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An amazing blend of melodic hard rock and metal - 92%

aplws, August 12th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, earMUSIC (Digisleeve (deluxe edition))

Unisonic’s second album is destined to be one of the best rock albums of 2014. It simply has all the right ingredients mixed properly in order to create a very enjoyable result.

Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Place Vendome) on vocals, Kai Hansen (ex-Helloween, Gamma Ray) on guitars, Mandy Meyer (Gotthard, ex-Krokus) on guitars and Dennis Ward together with Kosta Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69) on the rhythm section, manage to create a very successful mix of melodic hard rock and melodic heavy metal that will please most fans of the two genres.

“Light Of Dawn” finds Unisonic more focused and very confident. The songwriting has improved, the instrumentation is mesmerizing, there are numerous impressive alternating guitar solos and Kiske provides one of the best vocal performances of his entire career. The album oozes with energy, technical proficiency, musical diversity and contains many excellent songs.

There are three power metal songs on offer and all of them are strong, managing to harken back to the old Helloween sound of the 80’s. The most traditional of the three is the smashing and epic opener “Your Time Has Come”, which could easily fit in both Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums. The heavier “For The Kingdom” and the more progressive “Find Shelter” are outstanding songs as well and include some incredible guitar solos.

The majority of the remaining tracks fall in the melodic hard rock category. The stronger of the bunch are the epic “Night Of The Long Knives”, the up-tempo “Throne Of The Dawn” and the successful single “Exceptional”. All the aforementioned songs contain addictive choruses and outstanding vocal performances.

When the Deed Is Done” leans towards AOR but is so well written and performed that it becomes another stand out track, while the closing ballad “You and I” is the best of the slower songs.

Besides the album’s strong points there are also a few flaws that are fortunately minimal and do not detract anything from the listening experience. The slower and balladry “Blood” kind of breaks the momentum created by the previous more energetic tunes, while the softer rocker “Not Gonna Take Anymore” also feels a little out of place after the powerful For The Kingdom.

If you enjoyed Unisonic’s debut album this is a must buy and a much stronger offering. A perfect blend of hard rock and melodic metal, featuring excellent guitar work, some of the best vocals in the scene and several songs that will become future classics. This band is surely destined for greatness.