Michael Kiske - Instant Clarity
Victor Entertainment
Experimental Rock
12 songs ()
Release year: 1996
Michael Kiske
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Let’s be honest. Ever since Michael Kiske left Helloween (even before that with Chameleon) he has rarely been involved in anything that would be remotely called heavy metal. Other than a guest appearance on Gamma Ray’s Land of the Free album and appearing on Tobias Sammet’s holy trinity that is Avantasia he has released mainly softer rock and even grunge albums. His first solo cd that was put out in 1996 was a mish mash of melodic metal, experimental rock, and just plain oddness. Little known fact: Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden fame appeared on guitars for a few of the tracks on Instant Clarity.

As strange as it sounds, I prefer Michael when he does soft and more mellow tunes than his attempts at rocking out. Other than the two straight up metal songs, The Calling and New Horizons, the other rockers just seem to lack vitality. They’re missing the feeling and power that Kiske conveys in his other songs and they end up being forgettable. Case in point: Thanx A lot! and Burned Out. These two just sit there and do nothing for me at all. The Calling, which was also released as a single, is a fast paced kick ass track and reminds me of Pink Bubbles Go Ape era Helloween. Sounding remarkably like Someone’s Crying and Kids of the Century, The Calling makes me raise my metal horns to the cd. New Horizons is a more sleeker song than The Calling and even has Kai Hansen on guitars along with Adrian. Similar in vein to each other, these two are sadly the only melodic metal monsters on Instant Clarity.

You might be wondering why I have this as high a score as sixty five if I only really like two songs on here. Well truth be told while the above mentioned two are the only rockers that blow my skirt up the epic Do I Remember a Life? blows my skirt up way above my head and into the stratosphere leaving me exposed to the elements and not caring at all. Do I Remember a Life? is a lengthy number that deals with a mans reflection of his life and the lyrics are pure poetic godliness. I love this song and slays me every time that I hear it, from its acoustic passages to his vocal sweeps and back to the thundering bridge, it is killer. I rarely condone the buying of mediocre albums for one song but in this case I can almost tell you that Do I Remember a Life? is worth it. I really do think that this is Michael’s pinnacle peak of songwriting and everything else was a downhill slide after this.

Instant Clarity is a difficult album to digest. Even Michael’s awesome voice can’t save the majority of the songs that are on here, it’s like he tried to be a rocker but couldn’t quite pull it off. The “Killing Songs” while extremely bad ass, are sadly the only ones that really move you. For die hards and completists only.

Killing Songs :
The Calling, New Horizons, and Do I Remember a Life?
Ben quoted 65 / 100
Marty quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Michael Kiske that we have reviewed:
Michael Kiske - Kiske reviewed by Mike and quoted 13 / 100
Michael Kiske - Readiness To Sacrifice reviewed by Chris and quoted 77 / 100
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