Anybody looking for reasons that explain the musical evolvement of German-Italian power metal act The Unity on their new album “Rise” only has to look back at the past one and a half years. During this short period, the band surrounding the two Gamma Ray members Michael Ehré (drums) and Henjo Richter (guitar) has not only established itself as an integral component of the German music scene but also seen thegroup cause a stir on a number of levels. On the one hand there’s The Unity’s debut album, celebrated by fans and media alike, which got off to a textbook start in spring 2017. The eponymously titled release garnered positive reviews throughout and ensured that the group was unanimously voted into the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ category by the two leading German metal magazines, Metal Hammer and Rock Hard. These awards were even more incentive for the musicians, who subsequently embarked on tours with Edguy and Sinner and put in celebrated performances at renowned festivals such as Bang Your Head, Metalfest and the Winter Masters Of Rock. “There were nights when we could hardly believe the fans’ overwhelming enthusiasm,” reminisces Michael Ehré, looking back at a triumphal march of a very special kind.
“Lots of times the headliners of the show met us backstage when we came off, slapping our backs to show their respect.”
These positive reactions encouraged The Unity in their decision to present a successor to their debut as quickly as possible. “When we received the offer during the production to tour with Axel Rudi Pell from October, our ambition was kindled all the more,” reckons vocalist Gianba Manenti. “The only question was: Will we succeed in getting “Rise” ready on time?” But as they say: Challenges are there to be faced. So the band rolled up their sleeves – metaphorically speaking, of course – and channelled their energies into sticking to their tight schedule. Says Manenti:
“The most surprising thing was: While we’d initially thought that the tight deadline would be one of the most difficult aspects of the production, it turned out to motivate us even more, the unity professed in our band name turning out to be our greatest forte, plus our clear focus on the tasks ahead. Everyone in the band, from Michael and Henjo through guitarist Stef E to bassist Jogi Sweers and keyboardist Sascha Onnen, worked flat out to make sure that we’d finalise such a strong recording as “Rise” on time.”
Indeed the second album by The Unity impresses with 13 awesome songs that even surpass their debut in terms of homogeneity, diversity and compositional standards. Rise features haunting uptempo numbers such as “Last Betrayal” and “No Hero” (also the first single to be released from the album)’, The Unity refusing to compromise in terms of speed and toughness without sacrificing catchy melodies. The same applies to the contemporary “Road To Nowhere” with its progressive flair and the radio-compatible “The Storm,” which Ehré describes as “hard rock with pop appeal”. “The Willow Tree” is the first ballad in the history of TheUnity, a novelty for this band which is getting ready to take off again.
Talking of which: The graphic translation of the album title on the cover artwork featuring a rising drone as a synonym of the digital age documents that The Unity are in line with the zeitgeist in every respect, announcing: “’Rise’has us putting out our feelers in every respect even further than we’ve done so far!”
Read our review here.