UNISONIC – Unisonic (2012)
It finally happened. Vocalist Michael Kiske and guitarist Kai Hansen, of the classic Helloween’s ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys’ fame, joined forces again in “Unisonic”, the first full length studio album featuring both musicians performing on all songs in 25 years.
This recording meets the high expectations of the duo Kiske / Hansen.
But “Unisonic” isn’t an album for metal head fans who loved the Helloween magnum opus, no, this is mostly a Melodic Hard Rock ride, and a terrific one.
The CD is, therefore, not just a thunderball of great guitar riffs but also sports beautiful anthemic melodies, thoughtful lyrics and most importantly, enough songwriting variety to keep any listener interested.
The majority of the songs were written by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) & Kai Hansen, add to this drummer Kosta Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69 as well) and guitarist Mandy Meyer (from Gotthard and Asia), so the Melodic Hard Rock scence is guaranteed, while Kansen adds some metal edge, resulting in a delicious musical cocktail.
“Unisonic” 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.
With screaming pinch harmonics and energized pace is “Souls Alive”, the following song. A melodic and driving traditional Euro heavy rock, again, with a unique great riffing paired with groovy drums and wonderful singing style reminiscent of the ’80s.
“Never Too Late” has an arena feel with a jumping chorus, while “I’ve Tried” is a convincing tune with an intelligent song structure. A very dynamic track with many changes, a pulsating bass and clean drive – and a great chorus again, which I still cannot get out of my mind.
“Star Rider” is a huge mid-paced melodic hard rock track with a cool groove. It is also another great anthem with a terrific production tweaks that provides a fantastic sound. This one also shows the band’s diversity and it makes me question where these men get all these ideas.
“Never Change Me” has a great modern melodic hookline, in the chorus even sounding like Bon Jovi – but in a good way. A catchy song for sure.
“Renegade” is another winner. Combines the energy of the melodic Helloween with a soaring melodic rock mid-tempo beat and a chorus that stays in your ears for ages. Michael Kiske shines with an outstanding phrasing.
“My Sanctuary” is a rocker built on a classic heavy pattern, but sonically is more hard rock oriented, recalling Ward’s project Khymera.
“King For A Day” has a Hansen’s Gamma Ray-esque style, but as on the whole album, the sound is not heavy / aggressive, just melodic and polished.
“We Rise” displays some Helloween atmosphere but always melodic, a track where the guitars are the stars, dueling in a hot counterpoint.
They finish off on a more melancholic note with “No One Ever Sees Me”, an emotional ballad with great lyrics though a bit insipid musically.
“Unisonic” is an album full of great songs awesomely performed by these top class musicians.
Although Kiske and Hansen are the band’s main stars, much credit should be given to Dennis Ward’s musical direction. In a time where many of the new recordings in this genre sounds the same, Ward has provided a new, refreshing sound, with an outstanding production.
There’s many remarkable points in this album; the diverse and solid songwriting, the way they blend heavy patterns with melodic hard rock bounces, the fantastic musical performances… all is truly good. Very Good I’d say.
“Unisonic” is one of the albums of the year. Believe me.
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
Michael Kiske – Vocals
Mandy Meyer – Guitar
Kai Hansen – Guitar
Dennis Ward – Bass, Backing Vocals
Kosta Zafiriou – Drums
BUY IT !