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on 9 April 2012
Unisonic's self titled debut album is certainly a quality release. The album is filled with musical variety, excellent vocals, solid guitar work and several unforgettable songs. It is not an epic magnum opus, but a fresh melodic hard rock release that just hits the mark.

Unisonic is comprised of vocalist Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Place Vendome), guitarist Kai Hansen (ex-Helloween, Gamma Ray), guitarist Mandy Meyer (ex-Krokus, ex-Gotthard) and bassist Dennis Ward together with drummer Kosta Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome). By looking at the names of Kiske and Hansen one could mistakenly expect a power metal release, but Unisonic are rather focused on performing melodic hard rock with metal and AOR influences.

The album starts with the self-titled song, which is surely the perfect opener. "Unisonic" is an up-tempo power metal number with a dose of hard rock. Heavy riffing, an addictive groove, several guitar leads and a twin guitar solo, a good chorus backed by double bass, a confident vocal performance and you have the first Unisonic classic. This is the fastest and probably the heaviest song on offer, so don't expect the rest of the album to follow this path.

"Souls Alive" sounds like a cross between hard rock and melodic metal. The song is rather mid paced but still faster compared to other tracks. Things start with a bombastic intro backed by power metal like guitar leads and keyboards. The verses and chorus are owned by Kiske's melodic singing and some solid riffs. The song also contains a great guitar solo and a slow atmospheric part, with some emotional lower range vocals.

"We Rise" is a definite highlight. Heavy riffing, a crushing solo battle and a beautifully sang as well as addictive chorus, provide the recipe for another Unisonic classic. We Rise can also be considered a faster song, although the tempo varies. In summary this is pure gold and reminds of Helloween's uplifting spirit, while the chorus carries a hint of Gamma Ray's Heaven Can Wait.

"My Sanctuary" is an addictive mid paced melodic hard rocker. The verses are filled with guitar leads and the chorus is catchy as hell and a vocal highlight, with some classic high notes by Kiske. The song also features a very fitting solo section and a slower bridge with lower vocals that will work wonders in a live setting.

"Renegade" is another stand out. It starts with a pretty heavy riff which is repeated after the choruses, the verses are much softer, while the memorable chorus follows the melodic hard rock line. Another outstanding vocal performance and an excellent guitar solo round off the song perfectly. If you want to label it, the sound resembles a heavier Place Vendome.

My personal favorite song is the epic "King For A Day". A slower paced hard rock track, with some heavy riffing and Kiske's flawless higher singing in the verse. The chorus is epic and sang in lower vocals by both Kiske and Hansen in the background. After the second chorus the pace becomes faster for the impressive guitar solo and slows down again for the excellent ending.

"Star Rider" is another sure winner. It follows an atmospheric arena rock path and harkens back to Queen. A simple and softer song, with emphasis on a bombastic chorus and Kiske's truly outstanding vocal performance. On the second verse and elsewhere there are choirs that will certainly remind one of Queen.

The 'Limited Edition' (Mediabook) includes a brilliant bonus track well worth having. "Over The Rainbow" is a captivating power ballad with a truly stunning vocal performance (including some high screams). The epic ballad contains emotional guitar work, some heavier outbursts, an 80's feel and a wink to early Rainbow.

Overall Unisonic offers a fresh sounding debut album with several noteworthy songs. Excellent instrumentation by the various veterans on board and one of Michael Kiske's most impressive vocal performances ever. The album's musical variety covering hard rock, heavy metal, AOR and ballads is another strong point. As for the bad, a few average songs and the fact that the songwriting is generally kept to the basics.

If listened as a rock album Unisonic totally delivers, if listened as a power metal release then it doesn't. Personally I can't wait for a follow up.
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on 21 April 2012
When I saw this, I was so excited - I love the classic 80's and 90's Helloween, so when I saw that Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske were doing an album together I ordered the EP and the album immediately.

How disappointing...

To explain:
The music is very slick and very well produced, and there is indeed a variety of (rock) styles in the songs. However, apart from the title song 'Unisonic', they are all very soul-less - yes, the playing is flawless, and the singing is what you would expect from Mr Kiske, but there is just no FEELING to it all. Regarding the 'Unisonic' track - this is also on the EP (Ignition - Mini Album) - I suspect it was written before the rest of the album as it definitely has a different feeling to the other songs.

If you, like me, think of buying this because you are a classic Helloween fan, listen to samples first... For the disappointment factor I would give this 1 star - but as it is actually a decent enough euro-metal album, I'll give it 3.
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on 13 April 2012
I accept that it is not a return to early Helloween, but I don't think that they wanted it to be either. It is however an excellent album and I hope that they make another pretty soon. 5 stars is the only score for this one. Simply well done.

Probably more hard rock than metal in places, but some excellent musicianship and some wonderful tunes. No weak song on the album at all. To me, the weakest song is the title track (and still a strong one at that), but others seem to love that one the best.

If you want your hard rock/metal in a melodic flavour with wonderful clean vocals and some sing along choruses, then this is the album to you. If you were expecting Gamma Ray then this is not it, but then why would Kai want to versions of Gamma Ray?

This is not the heaviest album you could ever own, but I highly recomend it. Not sure what they could have done better really.

Very good on a first listen, even better on a second. A CD that will stay in the CD player for some time.
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on 18 July 2012
When news broke of a reunion between Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske, the metal community took a breath, held it, and dug out their old Keepers records to remind themselves of what Unisonic had in store. Upon purchase, most probably listened to the first five tracks and tried to get their money back, unable to comprehend that after twenty five years the music these guys decided to make didn't sound at all like what they made when they were young men. I mean, just imagine it. The horror! But naturally, this wasn't going to be packed full of songs like "March Of Time", and if you're a fan of recent Kiske material you will understand that and take the record for what it is. Hell, you might even enjoy it.

This is exactly what fans of Gamma Ray and Place Vendome will expect from a modern Kiske and Hansen collaboration. It's certainly the liveliest artifact Kiske has lent his voice to in recent years, and he shines here in a way he hasn't since his heyday. You can hear Hansen's song writing contributions a mile off, but mostly these tracks revolve around Kiske with particular emphasis on the vocal lines. The only real clunker is "No One Ever Sees Me", the album's parting ballad. Beyond that, Unisonic deliver hit after hit. The silly "Never Too Late" recalls an old Gamma Ray tune, "Time To Break Free", while "Never Change Me" is a radio-friendly AOR attempt that gets the foot tapping from the get-go. "Renegade" is the most metal thing here, with a chorus that grasps at power metal and almost reaches it, and the now infamous opener "Unisonic" throttles at full speed, a triumphant anthem that will slay the live stage.

There are a couple of questionable moments that take us from familiar territory. "Star Rider" requires a number of listens before developing a taste for it. Similarly "I've Tried" isn't all that engaging, but a strong chorus makes it an unexpected curiosity. At times, this album does stray towards hard rock, but it never sounds out of place amongst the heavier segments. This is certainly not half as bad as some reviewers claim; in fact, if you've followed the careers of Kiske and Hansen over the years, you'll probably love every moment. It's a very pleasant album, perfect for the casual mood. Just don't expect Keepers Part IV. Please, guys. I'm begging you.
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on 11 April 2012
With two heavy weights from the power metal genre behind it you would be forgiven into thinking that this Unisonic album was going to be a visit to Helloween's past, or at least have a flavour of it. It would be be fair to say that a lot of that early Helloween audience will be interested in Unisonic with Kiske and Hansen joining forces again, I should know, I count myself as one of them. The lead video for the song, Unisonic, was, for me, quite disappointing as it was a generic but likeable song, but a song that Hansen has been chocking out for years with an opening riff he probably phoned in whilst on the toilet. This song is about as fast and as heavy as this album gets and, if you get past the fact that this isn't going to be Keeper part 4, then this album is quite enjoyable. It's catchy, well performed and contains a handful of decent tunes. In summary it is a good rock album.

For myself, it was all a little underwhelming and it sounds like they've written all the tunes in about a week. There's nothing technical, progressive or epic about this album, which is surprising considering the minds behind it and the catalogue of epic tracks they have clocked up over the years. Still, it's entertaining enough without being very challenging and we all need a few albums like this in our collection.
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on 13 February 2013
... and that's totally to my liking since I love both Helloween and Pink Cream 69, which mix pretty well here in a steroid version of Place Vendome. Much more aggressive guitar work here thanks to Guitar Maestro Kai Hansen. Other reviewers have given details so: if you like strong music, great melodies, hard edge guitar solos ... and The VOice Kiske, then this is a MUST HAVE. Now I am almost not disappointed anymore that Kosta left PC69 ...
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on 23 May 2012
Very nice AOR/hard rock music with a positive vibe.Similar in style to Place Vendome.
One of my favorite albums 2012.
Excellent vocal performance from Kiske and the overall production is quite good too.
Highlights of the album
I've Tried,King For A Day,No One Ever Sees Me
and the exclusive bonus track Over The Rainbow.
Recommended for fans of AOR music.
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on 13 May 2013
If you love power metal, groups like Helloween, Gamma Ray, Edguy etc, you have to have this album - I don't like to use the word 'supergroup' but it is. Michael Kiske, in my opinion best male metal singer and guitar genius Kai Hansen is back together. This album isn't pure power metal, more hard rock, but Kiske and co, are simply great. Highly recommend :-)
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on 6 November 2013
Excellent cd from start to finish. Good to have Michael kiske back on form and with kai hansen helps me reminiss on helloween in their glory days before they both left.... buy this cd
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on 21 April 2015
Great debut from this supergroup. Michael Kiske at his best, and of course Kai Hansen doing a great job, plus Kosta, Mandy and Dennis... Definitely a must for every rock/metal fan!
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