THE UNITY – Rise [Japanese Edition +3] (2018)
Only about a year and a half after the arrival of its self-titled debut album, German-Italian melodic metal act THE UNITY is ready to strike again: September 14 will see the release of the band’s follow-up effort, “Rise”, on SPV/Steamhammer. This already appeared Japanese edition includes 3 bonus tracks.
The Unity continues to consist of Gamma Ray members drummer Michael Ehré (ex Firewind, Uli Jon Roth and Unisonic) and Henjo Richter (guitar), plus second axeman Stef, vocalist Gianbattista Manenti, bassist Jogi Sweers and keyboardist Sascha Onnen.
But this is a different musical beast than Gamma Ray; The Unity mix classic melodic metal with groovy hard rock and a touch of edgy AOR, and darn – they are fabulous.
After intro ‘Revenge’, proper opener ‘Last Betrayal’ is a statement of intent: fast, forceful, heavy but clean, which highlights the marvelous voice of Manenti and the technical quality of all musicians involved.
Follower ‘You Got Me Wrong’ is even better, with its great chorus to listen to over and over again, powerful guitars and a monster groovy bass line.
The melodies are increasing with ‘The Storm’, embellished with keyboard arrangements in the classic melodic metal vein, then ‘Road To Nowhere’ kicks with its thick double guitar attack and busy drumming.
With ‘Welcome Home’ The Unity shows their more commercial side, great rhythm and a joyful melody with a clear ’80s feeling in the chorus. A personal favorite.
‘All That Is Real’ is a very good midtempo rocker plenty of soaring vocals and more keyboard presence which I like a lot. It pick up the pace at the end, to fit follower ‘No Hero’, a heavier number with a little power metal touch.
‘The Willow Tree’ is another highlight, a slow paced tune with stupendous technical and composition quality, heartbreaking vocals and a melodic guitar solo.
‘Above Everything’ is different from the rest, a welcomed variation where The Unity offers a particular way to assemble the verses and chorus, then ‘Better Day’ delivers another catchy melody over a structure with a certain hard rock hook.
Closer ‘L.I.F.E.’ is some kind of an epic midtempo with an AOR touch, nice keys, soaring vocals and again, complete guitar work. A winner.
Japanese edition bonus tracks are 3 songs from the band’s first album performed live, perfectly recorded and showcasing how good The Unity are on stage as well.
The Unity is a terrific combo, and while they are tagged as commercial power metal, on “Rise” they blend into the mix traditional melodic metal, potent hard rock groove, and even catchy AORish melodies, edgy, but incredibly pristine and clean.
With a superb production sound, there’s something for everyone in this album, a killer collection of songs with attention to detail and wonderful melodies.
01 – Revenge
02 – Last Betrayal
03 – You Got Me Wrong
04 – The Storm
05 – Road To Nowhere
06 – Welcome Home
07 – Aaa That Is Real
08 – No Hero
09 – The Willow Tree
10 – Above Everything
11 – Children Of The Light
12 – Better Day
13 – L.I.F.E.
14 – No More Lies (Live)
15 – God Of Temptation (Live)
16 – Close To Crazy (Live)
Gianba Manenti (vocals)
Henjo Richter (guitars)
Michael Ehré (drums)
Stefan Ellerhorst (guitars)
Jogi Sweers (bass)
Sascha Onnen (keyboards)
BUY IT !