This is the most anticipated release of the last 3 years since Unisonic took their first shape. Kai Hansen wasn’t on the band back then but after he joined them, the fans couldn’t believe that Kiske and Hansen are together again after almost 23 years! There’s a something special going on here of course… Unisonic’s other members are: the producer/bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome, etc.), the drummer Kosta Zafiriou (ex- Pink Cream 69) and the guitarist Mandy Meyer (ex-Gotthard, Asia, Krokus)… meaning that the musical direction of the album is not a two-men thing. There are also very strong personalities here that could add various elements to Unisonic’s music as well. As it is also known, most of the songs were written by the duo Ward/Hansen with the additional help of Kiske & Meyer.
Some may have wanted something near the “Keepers…” but let’s face it… it’s been more than 23 years since those albums were released. Everyone has matured and evolved throughout the years and it would have been a pity if they hadn’t done so. Any musician must progress through the years that is the natural evolution of music.
Kiske has participated in many projects after he left Helloween and his best works (the ones I enjoyed the most) are the two Place Vendome albums along with Dennis & Kosta. Probably the end of Place Vendome(?) meant the birth of Unisonic. After all, this collaboration was too good to be wasted on a (two album) project that had no further plans for the future.
“Unisonic” is blending heavy/power metal, hard rock, melodic rock/AOR music… just imagine Place Vendome jamming around with Helloween and Gamma Ray. It’s obvious that the guys wanted to have a more melodic hard rock/metal orientation in their music and they succeeded in it. How can anyone say that they are not satisfied by the result? Surely, some would prefer a “Keeper part IV” (or III with Kiske/Hansen) but with artists like Ward & Meyer on board the more melodic direction is a fact and honestly I like it very much. Kiske can sing almost anything from pop to heavy/power metal and his voice is in great shape making every song more beautiful. A great voice can improve any tune… that’s the secret in order to make a song even better. Observably, all the performances by the guys are wonderful. Additionally, the production is awesome… how can you go wrong with Dennis Ward behind the producer’s desk in any case?
You will enjoy both the more melodic tunes and the heavier ones… as they are balancing beautifully in this album. Although it’s difficult to separate any songs but I think the highlights here are: “Souls Alive, “I’ve Tried”, “Star Rider”, “Never Change Me”, “My Sanctuary” (among the best songs of 2012), “King For A Day”, “We Rise” & the emotional ballad “No One Ever Sees Me” (written by Kiske), where Kiske will make you shiver with his astonishing performance… what a divine voice my God! There’s no way not to be amazed by Unisonic… especially if you fancy inspired, qualitative melodic hard rock/metal music. “Unisonic” is, indisputably, among the best hard rock/metal releases of the year… and keep in mind that this is just the beginning…
PS: The two bonus tracks, “The Morning After” (Japanese bonus track) & “Over The Rainbow” (European bonus track) are exceptional as well...