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The Unity: The Unity

The Unity are a new hard rock/melodic power metal act comprised of Gamma Ray members Michael Ehré (drums) and Henjo Richter (guitar), plus Gianba Manenti (Vocals), Stef E (Guitar), Sascha Onnen (Keyboards), and Jogi Sweers (Bass). Their self-titled debut for SPV/Steamhammer contains a dozen songs packed with plenty of muscle, class, and emotion, led by Manenti's powerful vocal attack and a wealth of guitar firepower. Anthems appear left and right, kicking off with the ultra catchy "Rise and Fall", as Manenti's Russell Allen-meets-Ronnie James Dio inspired vocals soar to the heavens over blistering arrangements. From there, it's one highlight after another, including the heavy yet melodic "Firesign". the proggy and quite doom laden "God of Temptation", the frantic "Close to Crazy", the crunchy, pinch harmonic melodic ripper "The Wishing Well", and the dramatic headbanger "Killer Instinct". Both Richter and Stef E deliver a wealth of super crunchy riffs and screaming solos, helped greatly by the stellar production, and Onnen's keyboards add a nice symphonic element throughout.

From top to bottom, this is a very strong debut from a new band that deliver the goods in a big way. If you have a soft spot for instantly memorable power metal with plenty of hard rock & prog elements, make sure you don't miss this one.

Track Listing
1. Rise And Fall 5:26
2. No More Lies 5:07
3. God Of Temptation 5:27
4. Firesign 5:18
5. Always Just You 6:02
6. Close To Crazy 3:30
7. The Wishing Well 5:47
8. Edens Fall 4:30
9. Redeemer 4:54
10. Super Distortion 1:03
11. Killer Instinct 5:52
12. Never Forget 5:40

Added: June 4th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1909
Language: english

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The Unity: The Unity
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-06-04 09:54:27
My Score:

With Gamma Ray leader Kai Hansen off revisiting and reinvigorating his past and present through Unisonic, Hansen and the hell freezes over event that is Pumpkins Reunited (for the uninitiated, that's a Helloween old and new reunion tour), it was only a matter of time before boredom set in to the Gamma ranks. Hence The Unity finds GR guitarist Henjo Richter and drummer Michael Ehré recruiting four of the tub thumper's ex Love.Might.Kill band mates and recording a self titled debut. So, with Jogi Seers on bass, Stefan Ellerhorst as second guitarist and Sascha Onnen handling keyboards, the line-up is completed by the excellent voice of singer Gianba Manenti.

With Gamma Ray famed for taking the early Helloween sound Hansen created and expanding it further into power and at times melodic metal territory, you might expect The Unity to simply mine a similar outlook to try and snare their ready made audience – and they do...and don't. Far from reinventing the heavy metal wheel, this new sextet instead rely an a host of tried and tested formulae to get their message across. Yes, there are, as anticipated, more than the occasional nods to the Gamma Ray sound and yet this debut is a leaner, meaner and much more melodic beast. With soaring keyboards backing much of opener "Rise And Fall", the strafing riffs are immediately aimed in a more melodic metal direction; Manenti and his excellently produced vocals an instant focal point as he quickly sets about revealing what an underrated talent he is. With a burning guitar solo and thunderous drums, this may be a slightly more refined introduction than could have been expected, but there's no denying it's catchy, memorable and damn good fun.

From there the musical merry go round hits full stride, "No More Lies" reminding of Eden's Curse, "God Of Temptation" a hybrid of Tony Martin era Sabbath and the staccato outbursts that Dio so specialised in. "Firesign" ups the melody quotient further through a soaring chorus and hooks a-plenty, while "Close To Crazy" almost fully heads down the melodic rock path, a joyous, but crunching Eclipse like blast clearing all in its way. Factor in that "Eden's Fall" sounds like the bluesy beast modern Europe have become, that "Redeemer" has the temerity to sit somewhere between Coverdale era Purple and early Whitesnake and that "Never Forget" and "The Wishing" again focus more on the melody than they do the metal – although both kick some serious ass – and The Unity really have not only laid down a serious marker of intent, but offered up an eclectic, focused punch of melodic metal majesty.

Being honest, it would be wrong of me not to point out that great though this all is, there really isn't a single moment where originality is achieved or even striven for on this debut effort. Yet if you're looking for a well executed set of songs with bristling guitars, captivating vocals and hooks by the bucket load, The Unity is where you should be. Hopefully they won't be a one-off project.

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