UNISONIC Live at Wacken earMUSIC [Release date 21.07.17]
Unisonic are the band formed by ex-Helloween members Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen (of Gamma Ray fame), joined by Denis Ward (Pink Cream 69 and many production credits), Mandy Meyer (Asia/Krokus) and drummer Kosta Zafiriou (ex-Pink Cream 69) – he bowed out after this gig to retire from music and focus on management.
The band have released two studio albums and a couple of EP’s to date, so they have a decent catalogue to draw upon for this gig. They have a sound not unlike Gamma Ray and Helloween as you’d expect, although Unisonic go for a harder rock sound and less metal in parts than those aforementioned bands.
Recorded at last year’s Wacken the band sound in good form, with a couple of Helloween covers in the set, namely ‘A Little Time’ and ‘March Of Time’. Of the band’s own tunes ‘Star Rider’ and the Iron Maiden sounding ‘My Sanctuary’ are the pick of the bunch.
Unisonic seem to be on hiatus for now as both Kiske and Hansen are involved in the upcoming Helloween reunion tour dates. Until we get any new songs from Unisonic this live CD and DVD will do for now. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
RON POPE Work www.ronpopemusic.com [Release date 18.08.17]
I reviewed the Ron Pope & the Nighthawks album at the start of 2016 and very impressive it was. Now Ron Pope has a solo album out and he is joined by Jay Collins on sax (Gregg Allman Band), Mike Riddleberger (drums), Andrew Pertes (bass), Kai Welch (keys/accordion), Jeff Malinowski (guitar), Alex Brumel (guitar/pedal steel) and Charles Ray (flugelhorn/trumpet).
Like the Nighthawks album Ron Pope delves into a few musical pots, be a little of the Rolling Stones/Black Crowes on the insanely catchy ‘Let’s Get Stoned’ or the Americana flavoured ‘Can’t Stay Here’.
The title track again shows what a strong lyricist Ron Pope is with the refrain ‘Working to live beats living to work anytime’ – a sentiment many can relate to. The music on the song suits the lyric perfectly – gentle guitar, a little accordion and a gentle swish on the drums.
Do yourself a favour and grab this album when it comes out as Ron Pope captures the everyday in such a succinct way. Strong voice, lyrics and wonderful music, what’s not to like? ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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