German-Italian agglomeration The Unity may quite well have pulled out all the stops for new album Rise.
I say ‘may’ because the whole production is so glossy, so professional, so monumental, that it may well be these blokes have peeled this off effortlessly in a couple of sessions between watching the Bandy on the TV and indulging in night-long pasta and bier bonding sessions. I wouldn’t be surprised.
Tracks like The Storm simply ooze class. The band’s default setting – sleek, pop metal with power metal overtones – is delivered to the nth degree here, Gianbattista Manenti delivering a positively faultless vocal whilst the rest of the band fail to put a foot wrong anywhere on the track; Henjo Richter (YES! That Henjo Richter!) deals out the hummable riffs like they’re going out of fashion, and the whole thing is wrapped up in the sort of bombastic, radio-pleasing production that became a benchmark for music like this in the eighties…
…For the eighties is surely the spiritual home of The Unity. Heavier tracks like Road to Nowhere carry all the urgency of prime time Helloween, whilst adding a symphonic swagger that Nightwish would nod approvingly at. Whatever the musical style underlying each song, Manenti owns it, delivering a purely bravura performance that marks him out as a real contender for the Euro metal Golden Mic in 2018.
Welcome Home is the sort of perky power metal banger that Richter would be familiar with whilst at the day job with Gamma Ray, but perhaps the most beguiling – and certainly cheeky – music on offer comes in the shape of penultimate track Better Day, which somehow mixes epic, uplifting metal with a large chunk of Wake Me Up Before You Go-go by Wham! – with explosively successful results! Have a listen if you don’t believe me!
Classy stuff all round, then, and certainly The Unity get the thumbs up from this writer for Rise. There’s something for everyone within it’s grooves, but especially if you love your metal on an uber-melodic tip then this will tick all yer boxes. Get it in your ears now!
Rise is out now.