UNISONIC - For The Kingdom EP
July 29, 2014, a year ago
Pre-release EP from the Kai Hansen (guitar) Michael Kiske (vocals) reformation, the pair having originally coexisted in Helloween, back in the Eighties. Some, myself included, balked at the eponymous 2012 debut, for being too lightweight, something they vow to “correct” on album #2. Few clues here, as apart from the title track, there's “You Come Undone”, a poppy, non-album (Ep only) guitar-filled bonus and four live renditions off the aforementioned platter, recorded at their '12 Masters Of Rock festival appearance, in the Czech Republic. The title cut leads us out, even with synth undercurrent signaling this will be a heavier number. Kiske sticks to the higher end of the spectrum, without venturing into heyday stratosphere. Plenty of guitar noodling, courtesy of Hansen and Mandy Meyer (Krokus/ex-Gotthard). An intro tape of Wagner's “Ride Of The Valkyries” (popularized in Apocalypse Now: Robert Duvall on the beach, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”) begins the concert material, eventually “Unisonic” (punctuated with film dialogue from Network, Struther Martin, Schwarzenegger and Airplane: “Don't call me Shirley”) gets the crowd singing along. “Never Too Late” has a simple, B-grade Gamma Ray sound. After the fast start, “Star Rider” drags, before the concluding "Souls Alive" returns things to a mid-tempo. Looking forward to the new full-length.