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
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.