Unicorn - The 13th sign 3/5

Reviewed: 10-28-05





Tracklist:

1. Breath of life
2. Avylonia (that's how the story began)
3. One in a million
4. Fight for the wings
5. Waiting for...
6. The book of drake
7. Dance of passion
8. Elysian fields
9. Vampyrial
10. Eagle fly free (bonus track)


Unicorn is a very impressive new band that shows some influences of Italian metal, but lean more towards power metal than bands like Skylark, Vision Divine and Pandaemonium, which would be considered more pure Italian metal. Unicorn’s musicianship is solid across the board, the production of the CD is satisfactory and they have a strong ability to write a catchy melody while, at the same time, keeping their songs sounding different from others and also having a variety of styles of music; this isn’t a CD in which all the songs sound the same. The singer is average, he has a solidly expressive voice and is not a detriment, but he has to strain for some notes and has a shakiness to his voice on occasion.

The CD opens with a short instrumental before bursting into the 2nd track "Avylonia", which is a strong track with a fairly fast big chorus. The 3rd track, “One in a million”, is the real star of this CD. It is a great track with melody, a memorable chorus, some nice guitar work and some good, atmospheric keyboards which are reminiscent of the band Skylark. The next 3 tracks are nice, but not memorable. “Dance of passion” is a good instrumental and “Elysian fields” is a nice melodic ballad, but is stretched out too long clocking in at over 8 minutes. "Vampyrial" is a good uptempo track that features some nice male choir vocals reminiscent of Trans Siberian Orchestra near the end. There is a bonus track, a remake of Helloween’s “Eagle fly free”. This is certainly not the most original choice for a bonus track, but it is well done and ends the CD on a very strong note.

‘The 13th sign’ is a strong debut for Unicorn. They fit somewhere between power metal and Italian metal and are original enough to carve a niche for themselves. There isn’t a single poor track on this CD, everything is average or better and there are some real high points. The songwriting’s consistency isn’t quite strong enough for this to be considered a CD at the top of its genre and while the singer is effective, he certainly cannot be considered to be anything above average. The production isn’t a detriment, but it isn’t strength either. Overall this is a good CD and a very good debut CD from a band that should have a strong future.



DAVID




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