|Review: Unisonic - Unisonic|
Label: Ear Music
Year released: 2012
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: August 19, 2012
Reviewed by: MetalMike
I admit I was not overly enthusiastic when I heard that Power Metal pioneers Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske were joining forces in the band Unisonic. Both worked together on the classic Helloween Keeper albums in the 80s and while Hansen went on to an illustrious career, both with Gamma Ray and dozens of "projects," Kiske did not. After two more suspect Helloween albums, he famously went off the reservation, with only Edguy’s Tobias Sammet able to coax him back to his roots with the Avantasia project (and some Edguy bonus tracks.) The fact that the Unisonic lineup also features ex-Krokus guitarist Mandy Meyer didn’t exactly allay my concerns considering his cup of coffee with Asia in the late 80s.
Lay your fears to rest. Unisonic’s self-titled debut is an excellent Melodic Metal album. Opening tracks "Unisonic" and "Souls Alive" prove that not only is this a "Metal" album but that Kiske still has the voice to lead a band. Both are slick, speedy and raise-your-fist good. The rest of the album skews towards mid-paced but is no less fun. Songs like "I’ve Tried" and "Star Rider" have choruses that you will be singing almost immediately. And that is in spite of the backing vocals on "Star Rider," which sound like they were lifted from an album by the American Autograph. There are several more good songs like "Never Change Me" which, with its slightly goofy lyrics, would fit right in on the debut Gamma Ray album and the ballad "No One Sees Me," a song nearly as beautiful as "Silent Lucidity." The only sub-par track is "My Sanctuary" which sounds like it was put together at the last minute. The whole band (including Dennis Ward on bass and Kosta Zafiriou on drums) plays well and the whole album has a cohesive feel.
Don’t buy Unisonic if you’re looking for a lost Keeper album because it isn’t that. What you can expect is a top notch Melodic Metal album that hopefully marks the beginning of a long, successful collaboration between Hansen and Kiske.
The version of the album reviewed features a bonus track, "I Want Out (Live)"
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