Unisonic - Light Of Dawn (2014)
Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth
Two years after the outstanding self-titled debut from power metal and melodic rock supergroup Unisonic, the quintet is back in full strength with its sophomore output entitled Light Of Dawn. While many people I know didn’t appreciate the debut, it was because it focused less on power metal and more on rock accessibility. I admit that I adored this lighter style, and thought that the record featured striking anthems with great melodies and touching lyrics. Light Of Dawn is overall a little bit heavier than its predecessor, which should please the heavy and power metal fans, but the band kept its great sense for great emotions, charming melodies, and moving lyrics. In my opinion, both records are equally strong, but I slightly prefer the debut because it sounded different from many genre colleagues thanks to a more AOR-inspired sound.
While the first record opened with the unforgettable and energizing “Unisonic”, Light Of Dawn kicks off just as well with the vivid “Your Time Has Come”, which sounds like it could have been among the best songs from a Helloween record out of the eighties. The band is back with melodies that touch your heart and soul, such as the liberating “Exceptional”, which could be compared to the brilliant “Never Too Late” from the previous record. Other potential single candidates include the charming retro rocker “Manhunter”, with its warm chorus, and the light and positive bonus track “Judgement Day”.
Another standout track is “Night Of The Long Knives”, which starts in a slow, subtle way before the song evolves into a mid-tempo paced tune with remarkable vocal melodies. Michael Kiske delivers one of his most varied performances ever. The song has a nostalgic touch and reminds me of commercial hard rock and heavy metal of the eighties, but this happens in a very authentic and warm way instead of feeling boring and old-fashioned. “Blood” has a similar style, and starts with harmonious acoustic guitars before the song grows emotional and vivid. Kiske philosophizes about God in this song, and I must admit that the message and the lyrics of this track really touch and inspire me. I almost forgot that I had a religious side in myself, and this song has helped to awaken it again.
Unisonic varies its approach between charming melodic rock and gripping power metal with intelligent lyrics throughout the album. If it was left to me to decide, the band members would immediately put their other involvements aside and only focus on Unisonic, because the band’s first two albums easily beat anything released by their main bands, and I consider these records to be among the greatest AOR and European power metal albums of the last few years. Light Of Dawn is a ride of pure fun with depth and a concept behind it. If you enjoyed the debut, you can expect more from this release. If you didn’t appreciate the first strike however, you may like the fact that this new album is a little bit straighter and heavier. In my opinion, the two complement each other very well, are equally fantastic, and well worth your time and money if you care for this kind of music.
4.25 // 5