Frontiers Records
Release date: May 19, 2006

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German vocalist Michael Kiske is most recognized and beloved by Metal Express Radio readers for his contributions to Helloween, and quite possibly for his outstanding performance on last year’s Place Vendome release. If you’re a big fan of one/both of these works, then you are also probably well aware that Michael has not gone out of his way to hide his disdain for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music (read Metal Express Radio’s interview here). Admirably, Kiske is a man of his word, as Frontiers Records unveils Kiske’s latest solo album, simply entitled Kiske.

There is no denying that this new solo effort is very light on the “heavy,” and can be categorized more as a “Soft Rock” or as an all ballads type release. One of Kiske’s previous complaints, e.g., on Place Vendome, was the guitars on the final mix were too heavy for his tastes. To ensure that doesn’t happen here, Kiske has taken on the role of providing all non-solo guitars, leaving Sandro Giampietro to handle what meager “solo guitar” there is.

The music itself, regardless of its tempo, just doesn’t seem to include enough memorable and strong hook lines or melodies. There seems to be no lasting value to these tracks, nothing to grab hold of and create cause for a lot of repeated listens.

Musical format and personal tastes aside, there are some strong points on this CD worth mentioning. Kiske delivers another strong performance, sounding as masterful and as confident as ever. He can still hit falsettos and apply unwavering vibrato where appropriate, proving that he truly is still a premier vocalist. It’s this type of top-notch performance, which makes his personal choice of material hard for fans of his prior works to swallow. Kiske’s production also shines throughout the disc with Nagel’s drums sounding incredible with an open, airy feel to them. It’s actually Nagel’s drums that lift some of these tracks out of a complete lull.

Bottom line, this one is for the optimistic, die-hard Kiske fans who can commit to listening with an open mind. Certainly, Kiske earns points for sticking to his beliefs and actually selling them to a big label such as Frontiers Records. But, for the large majority of Metal Express Radio listeners, this one should be considered too lackadaisical and should be avoided.


Michael Kiske – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Production
Fontaine Burnett – Bass
Sandro Giampietro – Solo Guitars
Karsten Nagel – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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