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Unisonic – Self-Titled Award winner

Unisonic
Self-Titled
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 29 March 2012, 12:54 PM

Although I had no idea what has been running inside his head, I have always known that Michael Kiske, once the leading vocalist of HELLOWEEN and one of the prime candidates that was suggested to replace Bruce Dickinson in IRON MAIDEN back when the latter left in 1993, would come back big. Along with his old partner in crime back in the hungry days of 80s HELLOWEEN, Kai Hansen, and with members of PINK CREAM 69, including the wonderful producer Dennis Ward on bass, and Kiske's other band PLACE VENDOME, the UNISONIC band was born. Though it's not the rebirth of old HELLOWEEN but more of a mix with melodic Hard Rock music following GAMMA RAY signatures, this joint force showed true class just as it was expected from these veterans with a superb self-titled debut under Edel / Ear Music.

Just for the record, I had the feeling that I won't be stumbling upon a Power Metal album as for Kiske obvious Hard Rock notations over the years that kept him somewhat locked out from the Metal world. I can't count his guest appearances as those weren't enough for new fans to accumulate this guy's amazing abilities. Though his band of late, PLACE VENDOME, has been playing something that is near Metal and its second album, "Streets Of Fire", knocked me to my feet, I knew, just like many others, that no matter how soft Kiske would go and no matter his opinions regarding the evil side of Metal, that is where he belongs. The UNISONIC band proves it pretty well. Kiske might not have the long standing high pitches of the past, yet he has more than enough vocal qualities that top most of the old guard of vocalists. As for his partner and amazing artist, Kai Hansen, it seemed as if his place was to be next to Kiske all along, together they made wonders and I believe that two "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" albums are enough as elaborations.

When it comes to UNISONIC, I must say that I was glad it wasn't a sort of continuance to the old HELLOWEEN era, even if the opening hit "Unisonic" blasted as if it was a blast from the past straight from the glory days, yet with the addition of a superstar second lead guitarist in the image of Mandy Meyer.  Though heavier and more Metal than anything other thing that Kiske has been involved in the last two decades, UNISONIC still relies on the vibes of melodic Hard Rock. The Metal edge serves as an appetizer and a little spicy ingredient to energize things up. "I've Tried" and "We Rise" delivers true class right to your table. Kiske voice sounds so rich, still full of youth while spewing majestic singing rhythms and I can't also ignore the emotive and crunchy soloing of both crushing guitarists. To this fine selection of high quality features I can account also "My Sanctuary", "Never Change Me", "Never Too Late" and blazing "Star Rider".

Kiske, Hansen, Ward, Meyer and Zafiriou delivered a well written Hard Rock / Heavy Metal album with plenty of taste. In general I felt the touch of Kiske rather tuned the band to treads a lightly than if Hansen was at the helm, but with a voice like this and such amazing talents, which also involved a striking production, only good can come from this.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Unisonic
2. Souls Alive
3. Never Change Me
4. I've Tried
5. Never Too Late
6. Renegade
7. King For A Day
8. My Sanctuary
9. Star Rider
10. We Rise
11. No One Ever Sees Me 
Lineup:
Michael Kiske- Vocals
Mandy Meyer- Guitars
Kai Hansen- Guitars
Dennis Ward- Bass
Kosta Zafiriou- Drums
Record Label: Edel / Ear Music
     


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