When lead singer Michael Kiske left Helloween after four albums he stated that he had enough of Heavy Metal and have since then not had one good word to say about the genre. He released some solo albums that consisted of mostly ballads and has also been involved in the superb AOR project Place Vendome.
Lead guitarist and main song writer Kai Hansen left that band two albums before Kiske, but under other circumstances. He has stayed true to metal all the while and has been quite successful with his own band, Power Metal unit Gamma Ray. So when Kiske and Hansen reunited to form their own project Unisonic together, a project that is as close to a Helloween reunion as it could get, fans all over the world had high expectations and hoped that we would get something similar to the successful Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums.
Unfortunately it only takes one listen to Unisonic’s debut album to realize that that is not the case at all. What they give us here is more traditional Metal with a lot of AOR-ish undertones and the fact is, the album is somewhat a disappointment. The title track is a traditional Power Metal track that could be any band out there, still the the song is not bad, ”Souls Alive” may raise a smile on Helloween-fans’ faces as it sounds like a rewrite of said band’s ”I Want Out”, but it’s a bit cheap, if you ask me, ”Never Too Late” is a catchy piece that sounds like a poppier version of Gamma Ray and ”Never Change Me” is very good, melodic rock that goes into Place Vendome territory.
”King For A Day” is great though. Melodic, catchy and pompous and ”No One Ever Sees Me” is an emotional, brilliant ballad that could very well become a hit if a miracle would happen and the song would get some airplay.
All in all, this is a pretty good debut, the production is clean and hard and Kiske is still one of the best hard rock singers out there. Still, it sounds a bit schizophrenic, like Hansen and Kiske don’t really know which way they want to go with this. It goes from AOR to Power Metal and sometimes it feels like it’s several different bands playing. But me being not the biggest Power Metal fan in the world, I prefer this album to both the Gamma Ray and Helloween of today.
Jon Wilmenius (6/10)
02. Souls Alive
03. Never Too Late
04. I’ve Tried
05. Star Rider
06. Never Change Me
08. My Sanctuary
09. King For A Day
10. We Rise
11. No One Ever Sees Me
12. Over The Rainbow [bonus] [limited edition]