsson return to handle the majority of songwriting responsibilities. These fellows are two of the best in the business, no matter which role they take, composer to musician to producer. And, of course, Karlsson is a killer guitarist. His magic bag of thrilling fret fireworks never seems to ever be empty. Put together, it's the perfect storm of melodic heavy metal rock. Like the previous album, there's not a single bad song here.
But there are some that rise to the top. One is the title track, which starts the album, it's both heavy and catchy, like power metal with a hard rock soul. More heaviness and groove come with Last Goodbye, a song with a melody that makes it akin to AOR metal. A soaring number, both vocally and musically, arrives with Breaking Neptune, penned by Somerville and husband Sander Gommans (ex-After Forever). Karlsson's sharp guitar lines start it, but the riffage and rising vocals give the song a bombastic, almost symphonic, quality. Karlsson solo in the latter half is rather kick ass, too. Two songs really show off how well Kiske and Somerville's voice work together. Those are Ocean of Tears and After The Night Is Over, both ballads. With the music dailed back, you can tell how the tone of both voices blend so easily. It's beautiful, really. And City Of Heroes is another winner, and easily recommended.
City Of Heroes finds Michael Kiske and Amanada Somerville in excellent vocal form, their voices were destined to paired together in the context of melodic metal rock.
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