With Kai Hansen touring the world with Helloween, a new Gamma Ray-album seems quite distant. In his absence, guitar player Henjo Richter and drummer Michael Ehrés has formed a new band called The Unity. Rise is their second album, and it gives more surprises than even I, who is a great Gamma Ray-fan, expected. First of all, this is not just a run to the mill power metal-album. Arguably, this is not power metal at all, apart from opening track Last Betrayal. This is way more melodic, and feels more like a sort of AOR-oriented kind of metal. It’s melodic and the songs are catchy, without being too much radio oriented.
As the album unfolds, the songs reveal themselves as really strong, which, along with a great vocal performance by Gianbattista Manentis, is the main power of the album. With the many melodic rock-projects of today, it may seem easy for an album like this to loose track and feel way too predictable and ordinary, but that never seems to happen here. This is a good album all the way, and some of the melodies really sticks. In fact, Rise is among this years very best melodic metal albums! I’m giving it seven stars, but they are seven strong stars. If you are into the melodic side of german metal, you really shouldn’t miss The Unity!
Band: The Unity
Date of release: 14/9-18
Stand out tracks: Road to Nowhere