"The Unity"

By Colonel Angus

The Unity is formed by Gamma Ray members Micheal Ehre and Henjo Richter and this self-titled disk is their first.  Even though I would place Gamma Ray into the power metal category, The Unity is more straight ahead metal yet still manages to sound fresh.  I have played this release well over a dozen times and it just keeps getting better.  One of the things that I really like about "The Unity" (the album) is that all of the songs have a consistent style and the band doesn’t try to put in power metal in one track and a ballad on the next.  The level of riffing, drumming, and energy is consistent throughout.  While I do like my prog bands that have everything and the kitchen sink within one CD (sometimes within one song) there is a comfort in kicking back and enjoying a hard hitting steady ride.  Quite honestly, pick any track (aside from “Firesign” which has a chorus that is the only negative on the whole disk) and you will get a feel of the record.  Now, I’m not saying that this record is one dimensional because each of the songs can stand on their own.  Tracks like “Redeemer” and “The Wishing Well” stand out to me but the whole record is full of quality tunes that I have been listening to it straight through.  Aside from that chorus in “Firesign”, which is not bad enough to skip, I can’t find any faults with "The Unity". 

As mentioned previously, we have a couple of Gamma Ray members on board; Ehre (drums) and Richter (guitars).  Joining them are Stef E (guitars), Jogi Sweers (bass), Sasha Onnen (keyboards), and last but certainly not least, Gianba Manenti (vocals).  While these guys are fine musicians, their true talent is in writing catchy and melodic metal tunes.  The riffs are memorable and the melodies get stuck in your head.  While some may say that Manenti’s vocals are not that unique, they certainly shine on this record.  He has a good range and puts in a great performance throughout.  If you are looking for something totally new and unique, this will not satisfy that need but you would be missing out on a great disk.  Steamhammer/SPV needs to promote these guys so that they continue to put our more quality records like this one.