Steamhammer/SPV [release date: 13.03.20]
As Euro power metal projects go, this third studio album from The Unity passes muster with flying colours. If a mesh of tight production and bombastic musical posturing is your thing, then step in line. And there’s just enough old school grit to keep a wider audience interested too.
The nucleus of the band is former Gamma Ray colleagues Henjo Richter (guitars) and Michael Ehré (drums). They are fronted by the impressive Italian singer Gianbattista Manenti who knows how to flex some seriously gymnastic vocal chords, but stays the right side of overblown throughout. The band is completed by guitarist Stef, bassist Jogi Sweers and keysman Sascha Onnen.
The album begins strongly with ‘The New Pandora’ segueing into ‘Hands of Time’, a pleasing radio-friendly hard rock construct with plenty of grunt on the guitar. In similar vein, another stand out track is album closer ‘You Don’t Walk Alone’, a fine power ballad of polished and sweeping quality that could easily find a home on any compilation of lush American driving music.
These tracks bookend a more uneven smattering of tracks. The heaviest and fastest paced material on offer comes with ‘Scenery of Hate’ and ‘Damn Nation’, which all give room for some six-string fireworks over typically complex drum rhythms and choppy guitar riffs.
Melodic rock tastes are catered for throughput, but particularly with the sweetly crafted ‘Line and Sinker’ and the rant against prejudice and intolerance in ‘We Don’t Need Them Here’, featuring a lovely flowing guitar solo.
There are a few forgettable tracks in between unfortunately, hardly worth dwelling on. And then a surprise when the penultimate track ‘Rusty Cadillac’ fires into life as a rock ‘n’ roll stomp, full of bluesy riffs, brass effects and slide lead work. There’s a fleeting reason to believe this clean, technically accomplished band have a bit of dirt under their fingernails!
On the whole, an enjoyable melodic/power metal offering, with just a few twists to keep things interesting. ***½
Review by Dave Atkinson
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In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)
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Featured Albums w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 HARTMANN 15 Pearls And Gems (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. II (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 GRAHAM GOULDMAN Modesty Forbids (Lojinx)
Power Plays w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)
LOUISE LEMON Devil (Icons Creating Evil Art )
BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE Winter Keeps Us Warm (indie)
ONE DESIRE Shadowman (Frontiers)
CRYSTAL IGNITE Black Mamba (indie)
PICTURESQUE ATTN: (Rude Records/Equal Vision Records)
SKARLETT RIOT Human (indie)
THE COVASETTES Spin (indie)
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