Kaisas is the trio made up of Greek guitarist Babus Kaisas, famed British vocalist Tony Mills (TNT/Shy), and Brazilian drummer Acadio Carvalhio. The band deliver some soaring melodic rock & metal on their debut Unify, an album that on first glance doesn't come across as anything spectacular but over time reveals some really catchy and memorable songs. They key of course is Mills, who really has developed over the years as a stunning singer. His Geoff Tate/Michael Kiske inspired vocals soar over these '80s styled rockers, so much so that he really overshadows Kaisas and Carvalhio. Considering that this is for the most part Kaisas' band, you really don't get a sense for his guitar talents here other than a tasty little solo here and there. Not much in the way of riffs or groundbreaking arrangements, Unify is left for Mills to save, and thankfully he does. "Sins of Mankind", "Surrender", "Mystery Man", and the catchy yet crunchy "Somewhere Someplace" could have easily been FM radio & MTV fodder in the late '80s, while "All Unite" is the token power ballad with a huge chorus and lush backing vocals.
As if this wasn't '80s drenched enough for you, the trio even throw in a cover of the Dokken classic "In My Dreams" for good measure, with Mills taking Don's original vocal delivery up a notch. As a solid slice of melodic rock & metal, Unify does the trick, though in this day and age just 'doing the trick' isn't going to help this album from fading into obscurity pretty quickly. Fans of the this style though will find lots to like here, and once again Tony Mills shows why he's considered by many to be one of the most exciting vocalists going today.
Sins of Mankind
The Whole Picture
Take Away Your Pain
In My Dreams (Dokken cover-digital bonus track)
Added: July 3rd 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
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Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-08-30 18:12:45
Unify is the debut release from Kaisas, a band who take their name from founding member, guitarist and bassist Babis Kaisas. Renowned vocalist Tony Mills (Shy/TNT/Siam) and Brazilian drummer Acacio Carvahlo complete the line-up for an album that sits somewhere kind of in between prog metal, prog rock and melodic rock without really quite being any of them.
Now at this stage I'll have to air a personal gripe regarding Tony Mills's recent vocal recordings. Being that no matter whether it is the latest bright breezy album from TNT, the pure AOR of Serpentine, or indeed the slow deliberate prog infused Kaisas, Mills banks ups layer after layer of vocals to create what in the end sound like synthetically produced voices. Instead of amplifying his unquestionable talents, these effects dilute the vocals, causing them to lose power and focus, which is a real shame considering that there is little doubt that Tony Mills has one of the finest voices that rock music has ever heard.
So with that in mind, I have to admit that my thoughts on "Unify" are already coloured, however being bluntly honest the insipid, monotonously paced music which Kaisas have put together for this album certainly doesn't improve matters. With the exception of the band's cover of "Jingle Bells" - more of which later - this whole album is performed at walking pace, plodding slowly from song to song where the guitars are overly restrained and muted. The whole thing lacks for atmosphere and while Tony does a fine job with some spoken intro parts, once the music kicks in, it really is rather difficult to differentiate between the tracks, and as I mentioned earlier Tony's vocal effects really don't help. Again the exception to this is the rather - OK not rather - completely misguided cover version of "Jingle Bells". Yes this really is the Christmas ditty that we have all become sick of hearing over the years, with Tony crooning his way through a call and response version of this song that is just way too jolly for its own good. When you take into account the over-earnest approach the rest of "Unity" suffers from, "Jingle Bells" not only doesn't belong on this album, but it certainly doesn't belong slap bang in the middle of it, turning up as track 6 out of 12.
I can safely say that "Unify" is the worst album I can recall Tony Mills being involved with in any shape or form and even for his devout followers I foresee this album being a test of their patience. For everyone else? Avoid.
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