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Unisonic

Unisonic

30 Mar 2012
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Unisonic
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Digital Booklet: Unisonic
Digital Booklet: Unisonic
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD
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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