Michael Kiske "Instant Clarity"

(Raw power/Castle)

RATING:***1/2

For those who still don't know it, Michael Kiske sang with Helloween on five albums, from "Keeper Of The Seven Keys I" to "Chameleon", bringing huge success to the band. Well, now Kiske is back with a solo album after three years since he left Helloween, helped in some tracks by his old band mate Kai Hansen, now with Gamma Ray, and ex-Iron Maiden Adrian Smith. Considering that Kiske has always loved "Chameleon", for which he wrote four tracks, we had to expect an album like that one, and infact "Instant Clarity" may sometimes remind it. The tracks are very different from one another: the opening "Be True To Yourself" shows the incredible vocal ability Kiske has, while "The Calling" (the first single) is a powerful and limpid metal song. This, together with the excellent Teutonic speed "New Horizons", is the only trip to the past; there are in fact a pair of tunes heavily influenced by Pearl Jam ("Somebody Somewhere" and "Burned Out") and others which may sound really disconcerting. I like better the ballds, in particular the 10 minutes long "Do I Remember A Life?" and "Always", dedicated to Ingo Swichtenberg, which show Kiske's art much more than "Hunted"'s filtered voice. In a few words, these songs are individually good, but the whole work results a bit too fragmented. However, nothing to say about Kiske's vocal performance, still outstanding.

Back to albums index 1