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CD review UNISONIC "Live in Wacken"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Unisonic, Kai Hansen, Wacken, Melodic Metal, News, CD Review, Live, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, Rock

CD review UNISONIC "Live in Wacken"

(8/10) earMusic releases end of June a Hansen & Friends live album (see review), recorded 2016 at the famous Wacken festival.T he guys played a 75 minutes set with Unisonic folowing them on the same stage one hour later. This meant two shifts for Kai Hansen and also singer Michael Kiske had a double appearance with doing some songs together with Hansen & Friends before running through a 75 minutes setlist with the fellow Unisonic band mates (Hansen, Meyer, Ward and Zafiriou). And since the recording equipment was in place anyhow, why not also capturing this concert? A word a blow.

"Live in Wacken" will be Unisonic's first live album with setlist that focussed on the two studio releases and the first EP (what else). Little highlights though, as with Hansen & Friends before, were the Helloween songs that have been played by Unisonic. "A Little Time" and "March of Time" were special moments, very much welcomed by the Wacken crowd. These too tracks, but also Unisonic hits like "King for a Day" and "Unisonic" have been the final adrenaline injection, closing of a long day of metal in Northern Germany. 

In retrospect the shows from Hansen & friends and Unisonic almost feels like a warm-up for Pumpkins United even though the entire Helloween crew wasn't involved in 2016. However it felt like one additional step towards something that will bring real German metal from the eighties back on stage in autumn 2017.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. For the Kingdom
  2. Exceptional
  3. King for a Day
  4. Your Time has Come
  5. When the Deed is Dine
  6. A Little Time
  7. Star Rider
  8. Over the Rainbow
  9. Throne of the Dawn
  10. My Sactuary
  11. March of Time
  12. Unisonic

 

Label: earMuisc

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release date EU: July 21st, 2017

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CD review GAMMA RAY "The best of Gamma Ray"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Gamma Ray, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, CD Review, News, Unisonic, Helloween, Rock

(*/10) It’s always a good signal if a band is many many years in business. And it’s also a good thing to celebrate certain anniversaries. German metal enthusiasts from Gamma Ray are around since 25 years and it feels like yesterday when I heard their debut “Heading for tomorrow”.

As being a Helloween fan from the early days it was a sad moment when the announcement was revealed that Kai Hansen will leave the band. But the tears dried quite fast when I heard the first songs from the guitar maniac from Hamburg which he released together with his new band Gamma Ray. The debut “Heading for tomorrow” was and is still a masterpiece of metal; enriched by the vocals of Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) in those early days.

To celebrate the bands 25th anniversary Gamma Ray will release a “Best off…” album that contains 25 songs. All of them are hand-picked by Kai Hansen and reflect all eras of the band.  The first single “Heaven can wait” is on the album as well as the Priest-like “Hellbent” from the 2014 release “Empire of the undead”.

There are not that many extras coming with the album. All songs have been re-mastered by Eike Freese and Hansen added some liner notes too. That’s it.

But you can look forward to some bonus material and extensive booklets, since all Gamma Ray records will be re-released during 2015 containing the mentioned benefits. So it will be a lot of Gamma Ray during the year.

However, the “Best of…” album gives value for money and is a great retrospective on the discography of the Hamburger Jungs. And IF someone doesn’t know the band so far, it is a great first touchpoint with the four-piece group.

25 years Gamma Ray, 25 songs, endless metal.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

CD 1:

  1. Armageddon
  2. Heaven can wait
  3. Hellbent
  4. Dream healer
  5. Land of the free
  6. To the metal
  7. Somewhere out in space
  8. Real world
  9. Induction
  10. Dethrone tyranny
  11. Rebellion
  12. Heading for tomorrow

CD 2:

  1. Eagle
  2. Avalon
  3. Man on a mission
  4. The spirit
  5. Tribute to the past
  6. Empathy\
  7. Valley of the kings
  8. Lust for life
  9. Master of confusion
  10. Blood religion
  11. Time to break free
  12. Insurrection
  13. Send me a sign

 

Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review GAMMA RAY "The best of Gamma Ray"
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CD review UNISONIC "Light of dawn"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Juli 2014 von Markus W. in Unisonic, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, CD Review, News

(9/10) I wanted to try writing this review without mentioning Helloween. I failed in the first sentence. 

Unisonic is back with a new album. This is great news. What started more as a project from Michael Kiske (v), Kai Hansen (g), Mandy Meyer (g), Dennis Ward (b) and Kosta Zafiriou (d) became obviously more than just a 'one time thing'. I think that the guys have been overwehlmed by the success of the 2012 debut too. Already the first EP called "Ignition" already started the fire which was fed by the full-length record. 

The new album called "Light of dawn" continues the journey which Unisonoc started two years ago. It's another masterpiece of melodic metal with 12 metal anthems, one better than the other.

After an intro called "Venite 2.0" the album starts with the first real song. A massive drum beat kicks off the track. The opener is a fast metal song with screaming guitars and the typcial Kiske vocals. It's so good to hear him again making this kind of music. His voice is a gift - for him and the listener. "Your time has come" brings you immediately into the world of Unisonic. After the slower "Exeptional" my personal highlight starts. You might know "For your kingdom" already from the EP. The starting riff from Hansen is just awesome. The song keeps the speed and is real metal. Unisonic would not be Unsisonic if they would not be able to also add a catchy melody to the tune too. It's the chorus taking mainly care about the melody and the harmony. The heaviest track on the album and a tornado of sound. "Find shelter", a song which comes a bit later on the tracklist, picks up the same pattern. Those masterpieces are gorgeous and I would wish to get more of this kind of songs. Just listen to the guitar sound; it's heavy like hell. 

But there are other remarkable tracks too. "Night of the long knives" is one of them. Kept a bit slower it's a melodic rocker with good hooklines and a merciless pushing rhythm section. Listening to this song made clear why Kiske was considered as future singer from Iron Maiden. He is, together with Bruce Dickinson, on of the best metal singers. Also to mention is the power ballad "Blood". An acoustic guitar kicks off the song before Kiske joins in with the vocals. "Blood" builds up along the way to a more rocking song which couldn't be done better.  The 'real' ballad on the album is called "You and I". It's a great rock song which expresses a lot of passion and dedication. Thumbs up, since also all the common cliches are avoided. It's just a beautiful song. For one or another reason I was reminded to John Denver's "Take me home, country road". But that's more a side note.

I think, that the secret of Unisonic is the fact, that all the guys don't have the need to prove something to themselves or the fans. They know about their capabilities and they obviously enjoy what they are doing. The result speaks for itself. One of the metal highlights this year and a serious candidat for one of the best ten records in 2014. A must for each metal collection.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Venite 2.0
  2. Your time has come
  3. Exceptional
  4. For the kingdom
  5. Not gonna take anymore
  6. Night of the long knives
  7. Find shelter
  8. Blood
  9. When the deed is done
  10. Throne of the dawn
  11. Manhunter
  12. You and I
  13. Judgement day

 

Label: ear Music

Genre: Melodic Metal

CD review UNISONIC "Light of dawn"
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