Kiske/Somerville is the debut album of the melodic rock/heavy metal duet project Kiske/Somerville. The album features the collaboration of vocalist Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Place Vendome) with American singer Amanda Somerville and was born as a concept put together by Frontiers Records president Serafino Perugino.
The album sees Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner) and Magnus Karlsson (Starbreaker, Primal Fear) handling most of the songwriting, with more contributions from the former After Forever guitarist Sander Gommans and Amanda Somerville herself. Mat Sinner oversaw the production and mixing of the songs at various recording studios in Europe.
Michael Kiske is a German singer best known for his early work with the German power metal band Helloween. He has released several solo albums, has participated on various projects such as Place Vendome and Avantasia and has also recorded guest vocals for numerous bands.
Finishing up the last song for the new Kiske Somerville album - I think you're going to like it!!!!! — feeling wonderful with Sander Gommans.
Amanda Somerville is an American singer-songwriter and vocal coach who works mostly in Germany and was involved in many productions of German producers Sascha Paeth and Miro. She was tapped to replace Dutch vocalist Simone Simons on the Epica’s North American tour with Symphony X due to Simons’ health issues. Amanda is featured on Kamelot's release, Ghost Opera, on their recent album Poetry for the Poisoned, also in the symphonic metal project Aina and she recently toured with Avantasia.
If you're a Muscovite with a penchant for epic guitar solos, operatic vocals and wolves, you're in for a treat this weekend. It's a universally accepted truth that Finland is heavy metal's promised land, having spawned the likes of Nightwish and Finntroll. Sonata Arctica, one of the more internationally celebrated of the country's power-metal offspring, is set to light up the Russian capital this Sunday at Volta Club, and they're thrilled to be here.
"Our Russian fans are really passionate and they really make the shows over there great, so I'm really looking forward to our show next weekend," keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg told The Moscow Times in an interview ahead of the show. 2014 has been a big year for the band, with the release of "Pariah's Child" this spring and a world tour to support the album.
Fans were also pleasantly shocked by the recent announcement that the band will re-release their first full-length album, "Ecliptica." The band had produced music prior to that album, but under the name Tricky Beans. In the 15 years since "Ecliptica's" release, the band has run the gamut from melodic ballads of epic heartbreak to adrenaline-pumping metal anthems.
In 2003's "Winterheart's Guild," the band crafted the ultimate power-metal ballad in the form of "Gravenimage," an epic exploration of the meaning and limitations of love, set to lyrics that took listeners back to the Scandinavia of yore. Many years and several releases later, Sonata Arctica has decided to return to their earlier style. "'Pariah's Child' turned out to be a bit more toward our roots than some of the previous albums," Klingenberg said, adding, "After making our 'rock album,' 'Stones Grow Her Name' (2012), we realized that maybe it wasn't really what this band is about."
The Finnish melodic metal heroes Sonata Arctica released a re-recorded version of debut album "Ecliptica" last month, which originally came out 15 years ago. Today the band unveils a special video clip for a cover version of the Genesis track "I Can’t Dance," available as a bonus track on "Ecliptica – Revisited; 15th Anniversary Edition." Commented vocalist & keyboardist Tony Kakko:
“Instead of filming yet another tour documentary, showing venues and our daily routines again and again, I thought it would be fun to create some kind of music video instead. So, as we were getting ready to embark on our North-American leg of our 'Pariah’s Child' tour we decided to take the opportunity to promote the fresh re-make of our debut album 'Ecliptica' by using a song from that release.
"Idea wise our cover version of Genesis' ‘I Can’t Dance’ ('We Can’t Dance,' 1991) seemed the easiest and most fun to make happen. I mean, walking and dancing around North-America… sounds like a fun thing to do, right?! And that it sure was. The experience ranged reaction wise from 'no one even paid too much attention to us' ( in New York filled with dancing maniacs such as me and Pasi, I suppose) to 'people looking a little scared and a cop telling us to move further away from our subject' (San Antonio). No, we did not get arrested. Damn…Originally we recorded the cover as a bonus for »Stones Grow Her Name«, but for some reason it never wound up anywhere. Better late.
"I’ve always liked the song. I like many, many Genesis songs actually, but I remember one day coming up with this idea to do something fun with ‘I Can’t Dance’ and adding the horn sections and see how it sounds. Sounded great! I had been listening to Aerosmith a lot around that time and I really like the way the spice up their songs with trombones and trumpets and such. I made a demo, asked a trumpetist Mika Mylläri to polish the horn arrangement and together with saxophonist Sakari Kukko they made the whole thing sounds just perfect. It was legendary. We had Sakari Kukko, Niko Kokko and Tony Kakko in the studio at the same time. I’m very pleased we finally get this baby out. I know it does not sound like your everyday Sonata Arctica, but hey, why should it? it’s a Genesis song. I hope you like it as much as I do.
"The tour was fun also outside the obviously hilariously, seemingly embarrassing bits you can see on the video. Great group of people packed in the two tour busses made the seven weeks on the road feel not at a day longer than five weeks, haha! Thank you Delain & Xandria. The 'Pariah’s Child'-tour goes on, merging with 'Ecliptica – Revisited' tour that will go on until the autumn of 2015. "Thank you all for coming to see the shows and keeping live music alive! Keep it up! See you all somewhere. Much love!"
Simmons told Esquire magazine in September — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it." Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."
Asked to weigh in on Gene's comments, Leclercq told Stay Tuned Interviews (see video below): "I don't know… I mean, it's very hard. I was actually talking to a bunch of friends of mine from my hometown, and we were talking about the fact that there's tons of festivals nowadays. And that's gonna come to an end, like, maybe in 10 years, 20 years, the formula's gonna change. So I guess music is evoving all the time, and so is rock and roll. But I don't think it's dead. As long as people still enjoy going to gigs and seeing people playing their instruments, as long as people do enjoy that sort of vibe and atmosphere, it's gonna carry on. Maybe it's gonna change. Maybe in 20 years, rock and roll's gonna be done with… I don't know… cellos and trumpets, and there will be no drums, no bass, no distortion — who knows? — but I think that the energy of a bunch of dudes rehearsing in a garage and practicing all together and they wanna play and get drunk, that's gonna exist for quite a long time. So, no, it's not dead. I don't think it is."
DRAGONFORCE's new album, "Maximum Overload", was released on August 19 in North America via Metal Blade and August 18 in Europe through earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group. The CD was recorded at Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with OPETH, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, AMON AMARTH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK and SYMPHONY X, to name a few. It marks the band's first-ever album involving an outside producer, having historically opted to record themselves in association with Karl Groom.
Author Stephen King once described his books as “the literary equivalent of a cheeseburger and fries.” The same comparison could be made in a musical context for Swedish sextet AMARANTHE. With its myriad anthemic swells, rousing choruses and fist-pumping, breakdowny riffiness, the aptly titled Massive Addictive is essentially a “modern” metal combo meal. It's loaded with cheese and empty calories, but it'll keep you coming back from more and more and more, even though you know it's just going to fatten up your ass in the end.
And it seems to have been meticulously engineered and manufactured to achieve just such an effect. Addictive varies little from the formula AMARANTHE established on its first two albums – it's just more calculating, refined and “pure”. Sounding something like a WITHIN TEMPTATION/SOILWORK/LACUNA COIL hybrid, the band blend together infectious pop melodies, pulsing electronics, thundering hard rock, a hint of Swedish death metal bombast and scream-o abrasiveness, and some strategically placed power balladry into something as simple and predictable as it is insidiously catchy. And I can't emphasize “catchy” enough.
Where most “accessible” metal albums have one or two songs that are the obvious standouts or “singles”, Massive Addictive is an entire album of them. Every song here, from the opener “Dynamite” to the closer “Exhale”, has a huge hook and money shot chorus built around surging and engaging, yet rather obvious, verses – all slathered in a picture-perfect production that makes it all the more inviting. Some bacon and fried onions for that Monster Thick Burger? Why sure!
It's hard not to see why. What they might lack in imagination or daring, co-lead vocalists Jake E and Elize Ryd [joining their vocal Hydra is “harsh” singer Henrik Englund, who growls alongside them] and guitarist Olof Mörck – owner of one of the most “metal” names in metal - more than make up in sheer cunning and undeniable mastery of songcraft. The spot-on, unwavering consistency of the material on Massive Addictive is astonishing – even moreso than its predecessors. Every morsel here tastes about the same - be it the rampaging “An Ordinary Abnormality”, the more genteel “Over And Done”, the BON JOVI-like stadium rock of “Exhale” or the muscular, disco-fied electronic throb of “Digital World” - but dammit if they aren't all quite delicious. Just be sure to grab lots of napkins, and be ready to hide your shame. 3.0 Out Of 5.0