Unisonic – Unisonic (Ear 2012)

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Just not that good

Unisonc was originally planned as a project between former Helloween frontman, Michael Kiske, and Pink Cream 69 bassist, Dennis Ward, and eventually saw the addition of Gamma Ray main man, and Kiskes ex-bandmate, Kai Hansen. This reunion of two former Helloween members made a lot of people hope for a new Keeper album, or a metal album in the same musical direction, this is not it. Unisonic sound like a blend of different hard rock sub-genres, and focuses on vocal melody and solid, big riffs.

The big selling point is Kiskes amazing vocals and Hansens uncanny ability to write memorable and catchy melodies. And it all starts out great with the tittle track Unisonic, which fills up the power metal slot on this record. Fast riff, great vocals and solid rhythm section makes for a great song, easily my personal favourite track on the album. The next track; Souls Alive, is a bit of a let down from the great opening song, but this song represents what the rest of the album is going to sound like, unfortunately.

The next two songs; Never Too Late and I’ve Tried, are both quite boring, not bad songs by any means, but just not that exciting. Especially I’ve Tried, that keeps pushing the chorus, which just isn’t that great in the first place, and it becomes annoying by the time the song is done. Star Rider is reminiscent of 80’s pop rock, with a great sing along chorus and epic middle section, featuring some great guitar work.

Never Change Me is once again a kick back to the 80’s, but this time more of the rock and less of the pop and has me tapping my feet instantly. Next up is Renegade, perhaps the most metal sounding song on this album. Again the chorus is strong, the guitar work is stellar and the rhythm section is strong.

But once more Unisonic falls back into mediocrity. My Sanctuary, King For a Day and We Rise are easily forgettable and has nothing exciting about them, except for the nice intro on We Rise and a nice chorus on King For Day. It’s like eating porridge without salt; yes, you become full, but it tastes of nothing.

Last song, it’s time for something memorable and exciting! NO! A ballad! I hate it when a record is rounded off with the standard power ballad. What gives? Why is this song even on here? To allow Mr. Kiske some room to show of his brilliant voice? Probably, because wow, the man’s got some pipes on him. Besides this, No One Ever Sees Me seems out of place and unnecessary.

To sum up; When it works, it works brilliantly! I have to admit to being one of those people who hoped for a new Keeper album, and expected, at least, power metal. Too much of the material seems to be filler songs, and some songs are flat out boring, but songs like Unisonic, Renegade, Souls Alive, Star Rider and Never Change Me range from great to … hmm….  memorable?

Given the musicians that make out Unisonic, I expected something special. Even though they decided not to make a metal album, I would’ve expected them to keep a bit more uniform than this. The music strays from one style of rock to another, which I personally find annoying. If you keep wondering how Kiske would sound singing post-grunge, AOR, 80s pop rock etc. than this is the record for you, if not, don’t bother with Unisonic and just wipe the dust of your old Keeper records and give them a spin.

 

Rating: 2,5 / 5

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