KISKE/SOMERVILLE, the new project featuring former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske and American singer Amanda Somerville, will release its self-titled debut album in Europe on September 24 and in the U.S. on October 12 via Frontiers Records. A single, "Silence", will precede the full-length CD on August 20.
The collaboration between Kiske and Somerville was conceived as a suggestion by Frontiers Records president Serafino Perugino. "I did a duet with a female singer on 'Breathing Water' by INDIGO DYING," explains Kiske. "It was so nice that [Serafino] offered me a chance to make an album of all duet songs with a famous female singer."
"Kiske/Somerville" sees Mat Sinner (PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER) and Magnus Karlsson (STARBREAKER, PRIMAL FEAR) handling most of the songwriting (with additional contributions from Sander Gommans, formerly of AFTER FOREVER, and Somerville herself), and Sinner overseeing the production and mix at various recording studios in Europe.
Somerville is the American singer-songwriter and vocal coach who was tapped to replace EPICA vocalist Simone Simons on the band's North American tour with SYMPHONY X due to Simons' health issues.
Amanda was featured on KAMELOT's latest release, "Ghost Opera", and toured with AVANTASIA. She released her solo album, "Windows", in 2008.
A Michigan native, Amanda has resided and worked mainly in Germany and the Netherlands since 1999. She has collaborated with several other bands in the metal scene along with producers Sascha Paeth and Miro, and co-wrote the rock opera "Aina". Her own music is of the pop-rock genre.
"When Mat Sinner asked me if I wanted to be the 'other half' of the face of the album, I was very honored and quite looking forward to working more closely with Michael Kiske," Amanda said.
"We'd both been involved in various projects over the years together, such as 'Aina' and AVANTASIA, but it was always through third parties and we didn't sing together like we do here.
"It's not for nothing that Michael's a legend in the scene. He's got a very unique voice, a special delivery of his performance and is a wonderful person on top of it all.
"This has been a great experience all across the board!"
Added Kiske: "To sing together with the gifted and beautiful Amanda was another genius idea of Serafino! And it was a most pleasant experience to meet her.
"Amanda has by far the best female voice I have heard for ages. And the album is a killer."
KISKE/SOMERVILLE filmed two videos — "Silence" and "If I Had A Wish" — on March 28 and March 29 in Nuremberg, Germany. Joining Kiske and Somerville for the shoot were Sinner, Gommans, drummer Rami Ali and keyboardist Jimmy Kresic (VOODOO CIRCLE). The clips were directed by Martin Mueller of RCN TV who previously helmed U.D.O.'s "Black and White" and "Mean Streets" and GOTTHARD's "The Call" videos.
Check out behind-the-scenes footage from the video shoot below.
"Kiske/Somerville" final track listing (composers for each song listed in parenthesis):
01. Nothing Left To Say (Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson)
02. Silence (Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson)
03. If I Had A Wish (Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson)
04. One Night Burning (Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson)
05. Arise (Sander Gommans, Amanda Somerville)
06. End Of The Road (Mat Sinner, Jimmy Kresic)
07. Don't Walk Away (Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson)
08. Devil In Her Heart (Mat Sinner, Jimmy Kresic)
09. Rain (Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson)
10. A Thousand Suns (Sander Gommans, Amanda Somerville)
11. Second Chance (Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson)
12. Set A Fire (bonus track) (Sander Gommans, Amanda Somerville)
The bonus DVD will include the "Silence" and "If I Had A Wish" videos plus a "making-of" documentary.
"Kiske/Somerville" recording lineup:
Michael Kiske - Vocals
Amanda Somerville - Vocals
Mat Sinner - Bass, Backing Vocals
Magnus Karlsson - Lead Guitar, Guitar, Keyboards
Sander Gommans - Additional Lead Guitar
Martin Schmidt - Drums
Ramy Ali - Drums
Jimmy Kresic - Keyboards
"Silence" audio sample:
"If I Had A Wish" audio sample: