Unisonic - s/t 4/5

Reviewed: 5-1-12





Tracklist:

1. Unisonic
2. Souls alive
3. Never too late
4. Iíve tried
5. Star rider
6. Never change me
7. Renegade
8. My sanctuary
9. King for a day
10. We rise
11. No one ever sees me
12. I want out (live)

When I first heard about Michael Kiske reuniting and working with Kai Hansen in this new band called Unisonic, I was so excited, and utterly speechless. Honestly, I was not expecting a 'Keeper of the seven keys' reunion, nor even anything similar to Gamma Ray. That being said, I was so eager to hear what these talented musicians had created.

I have Michael's solo debut CD 'Instant clarity' in which both Kai and Adrian Smith played guitars. On 'Land of the free' Michael sang on "Time to break free". This suggests to me that Michael and Kai have always remained friends.

What I was anticipating is what I now ultimately enjoy, namely a Michael Kiske based chameleon effort bubbling over with pink screams. This is no surprise given that the bass and drummer from Pink Cream 69 and Place Vendome inspired this project.

It is like with the new Running Wild 'Shadowmaker', fans who balk at this CD may have not given it its due. Simply, it is not a Running Wild CD, but more of a Rockin' Rolf solo effort; especially for the few fans of of his band Toxic Taste or his influences: UFO, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, etc..

When I first heard the Unisonic EP 'Ignition', and saw all the Helloween songs being performed in Japan on Youtube, I had hoped for a 'Keeper of the seven keys 3' (or it is now 4?). Anyway, having heard enough of Kiske's solo efforts, including his 'Past in different ways' and work with Amanda Sommerville, I have come to accept that Unisonic is just what I had hoped for: an uplifting, fun, and enjoyable CD, which still showcases Michael's amazing vocal talents, and Kai Hansen's exceptional guitar versatility. Add to that ex-Krokus guitarist Mandy Meyers abilities, and you have a well-crafted collection of hailed winners of stamina and grace.

In fact, this CD is more in line with the first Revolution Renaissance release, which also featured Michael, than it is in league with anything Helloween have written in the past 15 years. After over 2 decades, Andi Deris has earned his right and title as the true vocalist of Helloween.

All 3 new songs from the EP are reworked and really well produced. The CD opener is the befitting "Unisonic" sure to please any power metal head. "Never too late" and Never change me" validate Mr. Kiske true mettle stance; while the more epic "Star rider" and "King for a day" revisit the 70s style of anthemic overtures. I am reminded of what Edguy attempted on 'Mandrake'. "Renegade" is rolicking good fun, and "We rise" fully pays homage to the Helloween days of yore. In fact the U.S. pressing even includes the new live version of the classic "I want out". Overall, Michael usually penns some excellent ballads, but like later Hammerfall the beleaguered "No one ever sees me" is too tedious to tolerate.

Yes, I still want out of all the hype, and hooplah, however, we got the right to rock, and set a fire in our hearts that will forever burn strong in this new era of metal. So, be true to yourself, for it is time to break free of the little b.s. and rise up to face the new horizons. It is never too late, and now your turn to enliven your soul. I believe Unisonic is the perfect act to usher in semi-sanctuary and achieve instant clarity.



MICHAEL




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