Hot off the Press

Unisonic | Unisonic

by Bartek Paszylk
Guest Staff Writer —

Sure, we had to wait for this quite a bit but the important thing is that it finally happened. Vocalist Michael Kiske and guitarist Kai Hansen, both of Helloween’s Keeper of the Seven Keys fame, joined forces in an actual band! Before this we could occasionally hear the two together on a couple of Kiske’s solo tracks or on Gamma Ray’s and Avantasia’s albums. But Unisonic is the real deal; around 50 minutes of pure rock-metal genius – a treat for everyone who appreciates the talent of these two nice ex-Helloween fellows.

Some might wonder whether Unisonic’s self-titled debut album is metal, which would be a dream come true for most Helloween fans, or perhaps hard rock-AOR that Kiske seemed to have preferred in the recent years, but such genre labels matter not if the material is as good as in this particular case. If anything, the fact that Kiske mostly composes rock songs and Hansen usually stays faithful to metal only adds to the overall value of the album. Unisonic is, therefore, not just a thunderball of great guitar riffs but also sports some beautiful melodies, thoughtful lyrics and, most importantly, enough song-writing variety to keep us redefining the album with each single track.

It starts off in the most anthemic way possible; the title track sweeps the listeners off their feet within seconds with some inspired guitar work and neck-wrecking rhythm, and then totally knocks them out with a powerful chorus. The next several songs – electrifying “Souls Alive,” optimistic “Never Change Me” and relaxed “I’ve Tried” – also mercilessly attack us with their sharp hooks. Even in case of somewhat mellower moments, like near the end of otherwise springy “My Sanctuary,” one can feel there’s some cosmic energy boiling right under the surface, while “King for a Day” marks a return to heavier, Gamma Ray-esque style. In yet another highlight – “Star Rider” – Unisonic successfully try their hand in atmospheric, sci-fi-scented songwriting. They finish off on a more melancholic note with “No One Ever Sees Me,” an emotional track with great lyrics and a beautiful vocal performance by Kiske.

Although Kiske and Hansen are the band’s main stars, there’s this feeling throughout the whole album that Unisonic – with Pink Cream 69’s Kosta Zafiriou on drums and Dennis Ward on bass plus Gotthard’s Mandy Meyer on guitar, is a very homogenous entity and not just a side project of two heavy metal veterans. Anyway, the word “veterans” sounds rather off here, doesn’t it? After all these years Kiske and Hansen sound fresh and energetic as they’ve ever had. Unisonic was never meant to become a clone of Helloween’s early albums and it is anything but that, but it certainly does manage to recapture the youthful vibe of the vocalist and guitarist’s groundbreaking 1980s efforts.

Genre: Heavy Metal, Power Metal

Michael Kiske (vocals)
Mandy Meyer (guitar)
Kai Hansen (guitar)
Dennis Ward (bass)
Kosta Zafiriou (drums)

Track Listing:
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. Over The Rainbow (limited-edition bonus track)

Label: earMusic


Hardrock Haven rating: 10/10


1 Comment on Unisonic | Unisonic

  1. A great review my friend…….. I can’t wait for the album ; )

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