THE UNITY - The Unity
August 7, 2017, a year ago
While Kai Hansen is out reliving his youth, with Helloween, the rest of Gamma Ray needed something to do. Witness The Unity, which sees drummer Michael Ehré and guitarist Henjo Richter forming a band, to pass the time (make some $) while the mainman is away. “Rise And Fall” pulls out the big guns right way, a galloping slice of Germanic metal, best song of the bunch. Spoken word and crunchy guitar intonations introduce “No More Lies”, which suddenly goes elsewhere, with a keyboard backing that sounds very Journey/’80s L.A. metal. Solo records (or excursions outside the main band) are more experimentation, so glad Richter got this out of his system and hasn't bothered to bring these ideas to the Gamma Ray table.
Remember, Hansen’s solo outing wasn't a homerun either. Despite the grittier guitar/voice, “Firesign” sounds like an Astral Doors cast-off. Guitar walks all over the pedestrian “Always Just You” ballad. Would be interesting to hear where the impetus for “Close To Crazy” (But not half as mad as you) came from. “Edens Fall” is one of the Pablum ‘80s rockers that actually works, while “Redeemer” steals a few Dio/Rainbow chords. “Killer Instinct” plays around with electronic effects and keyboards, while disc closing “Never Forget” (doubtful I will, given waste of time listening to this) is an ‘80s anthem (high pitched chorus) in the Autograph/King Kobra vein. If you didn't know this was merely a payday, devoid of sincerity, the disappointingly generic material gives it away. Eleven songs too long.