Unisonic – Unisonic Review

unisonic_cover Unisonic - Unisonic Review

Released by: eAr Music

Release Date: May 22nd, 2012

Genre: Melodic Metal

Links: http://www.unisonic.de/

 

Line Up:

Michael Kiske (vocals)

Mandy Meyer (guitars)

Kai Hansen (guitars)

Dennis Ward (bass)

Kosta Zafiriou (drums)

 

Tracklist: 

01. Unisonic

02. Souls Alive

03. Never Too Late

04. I’ve Tried

05. Star Rider

06. Never Change Me

07. Renegade

08. My Sanctuary

09. King For A Day

10. We Rise

11. No One Ever Sees Me

12. I Want Out (Live)

 

Ah finally the project I had been waiting to hear, a long time coming indeed.  But please don’t make the mistake of calling it an average music project when it comes to the highly anticipated Unisonic moniker that consists of former Helloween band mates Kai Hansen and  singer Michael Kiske. For over a year I heard about this album in the works and I was really excited for Hansen and Kiske to be finally working together on something in the Melodic Metal realms again. For anyone not particularly close to the ex Helloween camp mates, Kiske a terrific vocalist that was part of this iconic power metal band from 1986 to 1993, and Hansen of course was one of the main songwriters and main guitar player in Helloween as well. The “Keeper of the Seven Keys” albums are considered classics in the genre and with high regard Helloween influenced a new era of power metal bands back then and still do today.

Michael although keeping involved in the music business after Helloween, he was slowly but surely drifting away from the Metal scene, as he said many times he was disgusted by the way the direction of the scene was heading. Thankfully after a number of “different” projects he started making appearances with Gamma Ray and the Tobias Sammet project Avantasia as well as the excellent Place Vendome outfit. Luckily for Kiske, his voice has remained strong and still features his high octave tenor style which made him a staple in the genre early on.

To nobody’s surprise in Unisonic the rest of the band mates include Pink Cream 69 and multi talented producer Dennis Ward on bass and drumer Kosta Zafiriou, rounding things up nicely is former Gotthard guitar player Mandy Meyer. The line up is filled with professionals that all deliver on the album from an instrumentation stand point.

My expectations we’re big for this release, I was hoping something more in the reign of Masterplan or Pink Cream 69, but what we have here instead is your typical Euro style Melodic Metal with some Hard Rock influences. I guess Kai described their sound pretty accurately on the presser “a tougher variety of Hard Rock” is a nice way to put it.

Let’s skip the semantics and pleasantries and get to the music because that is what you want to read anyways right? Well truth be told, I was left with some mixed feelings as there is much more to be desired after listening to this one. While Kiske is excellent as usual, and Hansen does a nice job on guitars, I did felt that some of the songs crawl barely off the “generic” cellar.  Songs like “Souls Alive” have a nice kick and you can still hear some speed metal influences, but overall the song is more straight ahead melodic metal and could of given more. The more varied futuristic number “I’ve Tried” while slower, has a nice backbone melodic guitar rhythm and bass. I thought “Renegade” was probably the strongest tune on here, with a brutal riff and drum work, and Kiske hits some upper notes on this one as well. “King for a Day” is another strong cut with a thick guitar lead courtesy of the great Kai Hansen. The rest are a  mediocre mix of goodies that probably needed more drive and guidance. The core of the album just felt short on some levels, maybe lacking intensity, production, not enough endearment overall? I thought I was just being a pessimist and trying to compare the great Helloween days, but in all honestly there was something missing form this potion.

My problem with the album is the overall feel as some of the songs just sound a little too close to each other and they are not as intricate more less simple then I would of liked. I think if these guys decide to roll the wheel once more and return with a follow up, they need to throw down a little more of a consistent overall sound to keep things rolling more fluidly. I did absolutely loved the live version of “I Want Out” which is a classic Helloween cut and makes me crave for more collaboration between Kiske and Hansen. Yes there is room for improvement, and yes Michael Kiske proves he still has what it takes to be relevant in the Metal world again; regardless of his bold head which is so not metal-esque whatsoever. I hope fans get to catch these guys on the road, first time in 17 years that Michael has hit the road live again, despite of reactions to the new material.

 

Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    7/10

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