Unisonic - Unisonic

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Former Helloween front-man Michael Kiske has always been quick to stress that Unisonic is not a heavy metal band, but more of a hard rock band similar to his previous work with Place Vendome, with a few slightly heavier riffs. This is actually a very good summation of what the band have achieved with their debut self-titled album, albeit it took the injection of former Helloween band-mate and Gamma Ray front-man Kai Hansen on lead guitar to add the harder side. No doubt seeing those two names together again will get a lot of people blindly expecting something which sounds like the first couple of Helloween albums, but they will be disappointed if they go into this without correctly setting their expectations first. Indeed in some cases the band are firmly in cliché '80s radio-rock territory with the horribly hand-waving Never Too Late and Never Change Me, but they are most certainly at their best when they're rocking a little harder on the likes of Souls Alive, Renegade and We Rise, and right at the end, to prove that sweet and melodic doesn't have to be bad, they close with the incredible ballad No One Ever Sees Me, demonstrating their whole repertoire over the course of the eleven tracks. The ones in between are modern-sounding melodic hard rock songs which steer clear of being too soft, and sacrifice nothing in the soaring choruses people will expect from Kiske. I've Tried is the best example of this with a chorus most people couldn't come close to singing - just what Kiske fans love - and, along with every other song on the whole album, a brilliantly tasteful Hansen solo along the way. Apart from the couple of week links, Unisonic is a very good modern melodic hard rock album, and the only Kiske fans who will end up disappointed with it are those looking for the return of '80s Helloween.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2012, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quick.Play Reviews,

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