After releasing and touring in support of their first album,
"Walls of Jericho," Kai Hansen of Helloween realized that playing guitar
and singing at the same time was too difficult. Enter eighteen year old
Michael Kiske, the voice that was to carry Helloween to the top.
Michi, as he was affectionatly referred to (but less affectionatly regarded),
went on to record four studio albums with Helloween. Although his amazing
voice improved with each album, the musical style began changing. Helloween
started to lose fans, but more importantly, each others' friendship. By
1993, Michael Kiske was no longer a member of Helloween.
Not too long afterwards, rumors began surfacing about a Kiske solo album.
Nothing substantial was heard, since Kiske was keeping the project secret.
A release was rumored for last Christmas, but the fans were denied, left
with only Gamma Ray's "Land of the Free" to remind that this great talent
was still around. Now, after a seemingly-eternal wait, Michael Kiske's
solo album, "Instant Clarity," is finally available.
This album is available through the standard importers, available on my
sources page. There is also a Japanese version
with a bonus track and a sticker. I don't know anything about a U.S. release,
but it's on Castle Records, so it is a definite possibility.
All of the lyrics except for one song, and all vocals are by Michael Kiske.
He also plays guitar on seven tracks, and piano and keyboards on a couple.
band is guitarist Ciriaco Taraxes, bassist Jens Mencl, and drummer Kay
Rudi Wolke. Adrian Smith, (ex-Iron Maiden, now Psycho Motel) had a hand in
writing two songs and plays guitar on three. Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray wrote
part of one track and plays on four. The rest of the music writing is
handled mostly by Kiske, with a little help from Taraxes.
The album length is 55:06 and contains eleven tracks. The track "Always"
is dedicated to Ingo Schwichtenberg. On the thanks page, Kiske writes:
"Funny thanks to the remaining rest of Helloween for being a loud warning
for me about what 'true' art and friendship was never meant to be:
Du gleichst dem Geist den Du begreifst, nicht mir.
-(Goethe, Faust 1)
My German's getting pretty bad, but it means something along the lines of:
"You resemble the ghost that you handle, not me." Clearly there is still no
love lost between Kiske and Helloween.
Song-by-song review. I give the album ***1/2.
Here are the lyrics from the album. Also
included are song times and song-writers and players.
Back to the Bands
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