The Unity – Pride (Steamhammer/SPV)Thursday, 12th March 2020
Not letting idle time pass by two Gamma Ray members while Kai Hansen enjoys the Helloween reunion globally, guitarist Henjo Richter and drummer Michael Ehré keep their melodic metal/hard rock act The Unity striving forward. Pride is the third and latest studio album from the band since their inception in 2016 – and the sextet also has a solid lineup with no changes. Properly understanding chemistry and the workload it takes to launch a newer group, they’ve aligned themselves in great support slots across Europe to elevate their presence. And those who love catchy anthems with strong vocal melodies and musical hooks will find plenty to shake, scream, and appease their tastes through these twelve tracks.
Bluesy-based melodic metal with equal inspiration from their own European upbringing and a bit of that American AOR meets 80’s hard rock influence creates a sound that can be quite catchy and radio friendly one moment, but then a bit driving and heavier the next. Social commentary on crazy/dictator-oriented leaders appears on the potent anthem “We Don’t Need Them Here”, Sascha Onnen’s keyboard/organ underpinnings providing proper propulsion for the steady double kick and headbanging main riff plus lead break gymnastics. Five of the six musicians in The Unity also contribute songwriting-wise, ensuring diversity throughout the record – a more Rainbow/Dio-esque epic-type track like “Angel of Dawn” allow Jan Manenti to flex his seasoned vocal pipes, while the Van Halen/Mr. Big-esque licks and drum shuffle for “Rusty Cadillac” elevate the record into a left-turn direction for energetic uplift near the closing of the record. Those who want a bit more of the adventurous power metal with spirited drumming and higher flying synchronization between the guitars and keyboards, “Damn Nation” will provide that spark, while the record ends on a highly commercial effort for “You Don’t Walk Alone”, a song that probably sits better with current Bon Jovi followers as the easy on the ears chorus/main musical hook are hard to shake from the brain.
The Unity aren’t out to change the world with Pride. They deliver solid compositions in that melodic metal platform, reminding people that even if it’s not the most popular style of music anymore, there are still musicians willing to write, create, and perform fresh songs for that audience.