Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Unisonic - Light of Dawn (2014)

Many power metal fans went more or less complete crazy when the news came out that Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, two of the brains behind the "Keeper of The Seven Keys" albums, would once again unite, but this time in a new project called Unisonic. Their self titled debut album from 2012 was, according to me, nothing exceptionally special. It had some good intentions, but it was almost a disappointment with the expectations that had been created. But I had a feeling that if the band got some time to tighten up the screws in their machinery, then I knew they would come back with an excellent sophomore album.

And it seems like I was right, since "Light of Dawn" is a improvement from "Unisonic". The overall sound is much more cohesive and the band feels tighter in their cooperation and their performance. Kiske is the obvious stand out thanks to his unique vocal style, which sounds like it have not aged at all since the Helloween days. Hansen however seems to have taken a step back in the hierarchy, because the riffs are not as prominent as they were in "Unisonic". But still, he does a good job overall and the solos fits well with the songs.

The overall song quality is also more even in this album than on its predecessor. There might not be any song here that really stands out on its own, but there are not any song that feels misplaced or substandard. It is an overall good feeling to know that Unisonic has found their sound, which is more melodic hard rock with a hint of classic power metal. Maybe not the most unique sound, but it works.

"For The Kingdom" was released earlier in a EP together with some live songs and it is still one of my favourite songs from Unisonic. The track has a good hard rock beat with an interesting riff and a easy and memorable chorus. But there are two songs that trumps "For The Kingdom" on "Light of Dawn". The opener "Your Time Has Come" just breaths classic power metal and the amount of epicness in the track is overwhelming. Then we also have "Throne of The Dawn" that impress me with its straight forward attitude and simplicity. Be sure to also check out "Night of The Long Knives" and "Exceptional" since these two tracks helps giving the album some more variety.

So is there anything negative that I should bring up about this album? Well, the two ballads, "Blood" and "You And I", are far from interesting and I still feel like the band could use some more originality to really lift their music even higher. The more annoying thing is that it feels like Unisonic still does not have its highest gear on. They are under way to becoming a project to be counted with, but they still have some way to go before reaching the same levels as Helloween and Gamma Ray. This is however only the second album by the band, so they still have some time to prove themselves.

If you liked "Unisonic", then I am sure that you will love "Light of Dawn". This album has helped getting the band towards the next level, and if Unisonic's career keeps on going in this direction, then I am sure that the band will get a good amount of recognition. This may not be my favourite power metal release this year (if you can call this a power metal album), but it certainly did put a smile on my face whenever I listened to it.

Songs worthy of recognition: Your Time Has Come, For The Kingdom, Throne of The Dawn

Rating: 7,5/10 Manhunters

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