Michael Kiske

Picture of Michael Kiske

Instant Clarity

Michael Kiske - Instant Clarity ©1996 Castle Communications
1. Be True To Yourself
2. The Calling
3. Somebody Somewhere
4. Burned Out
5. New Horizons
6. Hunted
7. Always
8. Thanx A Lot
9. Time's Passing By
10. So Sick
11. Do I Remember A Life?

After his acrimonious exit from Helloween, following founding guitarist Kai Hansen's departure and before the original drummer's suicide, a very bitter Michael Kiske released his solo album Instant Clarity in 1996. The music alternates between Helloween's Chameleon and Pink Bubbles Go Ape-style melodic metal ("New horizons," "The calling") and mellower numbers betraying non-metal influences such as Pearl Jam ("Somebody Somewhere," "Burned out"), early-career Elton John ("Always") and the Beatles ("Time's passing by"). The expected fun song is there ("So sick"), as is the mellow meandering number ("Do I remember a life?").

Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith and Helloween's Kai Hansen appear on several tracks, which gives the album a metal edge that, left on his own, Kiske might have downplayed.

The songwriting is not this album's strongest selling point; while nothing is embarrassing, nothing is especially brilliant either. Both Kiske and Hansen evidently worked on their instruments after they left Helloween; Hansen's guitar parts are a lot cleaner and more proficient, and Kiske is more in control of his voice than ever before.

Kiske's exceptional vocals make this album a must-have for mid-career Helloween aficionados. Mid-1990s metal/rock/grunge fans should also give it a listen, as they might find a few tracks to their liking.

Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier

Review date: 10/2000

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